Negotiations between Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) and the Russian authorities on the purchase of three Ilyushin Il-76 transports have run into difficulties. The Il-76s are intended for conversion to Phalcon airborne early warning platforms for the Indian air force.

Russia is demanding a more substantial role in the $1 billion programme, which Israeli sources say includes allowing Russian companies to fit some electronics systems. The Russians are also understood to be seeking royalties on the deal. Previous Russian participation has been limited to building the Il-76s, while Beriev has fitted the non-rotating antenna mounting and radome on the upper rear fuselage.

Israel's prime minster Ariel Sharon raised the subject with Russian president Vladimir Putin during a trip to Moscow last week.

The Indian air force has refused to discuss an alternative to the Il-76. It operates the aircraft in the transport role and has orders for the tanker version.

India has been offered a more advanced Phalcon version than that offered to China (Flight International, 1-7 October). China also selected the Il-76, which was modified by Beriev before delivery to IAI in Tel Aviv.

IAI has been selected over Elbit Systems and Eurocopter to market the Hindustan Aeronautics Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH), after equipping it with new avionics and systems. The two companies have a joint co-operation agreement. The Indian army has ordered 300 ALHs.

Source: Flight International