New Delhi: An Indian Navy aircraft, which is in Russia for a mid-life upgrade, made an emergency landing at the Zhukovsky airfield outside Moscow after its chassis malfunctioned, Russian media reported on Sunday.
An Indian Navy official said the IL-38 aircraft was on initial test flight and that the extent of damage to the plane in the incident is being ascertained. The Russian-built IL-38 is an anti-submarine warfare aircraft.
"The aircraft is in Russia for Overhaul (OH) and Mid-Life Upgradation (MLU). No Indian Navy crew was onboard during the sortie though they are present in Russia. The aircraft was on initial test flight with all Russian crew," the official said. The incident had taken place on Saturday.
According to Russia Today, the plane, which was bracing for the emergency landing, emitted quite dense smoke and was seemingly dumping fuel in order to reduce the chances of catching fire.
It said all the people—four pilots and three technical specialists—on board the aircraft walked away unharmed.
Earlier this month, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman was in Moscow during which she held extensive talks with her Russian counterpart General Sergei Shoigu. The two sides had agreed to significantly step up defence cooperation.
Russia has been one of India's key suppliers of arms and ammunition. However, it has been a long-standing grievance of the armed forces that supply of critical spares and equipment from Russia takes a long time affecting maintenance of military systems procured from that country.
Officials said Russia has agreed to speed up implementation of various projects including mid-life upgrade of various platforms supplied by it to Indian armed forces.
Majority of India's weapon systems are of Russian origin.
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Updated Date: Apr 29, 2018 16:05:57 IST