August 26, 2015

IAF moves Rs 4000-crore proposal to upgrade IL76/78 transport fleet

Seeking to give new life to its fleet of Russian transport aircraft, the air force has moved a Rs 4,000-crore proposal to upgrade its ageing IL 76/78 aircraft in a deal that could have a substantial spin off for the private defence manufacturing sector.
In a fresh proposal that has been moved earlier this month, the air force has sought the defence ministry’s approval for a comprehensive upgrade of its fleet of 17 IL 76 transport aircraft, as well as the seven IL 78 aerial refuelers that it is operating.
Sources said that the upgrade contract would have a Rs 1,200-crore offsets value, a substantial portion of which is likely to be pumped into the private manufacturing sector that is already tying up with various Russian entities.
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.


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