Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) has defined the nomenclature of aircraft ordered for the military-transport aviation, Lenta.rureports.
According to MoD’s decision, the resuming of An-124-300 aircraft’s production makes no sense. Nevertheless, the work on the existing jets will be carried out.
In particular, Ulyanovsk-based Aviastar-SP will be performing overhaul of Ruslan aircraft operated by the MoD until 2014. After that the enterprise will upgrade the jets to An-124-150M version.
The MoD supported the resuming of Ruslan’s production in 2010 and included the procurement of these jets into the State arms program for 2011-2020. The reason for changing that decision is unknown.
The production of Ruslan aircraft in Russia was ceased in mid-1990s, when the MoD decided that it makes no sense. The decision to resume the jet’s production was taken later.
Ex-president of Russia, Dmitry Medvedev, instructed the government in 2009 to make provisions for acquisition of 20 An-124s for the MoD. The total value of such contract was assessed at $4 billion.
Meanwhile, the MoD decided to purchase other military-transport aircraft. In particular, the contract on delivery of 39 Il-476 aircraft (Il-76MD-90A) was upheld (its total value is assessed at 140 billion rubles).
In addition, the MoD declared that a light transport aircraft should be developed. However, it recommended United Aircraft Corporation to refrain from resuming the Il-112 project and elaborate a new offer. According to the ministry’s assessments, the MoD requires 55 light transport aircraft, Federal Security Service – 26 ones, Ministry of Internal Affairs – 10 ones and Roscosmos – 10 ones.
The MoD is also interested in the development of transport version of An-140 (An-140T aircraft). Finally, the decision on purchasing An-70 aircraft will be taken after the completion of the vehicle’s testing. At that the Russian MoD will finance only the construction of the second flying An-70 prototype and its testing.