MOSCOW, January 5 (RIA Novosti) – Pilots from Russia’s Northern Fleet will undergo retraining in 2014 to master the modernized Ilyushin Il-38N anti-submarine aircraft, a military official told journalists Sunday.
The first crew has already completed the theoretical part of the program and has begun the practical flight training, said Captain First Rank Vadim Serga, a representative of the Northern Fleet.
“The plane has been enhanced with new-generation detachable hydroacoustic and magnetic beacons that surpass their Western counterparts in a range of ways,” he said.
The Il-38N can act as a maritime patrol aircraft capable of performing electronic reconnaissance, Serga said. The new aircraft is equipped with the Novella system that allows it to detect targets from up to 320 kilometers away, including radar-equipped submarines, ships and aircraft.
The Novella system comprises a high-resolution thermal imager and sensors for detecting magnetic anomalies, along with other sensors that allow it to locate submarines and surface targets, as well as to carry out scientific research, Serga said.
The Novella is a variation of the Sea Dragon system that was installed on five Il-38s serving with the Indian navy during the last decade.
The new Il-38N could be used to map magnetic and gravitational charts of the Arctic Ocean.