Maxim Pyadushkin writes:
Russia plans to develop airborne maritime patrol platforms fitted with Italian intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) systems. The corresponding agreements were signed between Russia's arms trade agency Rosoboronexport and Finmeccanica's subsidiaries Selex Elsag, Selex Galilieo and WASS at the Farnborough air show on June 11. The cooperation also involves the modernization of the Russian aircraft that are already in service with foreign customers.
The first project of its kind will be the upgrade of 10 Kamov Ka-28 antisubmarine warfare helicopters of the Indian navy that will receive Selex Galileo ATOS tactical observation and surveillance systems. The deputy head of Rosoboronexport, Alexander Mikheev, explained that the talks with the Indian customer are expected to be completed in half a year. Design efforts will start after that.
As for fixed-wing applications, that launch platform will be the patrol version of the Beriev Be-200 amphibian. Rosoboronexport is just starting to promote this modification, so the first customers may appear in one to three years, Mikheev promised. He named Ilyushin Il-38 and Antonov An-148 and An-158 patrol variants as the other possible platforms for the Italian subsystems. They will also be equipped with Selex Elsag's communication, navigation and IFF systems as well as with the light torpedoes from WASS. “We are starting to work [with the Italians] within those foreign tenders where we are taking part now,” said the Rosoboronexport official.