India to buy more Russian spy planes
The new planes to be purchased would be the upgraded version of the aircraft fitted with advanced Sea Dragons suits.india Updated: Jun 18, 2006 10:21 IST
To bolster Navy's reconnaissance capabilities, India is to buy more IL-38 spy planes from Russia and the decks for the supply would be cleared during Naval Chief Admiral Arun Prakash's weeklong visit to Moscow starting on Monday.
Navy plans to buy two more IL-38 maritime reconnaissance aircraft from the Russia to strengthen its depleted spy plane fleet hit by crashes of the IL-38 aircraft.
The new planes to be purchased would be the upgraded version of the aircraft fitted with advanced Sea Dragons suits.
The new aircraft are likely to be supplied by next year and would join Navy's already purchased new fleet of three IL-38 aircraft. Navy's plans to buy eight more advanced maritime reconnaissance aircraft and has already floated international tenders for it.
Three major companies US Lockheed Martin offering their upgraded version P3C orions, Boeing P8 jet and Russian Irkut company offering their IL-38 have responded to the Naval Request for Proposal (RFP).
Admiral Arun Prakash's visit, which follows the recent visit to Moscow by Air Chief SP Tyagi, was aimed to take "stock and review" of the ongoing Indo-Russian armament programme including the progress of the upgradation and retrofitting of the aircraft carrier Admiral Groshkov and carrier-borne 16 Mig-29K fighters India has already contracted for, naval sources said.