Ukraine's state enterprise Ukroboronprom has handed over the seventh batch of upgraded An-32 light multipurpose transport aircraft to the Indian Air Force (IAF).
Ukrspecexport State Company's subsidiary, Spectechnoexport had signed a $400m contract with the Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) for the repair and upgrade of a total of 105 An-32 aircraft in July 2009.
As part of the contract, Antonov Plant and Civil Aviation Plant 410 are modernising 40 aircraft in Ukraine, while the remaining An-32s are scheduled to be upgraded at the IAF's BRD-1 aviation plant in Kanpur, North India.
Ukroboronprom temporary director general Yuriy Tereshenko said the Ukrainian and Indian sides are satisfied with the progress of contract implementation and count on development of cooperation within the programme.
"India was and remains to be a strategic Ukrainian partner in the area of military technical cooperation," Tereshenko said.
"We admit a mutual interest in further development of the aviation programme. We expect in the nearest future the bilateral cooperation will be continued by new contracts."
The aircraft are being equipped with advanced equipment made in Ukraine and other countries, such as aircraft collision warning equipment, collision with ground early warning equipment, satellite navigation system, aircraft rangefinders, modernised height finders, new radar set with two multifunctional indicators, new oxygen equipment and upgraded crew seats.
In addition, the aircraft's AI-20 engines are being upgraded in accordance with a three-year, $110m contract signed between Motor Sich and IAF in December 2009.
The upgrade is expected to enable the aircraft to land on an ICAO category II approach, decreasing its fuel consumption and the weight, compared to the basic model.
A total of 35 aircraft, all upgraded in Kyiv, have been handed over to the IAF in separate batches starting from 2011, while delivery of the final batch is planned for the summer 2014.
Manufactured by Antonov Design Bureau, the An-32 is a twin engine, tactical light transport aircraft designed for troop and cargo transport over short and medium range air routes, and emergency missions in its ambulance version.
Image: An upgraded An-32 light multipurpose transport aircraft of the Indian Air Force. Photo: courtesy of Ukroboronprom.