The Indian Air Force is likely to issue a request for proposal (RFP) to upgrade its large transport fleet of Ilyushin IL-76 aircraft with new avionics, engines besides other changes.
The upgrade plans also include the Phalcon AWACS fleet of three which is based on the Il-76 platform.
It is not yet known if the RFP will be for Indian vendors only or foreign vendors will also be invited. It has been a trend of late with the Indian MoD to invite local companies only for electronics and avionics installation and upgrade projects. It recently issued an Indian companies-only RFI for installation of electronic warfare suits on board its fleet of Mi-17 V5 helicopters.
The IAF currently has the third largest fleet of operational Il-76s in the world. It has been a real workhorse for the service even though the latest entrants to the fleet like the US-made C-130Js and C-17s steal the show. The total number of Il-76 in IAF service is 17.
The Il-78s transporter-tankers operated by the service will also go in for re-engining and a separate RfP will be issued for that.
Known as the 'Gajraj' in the air force, the IL 76 was first ordered in 1983 and has been India's main heavy lift aircraft before the arrival of the Boeing C 17 aircraft in 2013. The upgrade, sources said, includes new engines for the aircraft that will substantially increase its service life by up to 15 more years.
Meanwhile, Russia’s Rosoboronexport has proposed to upgrade the Il-76 fleet to the Il-76MD-90A standard. “It is a comprehensive upgrade which includes the avionics, new fuel-efficient and longer range engines, defensive systems, and undercarriage. Post upgrade, the IL-76 will be able to fly a longer range, land on even more challenging airfields than the present aircraft and carry a heavier payload,” said a source.
Indian media earlier reported that the IL-76 upgrade will cost an estimated INR 4000 crore (US$602 million approx.) and will include substantial spin off for the private defence manufacturing sector.
Russias Beriev is preparing a new airborne early warning variant of Ilyushins upgraded transport aircraft, the Il-76MD-90A, fitted with the new Vega Premier radar system in a rotating antenna, Rostec reported Wednesday. Russian Ilyushin Il-76MD-90A military cargo plane has completed its maiden flight and will become the platform for a future long-range radar detection and control prototype plane, A-100
Designated as the IL-76MF, the successor to the legendary military transport plane, IL-76 marked its maiden flight in Tashkent, Uzbekistan on September 30, 2010. The new generation plane is intended to make a strong case for sale to India as New Delhi has of late been buying U
The first of the three Indian Air Force AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control System) platform arrived in India from Israel today. The giant IL-76 configured in its new avatar was escorted by three Mig-29 and Jaguar aircraft each that took off from an advance fighter airbase of South Western Air Command (SWAC)
India has approved a Russian proposal to upgrade its Ilyushin tactical transport fleet with new engines and avionics costing INR 4250 crore (US$650 million) to extend its service life by 20 years. A meeting of the Indian MoDs defence acquisition council (DAC) decided on the Indian Air Force (IAF)s upgrade proposal yesterday
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