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Ilyushin Il-38 May

The Ilyushin Il-28 May has been the primary long range anti-submarine warfare aircraft of Russia and the Soviet Union since 1971.

The Il-38, like the Il-20 Coot-A Elint aircraft is built on the airframe of the Il-18 Coot. But unlike the Il-20, the Il-38 has required many structural changes to the fuselage of the Il-18 in order to accommodate specialized ASW equipment. Equipment added includes the large search radar under the nose of the aircraft, which shifted the center of gravity of the aircraft so far forward that the rear fuselage had to be lengthened. In the rear fuselage, there are many radar operating stations as well as general ASW stations. The ASW stations control, among other things, the long MAD(magnetic anomaly detector). The MAD boom can detect the changes in the Earth's magnetic feild caused when large amounts of metal are grouped together, such as a ship or submarine. In addition to the regular three man flight crew of pilot, co-pilot and navigator, there are 9 operators of the ASW and radar equipment. Another change to the airframe of the Il-18 is the weapons bay. The weapons bay houses the aircraft's armament of torpedoes as well as sonobouy detection equipment.

There are about 50 operational aircraft in the Russian Navy, and more are being built. Il-38s have been exported to India, where they patrol as part of the No.315 squadron at Goa-Dabolim. The aircraft mainly watch for submarine activity in the Indian Ocean.

Maximum Speed: 401 miles per hour
Service Ceiling: 32,810 feet
Maximum Range: 4,474 miles
Armament: various torpedoes, probably the 400mm lightweight torpedo.

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