India to Upgrade An-32 Transport Aircraft
(NSI News Source Info) NEW DELHI - October 15, 2008: The Indian Air Force is set to upgrade all of the approximately 110 An-32 transport aircraft it bought from the former Soviet Union. The upgrade of the An-32 fleet is part of the air force's policy to upgrade all aircraft in its inventory, a senior air force official said.
The upgrade is intended to improve the avionics, increase the engine lifespan, and improve the aircraft's range and payload so it can remain operational for another 15 to 20 years.
An-32 transport aircraft
The air force is likely to call for global bids early next year for the upgrade. Sources said some An-32 aircraft also will be upgraded with systems so they can perform maritime patrol functions.
The An-32 was built for India by Antonov of Ukraine to operate under hot climate conditions to withstand temperatures of up to 55 degrees Celsius.
Early this year, the Indian Air Force bought six C-130J transport aircraft from the U.S. to increase its ability to land and take off on short airfields and without lights. The aircraft will be used to move special forces on short notice. Currently, the air force uses two Russian military transports, the An-32 and Il-76.