II-38N aircraft

The Russian Navy is set to take delivery of its first modernised Il-38N anti-submarine warfare aircraft, following an upgrade programme.

An Ilyushin Aviation Complex spokesperson was quoted by RIA Novosti as saying that the company completed repair and modernisation work on the first mass-produced Il-38N anti-submarine warfare plane.

"The work was completed under a contract that provides for the modernisation of five combat aircraft," the spokesperson said.

As part of the programme, the aircraft has been equipped with the new Novella-P-38 search and tracking system, which can detect targets within a 320km radius of the aircraft, as well as radar observation of underwater, surface and airborne targets.

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"The aircraft has been equipped with the new Novella-P-38 search and tracking system."

It also has a range of combat capabilities and electronic intelligence (ELINT) duties, such as mapping magnetic and gravitational fields of the Arctic Ocean, scientific oceanographic research and underwater and air reconnaissance missions.

The Novella system integrates a digital computer manned by two operators, a new high-resolution thermal imaging system, magnetic anomaly detection system, optical detection system and gravitational anomaly detector, as well as other equipment.

Furthermore, the upgraded sensor suite can detect air targets at a distance of 90km, while simultaneously tracking up to 32 targets.

Based on the Il-18 aircraft design, the Ilyushin Il-38 can cruise at a maximum speed of 650km/h with a service ceiling of 10,000m and range of 9,500km. Its maximum take-off weight is 63,500kg.

Image: A Russian Navy Ilyushin Il-38 anti-submarine warfare aircraft. Photo: courtesy of Igor Dvurekov.

Defence Technology