The Russian navy is close to retiring its last 10 Beriev Be-12 amphibious anti-submarine warfare (ASW) aircraft, following a 12 October crash involving the type.
A 1973-built Be-12PS had been making an approach to Kacha air base, near Sevastopol in Crimea, Ukraine, home to Russia's Black Sea Fleet, when its left engine failed after accelerating for a go-around. The plane hit the ground, caught fire and was destroyed. Three of its four crew members were killed.
Russia is now in talks with Ukraine to replace its Kacha-based Be-12s with another veteran design, the Ilyushin Il-38.
"Exchanging one type of aircraft for another has to be agreed with the Ukrainians. Talks are already under way on this, but so far without result," a navy source told Russia's Izvestia newspaper.
A basing agreement between the nations has strict regulations regarding nuclear-capable platforms, and the Il-38 is capable of carrying a nuclear-tipped torpedo, Russian navy sources say.
A final decision on retiring the navy's remaining Be-12s has yet to be made, pending the results of an accident enquiry.
"While the commission into the catastrophe is still working, no-one will be withdrawing anything from Kacha or putting in different aircraft," a service source told Izvestia.
Moscow has no other fixed-wing assets suitable for the task as its long-range Tupolev Tu-142 is not optimised for inshore ASW tasks, and a new variant of the Be-200 is not yet ready.