Ukrainian delegation in India discusses An-32 modernization

Ukrainian delegation in India discusses An-32 modernization

A Ukranian military delegation visited the headquarters of the Indian Air Force (IAF) to discuss the modernization of the IAF’s An-32 transport fleet.

The state-run enterprise “SpetsTechnoExport”, which is part of the State Concern “Ukroboronprom”, reported this on Facebook page.

At the same time, according to India Today, the Ukrainian military delegation held meetings with senior Air Force officials in Vayu Bhawan and discussed the delayed modernisation of the Indian Air Froce's (IAF) An-32 transport fleet.

Bilateral meetings took place a few days after an IAF An-32 went missing in Arunachal Pradesh after taking off from Jorhat in Assam. The aircraft dropped off the radar on June 3 while flying to the Mechuka Advanced Landing Ground in Arunachal Pradesh. Eight aircrew and five passengers were onboard the missing aircraft.

India purchased the An-32 from the former Soviet Union in the mid-1980s.

In 2009 India and Ukraine signed a $397.7 million contract for the upgrade of the IAF's 105 An-32 aircraft in Ukraine and India even as the aircraft began reaching the end of their 25-year service life. The upgrade would not only extend the life of the aircraft to 50 years but equip them with new radars, upgraded avionics and strengthened airframes.

Under the contract, 45 aircraft were upgraded in Ukraine, the remaining 60 aircraft were to be upgraded in India by 2014. The contract virtually ground to a halt after the Crimean crisis in 2014 ruptured ties between Ukraine and Russia.

The missing An-32 was not part of the upgraded fleet. IAF officials have expressed concern over the slowdown in the modernisation as several of the older aircraft are reaching the end of their airframe lives and the fleet is plagued by poor maintenance and an acute shortage of spares.

According to SpetsTechnoExport, all commitments of the above mentioned contract will be fulfilled before September 2020, according to the agreements reached in 2018.

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