Ilyushin Il-38 Dolphin (NATO reporting name: May) maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare aircraft of the Northern Fleet worked out the tasks on search and termination of the mock enemy submarine in Barents sea. The anti-submarine aircraft’s pilots were performing the tasks on search, classification and tracking of the mock enemy submarines. Crews of Ilyushin Il-38 aircraft conducted training over the Kola Peninsula and the Barents Sea, during which radar and hydroacoustic detection equipment were used in a comprehensive manner and information received from them was analyzed.
The training program includes piloting at different altitudes, a conditional search for submarines, air navigation over landmark-free terrain in the daytime and in the dark. In total, the pilots spent about 50 hours in the air. During the flight shift, the pilots also improved the skills of passing the assigned course over the no-identity area and the actions during piloting in the absence of ground radio equipment of aeronautical navigation.
The Il-38 is an adaptation of the four-engined turboprop Ilyushin Il-18 for use as a maritime patrol aircraft for the Soviet Navy. It met a requirement to counter American ballistic missile submarines. An aerodynamic prototype of the Il-38 first flew on 28 September 1961, with the first production aircraft following in September 1967. Production continued until 1972, when the longer-range and more versatile Tupolev Tu-142 derivative of the Tupolev Tu-95 strategic bomber had entered service.
The airframe is based on the Il-18, with the wings moved forward 3 m (9.84 ft). Unlike the Il-18, only the forward fuselage of the Il-38 is pressurized. The tail contains a MAD, while under the forward fuselage a Berkut (“Golden Eagle”) search radar (named “Wet Eye” by NATO) is housed in a bulged radome. There are two internal weapons bays, one forward of the wing, housing sonobuoys and one behind the wing housing weapons. The fuselage, wing, tail unit and engine nacelles were the same as the Il-18 and it had the same powerplant and flight deck.