Ukraine is preparing to deliver the latest, seventh, consignment of five An-32 transport airplanes upgraded at Ukrainian military facilities to the Indian Air Force in February. The Interfax Ukraine news agency reported this, citing a source in the defense industry.

The upgrade of the five An-32 airplanes belonging to the Indian Air Force is currently nearing completion at the state-owned Civil Aviation Plant 410 in Kiev with the participation of experts from the Antonov state enterprise. According to the source, 30 of the 40 airplanes that are to be upgraded in the country under the relevant contract have already been upgraded and delivered to the customer.

"The eighth consignment of Indian airplanes arrived in in Kiev in July last year for upgrade, and this should be the final consignment of airplanes to be upgraded in our country under the terms of the Indian contract. Its delivery to the customer is scheduled for May," he said. "Given the high pace and quality of performance of the work by the Ukrainian side, the two sides are considering the possibility of increasing the capacity utilization of the Ukrainian performer of the contract."

A contract worth about USD 400 million for repair and upgrade of 105 An-32 airplanes belonging to the Indian Air Force was signed in July 2009 between the Indian Ministry of Defense and the Spetstechnoexport company, which is a subsidiary of the state-owned Ukrspetsexport concern.

Under the contract, 40 aircraft will be upgraded in Ukraine and the rest at the Indian Air Force’s BRD-1 aircraft factory in Kanpur. Antonov and the Civil Aviation Plant 410 (both in Kiev) are implementing the contract.

As part of the upgrade, the Indian aircraft will be fitted with about 25 types of Ukrainian- and foreign-made modern equipment with the aim of improving flight safety. They include equipment for preventing collision aircraft in the air, equipment for early warning against collision with the ground, satellite navigation systems, aircraft rangefinders, upgraded altimeters, a new radar system with two multifunction displays, new oxygen equipment, and improved crew seats.

The upgraded An-32 airplanes will be able to land on an ICAO category II approach. Fuel consumption and the weight of the upgraded aircraft when empty will be lower significantly compared with the base model. In addition, the AI-20 engines on the Indian An-32 airplanes are being upgraded under a three-year contract worth 110 million that the Motor Sich company (Zaporozhe) and the Indian Air Force signed in December 2009.