Ukraine has offered for the joint production of India’s AN-132 transport aircraft despite problems in AN-32 upgrade due to the non-availability of components by Ukraine.
“SE-Antonov offered Indian enterprises to join efforts in An-132 aircraft construction, offering the ministries and departments of the country – to order it,” head of Ukrainian delegation, UKROBORONPROM Director General Roman Romanov said during DefExpo 2016 that concluded Thursday.
The remaining batch of 60 An-32s to be modernised by refurbishing them is to be undertaken at the Base Repair Depots (BRDs) of the IAF. The first 40 of them that went to Ukraine for an upgrade, have returned and are back in service.
An air force official said that considering the crisis that erupted between Russia and Ukraine, there was a delay and doubt created whether the Ukrainian OEM would be able to complete the work on the last few batches of the air crafts.
The 40 An-32s have their MTOW (Maximum Take-off Weight) increased to 7.5 tonnes from 6.7 tonnes at the Ukrspetexport. Besides. the upgrades included modern avionics equipments, new oxygen systems and improved crew seats. The estimated upgrade cost was $ 15 million.
From that point of the modernisation programme, it can be presumed that the 60 An-32s, to be refurbished at the BRDs would also have the MTOW upgraded.
The designated BRD is at Kanpur, a former air marshal who is in the know told defensenews.net.
Retired air chief marshal NAK Browne had begun the process reforming the BRDs as effective MROs that could cater to the needs of the service for urgent upgrades, thus reducing the dependence on HAL, which already has a backlog of aircrafts to be refurbished by them.
There are 15 BRDs at the moment under the Maintenance Command of the IAF. And they are the pivot of the indigenisation drive of the service.
Meanwhile, a former senior official of the IAF denied any knowledge of plans to issue RFIs or RFPs for the private sector MROs.
Ukraine is also participating in the design and construction of the plant along with partners Taqnia of Saudi Arabia, the Ukrainian Scientific Research Institute of Aviation Technologies, Altis Holding of Ukraine, and Broetje−Automation of Germany.
The AN−132 will be first aircraft produced at a new aviation complex in Saudi Arabia and is intended to replace aircraft similar to the obsolete AN-32 and AN-26 aircraft.