Solemn Event Held to Celebrate Naming of IL-38H Aircraft after Viktor PotapovThe aerodrome of the Gromov Flight Test Centre in Zhukovsky hosted a solemn event dedicated to conferment of the honorary appellation –“Viktor Potapov” – to IL-38H modernized anti-submarine aircraft.
The event was visited personally by Viktor Pavlovich Potapov, colonel-general of the aviation, chief of naval aviation (from 1988 to 1994). Since 1967, he was the commander of the 24th separate long-range antisubmarine air regiment of the Northern Fleet (Kipelovo aerodrome, Vologda region), where first IL-38 aircraft became operational. Potapov participated in operations in the Central and South Atlantic, using aerodromes in Cuba, Angola, and Guinea. For high flight professionalism and merits to the Motherland, he was awarded the title of honorary military pilot of the USSR in 1975. By that time, he had already mastered eight types of aircraft. Potapov also took part in the first operation with the massive use of the aviation of the Northern Fleet Air Force for strategical purposes. In the course of the operation, 104 aircraft of various application took off and headed for the North Atlantic simultaneously. In 1981, Viktor Potapov was conferred the military rank of lieutenant-general of the aviation, and in 1985 – colonel-general of the aviation. In August 1986, Viktor Potapov was appointed first deputy chief of naval aviation, and in 1988 – chief of naval aviation.
The ceremony was attended by: general director of IL OJSC Sergei Velmozhkin, director of special aviation programs of UAC PJSC Nikolai Stolyarov; head of the naval aviation of the Russian Navy, major-general of aviation, honorary military pilot, Hero of the Russian Federation Igor Kozhin; chief of naval aviation from 1988 to 1994 Viktor Potapov; chief of naval aviation from 1994 to 2000 Vladimir Deineka; head of the combat employment and retraining centre of the Russian Navy’s naval aviation Aleksei Serdyuk; representatives of Myasishchev Design Bureau JSC, Leninets CSPA OJSC and the administration of the city of Zhukovsky.
After the introductory speech, Sergei Velmozhkin and Aleksei Serdyuk removed the cloth covering the name of Viktor Potapov from the aircraft. Then, photographs were taken to commemorate the event.
The general director of the Ilyushin Aviation Complex Sergei Velmozhkin, while delivering his speech at the solemn ceremony, said that “the fact of naming an aircraft after the commander of an anti-submarine air regiment raised on the basis of IL-38, which for a long time was the only one in the Navy, shows that the merits of this aircraft type in the field of protection of the Russian sovereignty are truly recognized” and expressed his hope for further cooperation with the Ministry of Defence in terms of IL-38 modernization.
The event was concluded with an aircraft sortie form the Gromov Flight Test Centre to the base aerodrome.
With the help of the new Novella-P-39 target search and track system, a modernized anti-submarine IL-38H aircraft can successfully fulfill the tasks of patrol, search, and destruction of submarines (using an extended weapons list in comparison with the basic configuration of IL-38), radio-electronic surveillance over above-water and air targets, mine planting, maritime search and rescue, and environmental monitoring of the water surface.
IL-38 aircraft modernization is a significant contribution of the United Aircraft Corporation, IL OJSC, Mysishchev Design Bureau JSC, ARZ 20 JSC, and Leninets CSPA OJSC to the cause of increasing the defence capacity of our Motherland.