An Indian Naval Il-38SD maritime patrol aircraft made an emergency hard landing due to nose landing gear malfunction (failed to release) at the Zhukovsky airport outside Moscow at approximately 08.00 p.m. Moscow time (05:00 p.m. GMT), on 28 April.
No one was injured during the incident. Сrew (four pilots and three technical specialists) egressed the aircraft safely. Ahead of the emergency landing, the machine circled around the airfield to burn off and dump excess fuel.
The aircraft performed a test flight during repair and modernisation program at Ilyushin design bureau. According to the Ilyushin company press service, the plane belongs to the Indian navy, there are experienced Ilyushin test pilots on board, said.
The Il-38 is a military plane designed to search for submarines and conduct maritime observation. India’s navy operates five Il-38SD machines, which were sold to the country by Russia.
The upgraded Il-38SD maritime patrol aircraft is equipped with Sea Dragon multi-mission package designed for 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 version of the Sea Dragon equipping the Il-38SD is able to detect aerial targets at a distance of 90km and sea going targets at 320km. Its radar can detect such small targets as emergency beacons and can work in synthetic aperture radar (SAR) and inverse SAR modes. The radar can track 32 targets simultaneously and provide targeting for precision guided munitions (PGMs). The Sea Dragon is controlled by a digital mission computer. Built on modular principle with digital databus, it provides integration of customer selected items of additional equipment. Modular architecture and databus allow easy integration of additional items.