Tangled stories and trends that make headlines, but are sometimes hard to get a grasp on. Hop in to learn more about the world around us.

Russian Military Transport Aircraft Offers Benefits to India

© Sputnik / Nina Padalko / Go to the mediabank2nd World Defense Show
2nd World Defense Show - Sputnik India, 1920, 13.02.2024
The Indian Air Force (IAF) is looking to induct next-generation Medium Transport Aircraft (MTA) to transport troops and military equipment to far-flung areas, especially in mountainous border regions adjoining Pakistan and China.
With Russia's United Aircraft Corporation pitching its latest transport aircraft II-76MD-90A to India, two Indian military veterans have praised the Eurasian nation's weapons platforms, underlining that Russian defense hardware has always proved reliable and has performed well whenever it was used by the Indian Armed Forces.

According to Lt. Colonel J.S. Sodhi (Retired), Russian transport aircraft have been the backbone of the Indian Air Force's transport fleet for many decades. IL-76 and AN-32 have performed very well and have immensely helped in the upkeep of the combat potential of India.
"I have personally flown in the IL-76 and AN-32s many times. On January 26, 2001, my entire regiment including myself were airlifted in four IL-76s from Bhatinda to Bhuj for the rescue and relief in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake that had rocked Gujarat at the time," Sodhi told Sputnik India on Tuesday.
He observed that the IL-76 was a very spacious transport aircraft that helped move combat stores and combat personnel in a very short time frame.
"India should evaluate the flying specifications and performance of various transport aircraft available worldwide and then decide which is suited for Indian conditions," Sodhi added.
Former IAF pilot Vijainder K Thakur mentioned that India's current fleet of strategic airlifters comprises:
11 Boeing C-17
17 IL-76MD
In addition to that, India also has
6 IL-78 mid-air refuellers
In 2015, the IAF moved a case for the modernization of its IL-76MD fleet with more advanced avionics and more fuel-efficient engines with longer range/endurance.
Russia had by then developed the An Il-76MD-90 variant of the aircraft with quieter and more economical Aviadvigatel PS-90 high-bypass turbofan engines.
"However, for reasons best known to the governments of India and Russia, the IAF's IL-76MD modernization plans have remained in limbo since 2015," Thakur stressed.
Meanwhile, to maximize the performance jump from the use of PS-90 engines, Russia developed the IL-76MD-90A variant featuring a new glass cockpit, upgraded avionics, a new one-piece carbon-fiber wing, and Aviadvigatel PS-90A-76 engines.
"The IL-76MD-90A is a new variant of the IL-76MD that incorporates airframe changes and is a strategic airlifter," the retired IAF officer reckoned.
Nonetheless, Russia's pitch for the sale of the IL-76MD-90A is likely to face some headwinds, the defense pundit expressed.
"It would involve junking the current fleet of 17 Il-76MD airlifters and replacing them with 17 IL-76MD-90A airlifters. A technologically prudent choice that could easily be scuttled by budgetary constraints," Thakur concluded.
Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems move toward Red Square to attend a Victory Day military parade in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, May 9, 2023, marking the 78th anniversary of the end of World War II. - Sputnik India, 1920, 06.02.2024
Indo-Russian Relations
Russian S-400 Air Defenses Play Crucial and Unique Role for India: IAF Veteran
To participate in the discussion
log in or register
Заголовок открываемого материала