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6 juin 2011 1 06 /06 /juin /2011 11:45



June 06, 2011 by Shiv Aroor LIVEFIST


Seemingly exasperated by low-availability/serviceability for years as a consequence of what it has described unofficially as "unpredictable Russian support" and the country's apparent unwillingness to honour after-sales commitments, the Indian Air Force is looking for the first time beyond Russia for long-term maintenance and product support of its fleet of Ilyushin-76 heavy transports and Ilyushin-78M tanker transports at Agra, Chandigarh, Delhi and Nagpur.

In April this year, the IAF broke with tradition and floated a global tender to provide its Il-76/78 fleet "service support to ensure IAF requirements to maintain present airworthiness standards" for a period of five years, extendable to ten. The IAF has been improvising plenty to keep the heavy jets airworthy, but does not believe it can continue to do so without solid support. The Russian OEM, apparently, cannot be relied upon. The IAF has stipulated that bidders need to have the support of the Ilyushin Design Bureau.

According to the tender document, "The primary requirement of the contract is to ensure a minimum serviceability of 70% of number of [aircraft] included in the contract during the currency of contract. Period of contract shall be five years, further extendable for another five years. The vendor is required to meet this requirement by providing all the required maintenance and product support." It further stipulates that, "on any single day the serviceability of each fleet (IL-76 and IL-78) should not fall below 50% of total number of ac included in the contract."

Interestingly, the IAF has offered to pay the winning bidder an incentive if higher serviceability percentage above the minimum specified is achieved during execution of the contract. And they'll be penalised if they fall short of the required mark.

Nine IAF Ilyushins which will be undergoing overhaul and total life extension at the time the contract is expected to be awarded will not be included. An additional unspecified number of Ilyushins has remained grounded indefinitely "for want of spares/aggregates which have become unserviceable or expired their TBO/TTL".

Here's the full IAF request for information.

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