Ii8 aircraft

The Russian Navy has received an upgraded Ilyushin Il-38 anti-submarine aircraft, which is designed to track and destroy enemy submarines.

The modernised aircraft has a range of 2,200km, and is capable of operating over an area four times greater than the previous version.

Ilyushin Design Bureau CEO Yuriy Yudin was quoted by Russia Beyond The Headlines as saying: "All units are connected with each other via special buses.

"This solution allows customers to integrate any equipment that they desire.

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"Essentially, we have a fully-fledged analogue of the modern American P-8 Poseidon."

"This aircraft will greatly enhance the combat potential of the anti-submarine component of the navy."

Using the conceptually new Novella-P-38 search and tracking system, the aircraft will be able to detect targets within a 320km radius, and is equipped with radar observation for underwater, surface and airborne targets.

Furthermore, Novella can keep 32 targets in sight simultaneously, both above and underwater, and can be used for submarine, surface and air radar reconnaissance.

The system integrates a digital computer with control stations for two operators, with each of them featuring a 13in LCD and a commander’s station with a large monitor.

Russian Navy major-general Aleksey Serdyuk said: "This aircraft will greatly enhance the combat potential of the anti-submarine component of the navy. Search capability has quadrupled."

With a maximum take-off weight of 63,500kg, the Ilyushin Il-38 can cruise at a maximum speed of 650km/h with a service ceiling of 10,000m, while offering a range of 9,500km.

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

Defence Technology