Ukrainian company UkrSpecExport has signed a huge contract to modernize the Ilyushin Il-78 refuelling aircraft of Pakistan Air Force. UkrSpecExport is a state-owned arms trading company and part of conglomerate UkrOboronProm. Pakistan has altogether 4 Ilyushin Il-78, fitted with removable fuel tanks and UPAZ refuelling pods which were ordered from Ukraine.
The modernization work of the aircraft will be carried out by Mykolaiv Aircraft Repair Plant in Southern Ukraine (NARP). Which is a complex of separate workshops. Focusing in aircraft frames, engines and aggregates, electrical equipment, avionics, radio electronics and power supply systems. This kind of plant working on the upgrading of Pakistani Ilyushin Il-78 can win PAF a huge advantage over IAF. Especially, after Balakot attack.
Initially, NARP will work on the modernization of 1 Ilyushin Il-78. If the work turned out to be as expected the contract will be extended to two more aircraft. This type of contract can be highly beneficial for PAF as well as for strengthening the diplomatic relations with Ukraine. The two countries have been cooperating with each other in educational sectors as well as cultural exchanges. They cooperate with each other in aerospace engineering, aerospace technologies, bio-medical sciences and science and technology. This contract can be another means to preserve bilateral relations.
PAF – Pakistan Air Force will have a huge benefit of modernizing the Ilyushin Il-78. The aircraft itself is of massive importance in aerial warfare due to its refuelling capabilities. However, the aircraft when modernized will provide unequivocal support and service to the Pakistan Air Force.