Russia and Ukraine intend to figure out the feasibility of resuming the serial production of An-124 “Ruslan” transport aircraft after completion of the joint testing, RIA Novosti reports with reference to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sergey Lavrov.
"The joint testing is in progress. Following the results of these tests we will take the decision on resuming the serial production of An-124", — he said during his speech delivered at Don State Technical University.
Russia and Ukraine have come to an agreement on technical details related to serial production of An-124 at MAKS-2013 airshow.
At the first stage of this project An-124 jets, which should be put out of operation soon, will be upgraded. Their engines will be replaced by new D-18T ones at Ulyanovsk-based enterprise. The upgrade also assumes renewal of airframe and wing, replacement of navigation equipment, landing gear and avionics. After that the service life of these aircraft will be extended until 2025.
According to the vice-premier of Ukraine, Yuri Boyko, the approximate cost of An-124 jet (basic version) will be about $300 million. He said that there are options for 61 aircraft (Volga-Dnepr plans to purchase 50 jets of the type). Some experts believe that the market capacity for such jets is about 200 jets for the period until 2030.