MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Russia’s modernized anti-submarine warfare planes have entered into service with Russia’s Pacific Fleet, the aircraft’s developer announced Wednesday.
"The Il-38N anti-submarine planes [NATO reporting name May] upgraded by the Ilyushin Aviation Complex has entered service with the Naval Aviation of the Russian Pacific Fleet," the developer’s press service said in a statement.
The Ilyushin Aviation Complex, a subsidiary of the United Aircraft Corporation, said pilots in two of the Naval Aviation’s airbases have successfully retrained for the overhauled aircraft and began flights from home airfields.
The Novella system allows the Il-38N to detect targets within a 200-mile radius, including radar-equipped submarines, ships and aircraft.
"One now has the ability to use new generation sonobuoy, the equipment includes an additional signals intelligence station and a thermal imager working in infrared and visible-light spectrum," the aviation complex said.
The Il-38N’s expanded capabilities with the new search and tracking system allow the aircraft to successfully patrol, search and destroy submarines, and monitor surface and air targets. Its additional capacities include setting mine defense systems, conducting search and rescue, as well as environmental water surface monitoring, operations.
The Northern Fleet's press spokesman Capt. 1st Rank Vadim Serga said last year the new aircraft could be used to map magnetic and gravitational charts of the Arctic Sea ice.