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 MoD’s defence acquisition council (DAC) decided on the Indian Air Force (IAF)’s upgrade proposal yesterday.
The IAF has 17 IL-76 transport aircraft besides three Israeli Phalcon AWACS (airborne warning and control systems) mounted on IL-76s and six IL-78 refuellers.
The upgrade will be along the lines of the Il-76MD-90A standard which had been proposed by Rosoboronexport earlier.
The upgrade is expected to bring forward the IL-76 fleet close to the performance benchmark of IAF’s Boeing C-17 fleet.