Northern Fleet aviation today operates the Ilyushin-38 for maritime surveillance and anti-submarine operations. Here in the Barents Sea overflying the navy tug vessel "Altai" and a FSB Coast Guard ship. Photo: Thomas Nilsen

Northern Fleet aviation to get new sub hunters

The rebuilt version of the passenger aircraft Tu-204/214 will be Russia’s equivalent to the U.S. built Boeing P-8 Poseidon that Norway, among others, will deploy for surveillance flights over the Barents- and Norwegian Seas.
January 16, 2020


The technical requirements for Russia’s new anti-submarine aircraft are already prepared, a source in the defense ministry said to Izvestia this week.

It is a converted version of either the Tuplov-204 or its variant 214 that is supposed to form the basis of the Navy’s next anti-submarine planes.

The Tu-204 is a twin-engine medium-range jet plane originally designed by Tupolev to carry 210 passengers. Introduced in 1989, the late-Soviet designed plane was to take over after Aeroflot’t more well-known Tu-134 and Tu-134 passenger aircraft. The first plane for commercial traffic was certified in 1994.


The passenger plane version of Tu-204. Photo:


As a passenger plane, the Tu-204 never became popular and production to commercial customers is today halted. In Russia, the last few of airliner Red Wing’s Tu-204 were retired in October 2018. All the other domestic Russian airliner retired their fleets of Tu-204s between 2005 and 2015.

In Russia, the plane is still flying special operations for the Rossiya airliner, the Roscosmos space agency, the defense ministry and other state agencies. 


The defense sources tell Izvestia that the modified version will be deployed for surveillance in peace time, flying maritime operations watching out for enemy submarines. In a war-time scenario, the plane will also serve as sub-hunter, carrying torpedoes.

No time-frame for planned start of operations with the new sub-hunter version of the aircraft is stated.

Today, the Russian Northern Fleet’s anti-submarine aviation, flying out from the Kola Peninsula, operates the Illyushin-38 and Tu-142 aircraft as well as the Ka-27 helicopter.

Both the Il-38 and the Tu-142 are designed in the 1960s.



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