Volga-Dnepr Group intends to establish a private production of An-124 Ruslan transport aircraft. It was reported by the president of Volga-Dnepr Group, Alexey Isaykin.
It was reported last week that Russian Ministry of Defense acknowledged that the resuming of An-124’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 their mind is unknown. The production of Ruslan aircraft in Russia was ceased in mid-1990s.
President of Volga-Dnepr Group, Alexey Isaykin, noted that the company will try to implement a fully private project on development of “all-digital version” of An-124 heavy transport aircraft. «This is our initiative and we will form the cooperation for development of all-digital advanced transport aircraft», - Isaykin noted. However, the states interested in operating An-124 may also take part in the project, he added.
Alexey Isaykin also noted that between 2012 and 2030 the market will need 60 (pessimistic forecast), 100 (realistic forecast) or 200-300 (optimistic forecast) An-124 aircraft. Volga-Dneprinitsownturnneeds 60 An-124s.
However, a source close to Volga-Dnepr Group explained that the primary production of these jets will be located in Russia, but the possibility of Germany’s participation in the project is currently being discussed. In particular, the parties may use the facilities in Leipzig and Dresden for these purposes. «There is a mutual interest, but there are no concrete decisions. We may use them as the additional facilities or launch a production there in the network of some part of the project. But the primary production will be located in Russia», - the source noted.
We remind you that Volga-Dnepr Group has put new hangar into operation at Leipzig airport. The solemn ceremony was held on January 16th 2013. The hangar facility has an overall area of 8,500 square meters. It is intended for maintenance of Аn-124-100, Il-76, Вoeing 747 jets along with single-aisle Вoeing 737 and А320 aircraft.