Naval Air: Upgraded Il-38 Enters Service


January 24, 2006: India has received three upgraded Il-38 Russian maritime reconnaissance aircraft. India first received their IL-38s in the late 1970s, and they were overdue for an upgrade two decades later. The refurbished Il-38s have sensors that enable them to detect surface vessels, aircraft and submarines up to 150 kilometers away. Mines can be detected a few kilometers away, depending on their type. The sensors include a synthetic aperture/inverse synthetic aperture radar (for night and fog operations), high-resolution FLIR (forward-looking infrared), LLTV (low light television) camera, new ESM (electronic support measures) system and a new MAD (magnetic anomaly detector). The aircraft can now carry antiship missiles, in addition torpedoes, bombs, depth charges and electronic decoys. The refurb is expected to keep the aircraft viable until about 2020. Another three refurbed Il-38s are on the way.


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