Antonov An-32 Light Multipurpose Transport Aircraft, Ukraine
The An-32 is a twin engine, tactical light transport aircraft designed and manufactured by Antonov Design Bureau of Ukraine for the Indian Air Force (IAF). Its Nato reporting name is Cline. It is derived from the An-26 transport aircraft. A total of 240 An-32s are currently operational worldwide.
The IAF awarded a $400m contract to Antonov in June 2009 to overhaul its existing 105 An-32 fleet with advance avionics, communication equipment and landing aids. The upgrade will increase the lifespan of the aircraft by 15 to 40 years.
The first 40 An-32s will be upgraded in Ukraine and the remaining 65 will be overhauled at the BRD-1 aviation plant of the IAF in Kanpur. The first five An-32 aircraft were shipped to Ukraine in March 2010.
The upgraded aircraft were delivered to the IAF in June 2011 along with the equipment required to establish aircraft repair facilities in India. Another ten upgraded aircraft were delivered by the end of 2011.
An-32 cargo aircraft variants
The An-32 has ten variants: An-32A, An-32B, An-32B-100, An-32B-110, An-32B-120, An-32B-300, An-32LL, An-32MP, An-32P Firekiller and An-32B-200. It is a civil version used to transport assemblies between plants, while An-32B is an upgraded variant.
The An-32B-100 is an advanced model whose maximum take-off weight and payload weight were increased by 1,500kg and 800kg respectively. It is fitted with AI-20A engines and an overrating mode control system.
The An-32B-110 is an upgraded version that features advance Russian avionics. An-32B-120 is an export variant equipped with a non-Russian avionics suite. An-32B-300 is a meliorated model powered by Allison AE2100D turboprop engines with each generating 3,431kW of output power. An-32MP is maritime patrol version.
The An-32P Firekiller is an aerial fire fighting aircraft fitted with two external tanks for releasing 8t of liquid. It can also be deployed for carrying cargo.
The An-32B-200 is a passenger or cargo transport aircraft derived from An-32B-100. It is equipped with two-crew glass cockpit, advance avionics and quickly detachable fuel tanks having capacity up to 3,000l.
Orders and deliveries
The An-32 has been ordered by various air forces and companies, including the Afghan Air Force (seven), Colombian Army (two), Croatian Air Force (two), Indian Air Force (125), Iraqi Air Force (10), Ministry of Ukraine (four), Air Pass (four), Alada (three), Libyan Arab Air Cargo (four), Million Air Charter (three), Aercarbie (two), Trans-Charter (three) and Selva (four).
Design of the An-32
Designed to suit both military and civil operations, the An-32 can take-off and land on rough airfields and dirt runways. The aircraft is designed to manoeuvre day and night in tropical and mountainous regions even in hot climatic conditions (up to +550C).
It can transport either 7.5t of cargo or 50 passengers or 42 paratroopers or 24 patients along with three medical crew over domestic and international air routes.
The An-32 prototype took its maiden flight in July 1976. Its engine was replaced with AI-20DM engines. Development of the three pre-series An-32 aircraft was completed in October 1982 at the Aviant Plant in Kiev.
The state acceptance tests started in 1983. The first production An-32 aircraft completed its maiden flight in June 1983. It entered into service with the IAF in July 1984.
The Soviet Air Force procured 25 An-32s in 1987. Four An-32s were delivered to Libya in 2005. The Afghan Air Force received four An-32s in 2008.
An-32 features advanced cargo handling devices and a cargo door fitted with a ramp to ease the loading or unloading of freight. It is also incorporated with upper cargo handling device to load and unload 3,000kg of payload.
The packed cargoes are placed on the pallet by a demountable roller.
Semi-automated locks fitted in the roller equipment detach the pallets and decrease the aircraft's idle time. The pressurised cabin of the aircraft carries heavy cargoes, automotive wheeled vehicles and cars.
The air-conditioned glass cockpit can accommodate three crew - two pilots and a navigator. It has space to accommodate an additional seat and a flight engineer workstation when required.
The cockpit is equipped with a Garmin GMX-200 multifunctional display, a Chelton 4 Tube electronic flight instrumentation system, a Collins VHF-22C or CTL-22C communication system, a Collins VIR-32 or CTL-32 navigation system, a ART-2100 radar sensor and a Bendix or King KHF-950 high- frequency system.
The avionics suite installed in the aircraft encompasses a Bendix or King KRA-405B radar altimeter system, a Bendix or King KDF-806 ADF system, an L3 Skywatch HP TCAS I system, a NAT N301A audio system and an Artex C406 ELT with navigation interface.
AI-20DM turboprop engine
The An-32 is powered by two Ivchenko Progress AI-20DM single shaft turboprop engines with each producing 3,864kW of output power. The engine was designed and manufactured by Ivchenko Progress.
The length and width of the engine are 3.09m and 8.42m respectively. The height is 11.8m. The dry weight is 1,040kg. The lifespan of the engine is 8,000 hours.
An-32 can fly at a maximum speed of 530km/h. The cruise speed is 470km/h. The range and service ceiling of the aircraft are 2,500km and 9,500m respectively. The aircraft weighs around 16,800kg and its maximum take-off weight is 27,000kg.