The Indian Air Force (IAF) has inducted four upgraded Antonov-32RE airlift aircraft into service in a move to strengthen its airlift capabilities, a senior IAF official has said.

“Four of the first batch of five AN-32s that recently underwent ‘total technical life extension’, overhaul and re-equipment in Ukraine were inducted with a new nomenclature, AN-32RE, into the service,” the official added.

The aircraft underwent an overhaul and technical life extension programme in Ukraine under a contract signed with a Ukrainian firm in 2009, according to the Press Trust of India.

Air officer-in-charge of maintenance Air Marshal Joseph Neri said the upgrades extended the life of the aircraft up to and beyond 2025.

The upgrades include modification in cockpit layout, upgraded avionics equipment, noise and vibration reduction enhancing crew comfort, reliability and maintainability of the aircraft.