- Feb 16, 2009
Indian Air Force AN-32 Cargo Planes to be Upgraded by Ukrspetsexport
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A Ukrainian government company will upgrade more than 100 Indian Air Force cargo aircraft, the Interfax news agency reported Monday. Officials from the Ukrainian military export monopolist Ukrspetsexport signed a contract worth more than 400 million dollars to modernize Antonov-32 twin-engine turboprop planes operated by India's military, the report said citing unnamed Ukrspetsexport officials.
The upgrades to be performed by technicians from the Kiev- headquartered Antonov Aircraft company will give India's An-32 fleet "a full modernisation of on-board communications and navigation equipment," according to the report.
The Indo-Ukrainian military contract announcement came five days after an An-32 crashed near the Indian city Mechukha in northern Arunachal Pradesh, killing all 13 people on board. Possible causes of the accident included a technical failure, or poor weather, according to India media reports.
India operates more than one-quarter of the altogether 360 An-32 planes manufactured by Antonov during the latter years of the Soviet Union. The only organization operating more An-32 - some 150 aircraft - is the Ukrainian air force.
The An-32 is an updated version of the venerable Soviet An-26, a twin-engine engineered for transporting cargo or people in rugged regions, particularly Soviet client states of the Cold War era.
Antonov twin turboprops are well-known throughout the former Soviet Union as a generally reliable plane offering passengers minimal comfort, and air crews only basic electronics.
Other India An-32 incidents reportedly include a February 2000 crash-landing at Arunachal Pradesh airfield, a March 1999 crash near Deli's Palam airport that killed 21. In 1992, a pair of the Ukraine- built turboprops collided whilst flying in formation.
Indian Air Force AN-32 Cargo Planes to be Upgraded by Ukrspetsexport | India Defence