The Russian Navy has received a modernised Ilyushin Il-38N anti-submarine warfare (ASW) aircraft at Northern Fleet air base, Russia's Northern Fleet press spokesman captain Vadim Serga said.
The modernised Ilyushin Il-38N aircraft features wider range of combat capabilities and supports electronic intelligence (ELINT) duties including mapping magnetic and gravitational fields of the Northern Ice sea, scientific oceanographic research and underwater and air reconnaissance missions, Serga added.
The Il-38N's anti-submarine system has been replaced with the Novella sensor system, which is capable of detecting targets within a 320km radius of the aircraft as well as radar observation of underwater, surface and airborne targets.
The Novella system includes a digital computer manned by two operators, a new high resolution thermal imaging system, a magnetic anomaly detection system, an optical detection system, gravitational anomaly detector and other equipment.
The upgraded sensor suite is also capable of detecting air targets at a distance of up to 90km and simultaneously tracking up to 32 targets.
Ilyushin Aviation Complex-built aircraft features several sub systems, including a search-and-rescue and ecological monitoring, an electronic support measures, a sea and land surface surveillance system.
Capable of detecting and intercepting surface vessels and submarines, the Il-38's new fully digital system involves high-resolution radar, display, thermal imaging subsystem, infrared sensor, a magnetometer and an ELINT system.
Based on the Il-18 aircraft design, the Ilyushin Il-38 can fly at a maximum speed of 650km/h with a service ceiling of 10,000m, range of 9,500km and has a maximum take-off weight of 63,500kg.
An undisclosed source told RIA Novosti that majority of the fleet's Il-38s will be modernised to the new standard.
Image: Russian Navy's Northern Fleet receives modernised Ilyushin II-38N ASW aircraft will also carry out electronic intelligence (ELINT) duties.