Indian Airforce shelved ilyushin upgrade plan due to Russia Ukraine war

According to the most recent media reports, the Indian Air Force has abandoned plans to upgrade its IL-76MD heavy-lift aircraft indefinitely because it is unlikely that both countries Russia & Ukraine can come together to work or are in a position to do the work while the conflict persists. The plans to upgrade the IL-76MD include new communication and navigation suites, avionics, and engine upgrades.

The IAF possesses a fleet of 14 IL-76MD and 6 IL-78MKI aircraft. The IL-76MD were purchased starting in 1985, and as a result of their advanced age and the disruption of the supply chain caused by the Russia-Ukraine conflict, some of the aircraft have already been grounded. If a course adjustment is not made, six IL-78MKI aircraft that are employed in mid-air refuelling configuration may be grounded because of problems with the hydrants and the necessity to service the refuelling pods.

IAF wanted to replace their current Soloviev D-30KP turbofan engines, which were developed in the early 1960s and don’t meet many of the new safety and noise regulations while flying in civilian airspace at the International routes, with the quieter and more cost-effective Aviadvigatel PS-90A-76 high-bypass turbofan engines.

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