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India employs Ilyushin Il-38SD MPA to deliver medical masks to Goa.

| 2020

India’s government employed an Indian Navy’s (IN’s) Ilyushin Il-38SD (‘SD’ for Sea Dragon; NATO reporting name: May) maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) to deliver 60,000 medical masks to Goa, according to the Press Information Bureau (PIB).

India employs Ilyushin Il 38SD MPA to deliver medical masks to Goa Ilyushin Il-38SD (Picture source: Sergey Krivchikov)

The Ilyushin Il-38 is a maritime patrol aircraft and anti-submarine warfare aircraft designed in the Soviet Union. It was a development of the Ilyushin Il-18 turboprop transport. The Sea Dragon is a multi-mission package that includes five subsystems. Anti-submarine warfare (radio hydroacoustics and magnetic anomaly), search-and-rescue and ecological monitoring (electrical optics), sea and land surface surveillance (electronically scanned radar) as well as electronic support measures. The Sea Dragon is operational only on the Indian Navy Il-38SD

“A shipment of 60,000 face masks ordered by Indian Medical Association [IMA], Goa to offset the shortage in Goa was stuck at Delhi as trucks could not proceed further in the current situation of lockdown. A request for facilitating transportation of the masks to Goa was made by the President, IMA to the IN at Goa,” the PIB reported on March 27.

In order to respond the request, an IN’s Il-38SD MPA was readied to depart Hansa airbase for Palam Airport in New Delhi on March 27. “The collection of the items at Delhi was coordinated by Air Force Station Palam, and the aircraft returned to Goa with the masks the same day,” added the PIB.

The Navy’s INAS 315 squadron ‘Winged Stallions’, which is stationed at INS Hansa (Goa), is reported to be operating five Il-38SDs. Each MPA has a maximum take-off weight of some 66 t.

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