“IL 38 SD aircraft has undertaken this maiden firing post modification and midlife upgrade, thereby demonstrating its highly potent Anti Ship Missile (AShM) attack capability. The development ratifies Indian Navy’s ability to ensure long range sea denial around Indian Sub continent,” reads a statement released by Indian Navy.
Indian Navy has conducted this trial as part of the ongoing annual Theater level Readiness and Operational Exercise (TROPEX-17), on the Western seaboard.
Exercise includes the aircraft carrier Vikramaditya, nuclear submarine Chakra, Landing Platform Dock (LPD) Jalashwa, the recently commissioned destroyer Chennai, the P-8I long range maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare aircraft operating alongside SU-30 MKI, Jaguars, AWACS, IL-78 Flight Refueling Aircraft of the Indian Air Force and Infantry units of the Indian Army.
Upgraded IL 38 is currently in operation in Indian and Russian Navy. Upgraded Il-38 of the Russian Navy is designated as Il-38N. Indian Navy had placed an order of five upgraded IL 38 aircraft in year 2001. Indian Navy had intention to extend the operational life of the aircraft upto 15 years. Delivery of the upgraded aircraft has begun from year 2006 and last aircraft was delivered to India in February 2010.
Recently, US had also warned India about increased Chinese presence in waters off the coast of India. Chinese Navy’s movement is expected to increase more as China is extensively engaged in development and providing security to Gwadar port in Pakistan.