An-32 Upgrade Programme to Begin Early Next Year

  • (Source: ddi Indian government news)
  • 12:00 AM, October 14, 2008
  • 2534
In an effort to infuse fresh life into its trusted workhorse. the AN-32, the Indian Air Force (IAF) will begin an upgradation programme for over 80 aircraft it has, in its inventory, early next year.>> With this upgradation, the An-32s, which are nearing at the end of their service life, would be able to fly for another 15 to 20 years.>> The upgradation programme is currently in negotiation stage and several vendors, including the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), Ukraine-based Antonov, have been approached for modernising the fleet.>> "The avionics of the aircraft were up-to-date when it was inducted during the 1980s, but is quite crude compared with today's requirements. The programme will involve major improvement of its avionics systems to give the aircraft a new lease of life," an IAF official told a news agency in Agra.>> "With the upgrades on-board, we will have better flight management system, glass cockpit display, landing system and other equipment to improve accuracy and lend a multi-role operational edge to the aircraft," he said.>> The aircraft's airframe will also undergo some changes to improve its landing capabilities.>> The pre-upgrade surveys of the aircraft fleet have been initiated in all eight functional units having the An-32s.>> "With special operations being the focus of the Air Force in the days to come, the upgraded aircraft will be used increasingly for operations involving tactical transport.>> "The improved on-board avionics will facilitate night operations and even search and rescue," Agra Air Station's Air Officer Commanding Air Commodore Shouvik Roy said.