The Indian navy has selected an Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) proposal to upgrade eight of its Tupolev Tu-142 anti-submarine aircraft for maritime patrol applications, but is facing Russian attempts to block negotiations.

The navy is understood to have chosen the IAI proposal largely because it includes an Elta search radar at the core of the upgrade package, but Israeli sources say Russia's Rosoboronexport arms agency is trying to halt the deal.

IAI initially believed Russian objections to the upgrade centred on possible payments for using the Tu-142 design - an issue previously overcome during its modification of three Ilyushin Il-76 airborne early-warning aircraft for the Indian air force. But sources say Rosoboronexport still hopes to scupper the Israeli proposal and land the entire modernisation package.

The Indian navy is standing by its selection of the IAI upgrade package, which was recently demonstrated to the service's senior officers.

Source: Flight International