Russian Ministry of Defense intends to start the acquisition of serial military transport An-70 aircraft in 2015-2016, Lenta.ru reports. Russian Minister of Defense, Anatoly Serdukov, has stated this intention during his visit in Kiev. It is planned to acquire a total of 60 new transport turboprops and their acquisition is included in the State program in the area of arms for 2011-2020.
Russian Ministry of Defense is dealing with the state testing program of An-70 coming to its close. "We like this aircraft and we need it ", - added Serdukov. It has been reported in early March that the deliveries of serial An-70s will start in 2013. It has been planned earlier to start the deliveries in 2012. The dely is connected with the necessity of An-70 redesign in accordance with Russian and Ukrainian army’s requirements.
The aircraft’s development is financed by Russia and Ukraine. In particular, Russia’s contribution to An-70’s program shall be 2,4 billion rubles ($85,1 million), and the Ukrainian one - 480 million grivnas ($60,2 million). It has been reported earlier that Ukrainian Ministry of Defense intends to acquire only two An-70s.
An-70’s maximum speed is 780 km/h, its range is 7,800 km. The transport aircraft with short takeoff and landing is able to carry 300 men of airborne troops or 47 tons of cargo.
While being in Kiev, Serdukov has also stated that Russian Ministry of Defence intends to carry out modernization of An-124-100s in the nearest 5 years and it also plans to start the acquisition of such modernized aircraft from Ukraine since 2015-2016.