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The Indian Air Force (IAF) is gearing up for a strategic shift in its maintenance practices. The force has formulated a plan to outsource a portion of the repair and overhaul process for its fleet of AN-32 tactical transport aircraft to private Indian companies.

This initiative aims to overhaul 60 AN-32s by the end of the 2028-29 fiscal year, with an average of 15 aircraft completed per overhaul cycle. The IAF will outsource five of the 11 stages involved in the overhaul process. These stages include the disassembly of subsystems and components, cleaning and paint removal, structural repairs and refurbishment, reassembly of subsystems, and final painting.

The IAF will continue to manage core functions like providing the physical infrastructure – workspace, hangars, and specialized tools – along with essential overhaul technology, training, and safety protocols. This partnership allows the IAF to focus on its primary mission of combat readiness while leveraging private sector expertise for specific maintenance tasks.

The industrial partner selected through this program will be responsible for providing the manpower, general tools, and spare parts, and ensuring adherence to safety protocols during the outsourced stages of the overhaul.

This collaboration is not just about efficiency; it’s also about extending the operational life of the AN-32 fleet. By outsourcing specific tasks and leveraging private sector expertise, the IAF expects to achieve a 10-year service life extension for these reliable transport aircraft.

The AN-32 overhaul project is a significant development for the Indian aerospace industry. It fosters collaboration between the IAF and domestic companies, promoting technology transfer and skill development within the sector. This partnership holds the potential to create new opportunities and strengthen India’s self-reliance in the aviation maintenance domain.

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