The Indian air force has received its eighth and final batch of Antonov An−32RE tactical transports to be upgraded in the Ukraine.

The delivery of the five aircraft completes the total life extension, overhaul and modernisation of 40 aircraft to An−32RE standard by Plant 410 of Civil Aviation and Antonov in Kyiv, Ukraine. The “RE” in the aircraft’s new designation denotes “re-equipped.”

Delivery of the final batch was delayed by more than 18 months. The air force’s remaining 64 examples will be upgraded in India at the No.1 Base Repair Depot (BRD) in Kanpur.

Modernisation work has already commenced in India. Two An-32s have been upgraded to the RE standard and work is underway on four more. Upgrade work on all 64 tactical transports was to have been completed by March 2017, as per the original schedule, but this is unlikely to be met.

The modernised An−32RE’s have received an extension to their total technical life (TTL) of 15 years, and feature upgraded Motor Sich AI-20 engines. They are fitted with a collision avoidance system, ground proximity warning system, satellite navigation system, distance measuring equipment, upgraded radio altimeters, a new radar, two MFDs, a new oxygen system and improved crew seats. Payload has been increased to 7.5t.

The $400 million contract for the modernisation of 105 An−32s, inducted between 1984 and 1991, was signed in June 2009 between Spets Techno Export, a Ukrainian state enterprise and the Indian ministry of defence. The air force will also acquire two full mission simulators for pilot training on the upgraded An-32REs

The An-32RE fleet will remain in service until at least 2035, for roles such as troop and cargo transport, para drops, supply drops and casualty evacuation.