Three (03) Antonov-32 of the Sri Lanka Air Force return home on 11 June 2021 to the No 02 Heavy Transport Squadron at Katunayake. The 03 Aircraft were sent to Ukraine in August 2020 to undergo repairs and a life extension. The three Antonov-32 aircraft (bearing tail numbers SCM 860, SCM 863, and SCM 869) from the No 02 Heavy Transport Squadron which departed the island in August 2020 with the intention of improving the heavy air lift capacity.
The Antonov An-32 turboprop twin-engined military transport aircrafts joined SLAF in 1995 and are the largest transport planes owned by the Sri Lanka Air Force. The AN-32s are used mainly for passenger and cargo transportation at present. During the humanitarian missing, the AN-32s were vital to transport wounded war heroes and civilians as well as to provide essential equipment to the war front. The AN-32 were grounded for seven years and flown to undertake repairs under the aegis of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in a bid to revive the Sri Lanka Air Force.
The Antonov An-32 (NATO reporting name: Cline) is a turboprop twin-engined military transport aircraft. The An-32 is suitable for use as a medium tactical military transport roles as well as commercial roles. Operating as a cargo transport over the short and medium range air routes, the An-32 is suitable for air-dropping cargo, passenger carrying, medevac, firefighting, skydiving or paratrooping roles. Besides aircraft in service in the Ukrainian and Russian Air Forces, more than 240 An-32 aircraft are being operated in various countries around the world.
The An-32 is essentially a re-engined An-26. It is designed to withstand adverse weather conditions better than the An-26. The An-32 is distinguished from its predecessor by engines raised 1.5 m above the wing in order to avoid foreign object damage on rough, unprepared air strips. The high placement of the engine nacelles above the wing allowed for larger diameter propellers, which are driven by 5,100 hp rated Ivchenko AI-20 turboprop engines. The type features high-lift wings with automatic leading-edge slats, large triple-slotted trailing edge flaps and an enlarged tailplane