Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Upgraded ASW aircraft Tu-142ME was delivered to Indian Navy
Long-range ASW aircraft Tu-142ME was handed over to India after overhaul and modernization by JSC TAVIA. In 2010 another Tu-142ME will be also capitally repaired, upgraded, and delivered to Indian Navy, reported ITAR-TASS referring to the company's press service.
The press release did not mention how many aircrafts have already been repaired and modernized.
According to World Arms Trade Analysis Center, it was planned to sign the contract on modernization of 8 long-range ASW aircrafts Tu-142ME for Indian Navy in 2005. Perhaps, the contract was signed later. The program has been in uncertain state for some time due to involvement of Israel which offered to upgrade Tu-142ME aircrafts under triangular agreement with Russia. Moreover, there were reports that the contract had been frozen.
In 1986 eight ASW aircrafts Tu-142MK were delivered to India under nomenclature of Tu-142ME which were built by Taganrog Aircraft Factory. Those planes were equipped with Korshun-K search-and-track ASW system which included magnetometer MMS-106 Ladoga and hydrology reconnaissance equipment Nerchinsk. All of those aircrafts are in need of capital repairs and to be upgraded with new onboard equipment, modernized jet-prop engines, and new weapons. According to initial plan, all 8 planes were supposed to pass modernization within 6 years and be ready in 2010-2011. After capital repairs the service life of each aircraft becomes 16 years longer.
Upgraded Tu-142ME is capable to provide patrolling and security of territorial waters; conduct communications surveillance; search, track, and engage newest silent submarines on surface and under water, moving at full or slow speed or laying on the seabed day and night and in any weather conditions. While armed with guided missiles, Tu-142ME is capable to deliver strikes upon surface ships, land and coastal targets.
Max flight range of Tu-142ME is 12,000 km, max flight speed (weight of 138 tons, altitude of 7,000 meters) is 855 kph, cruising speed is 735 kph, flight duration is 9 hours. Max combat load (6 BrahMos cruise missiles, as was proposed to Indian Navy) makes 9.6 tons, standard combat load (8 Kh-35 antiship missiles) is 4.4 tons. Typical search-and-attack version of the aircraft is equipped with up to 140 radio sonobuoys.