In the wake of a recent accident involving an AN-32 military transport aircraft, the Indian defence ministry has said the contract with Ukraine to upgrade AN-32 aircraft has not been terminated but the modernisation has been stalled as the Indian facility is waiting for kits from Ukraine. The ministry said that 15 AN-32 aircraft have already been refurbished at the facility at 1 BRD (Base Report Depot) in the Indian city of Kanpur.
"Out of 105 AN-32 aircraft planned for upgradation, 55 aircraft have been upgraded – 40 aircraft in Kiev, Ukraine and 15 aircraft at 1 BRD, Kanpur. Upgradation of the remaining aircraft is planned in a phased manner depending upon the supply of mod kits by Ukraine," Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Monday during a reply in parliament.
India and Ukraine had signed a $398 million deal in 2009 to upgrade its 101 An-32 aircraft within five years after an Indo-Russian joint project failed to take-off in 2007 which was meant to develop a 20-ton medium transport aircraft to replace the An-32 aircraft. The Indo-Russian project was abandoned as differences emerged between the two countries due to the lack of availability of defined-specification engines at the preliminary stage. The planned modernisation work included the installation of new radars, upgraded avionics and strengthened airframes.