Russian Air Force To Buy 60 Antonov An-70 Transport Aircraft
Russia's Military Transport Aviation (VTA) is to receive 60 Antonov An-70 propfan tactical transport aircraft by 2020, the service's commander Lt. Gen. Viktor Kachalkin said on Thursday.
"From 2014, we will start to get the Ilyushin Il-76-MD90A (Il-476) and also the modernized Il-76MD. We are also counting on getting the new An-70," he said.
The VTA will also take delivery of 25 Antonov An-124 super-heavy transport aircraft of various modifications by 2020, he said.
Russian military transport aviation does not intend to buy any foreign made aircraft, he added.
"Purchases of foreign equipment do not interest us, as Russian equipment meets our requirements," he said.
The Ukrainian-designed An-70, which is being built together with Russia, has had a long-running and troubled gestation, with one prototype crashing in the 1990's in a collision and a second crashing in 2001 in a take-off accident in Omsk. The aircraft also had a history of snags with its propfan engines.
Russia pulled out of the project in 2006, with Russia Air Force commander Vladimir Mikhailov stating it did not need the aircraft and would prefer the modernized Il-76, but it later rejoined the program.
Source: 01 June 2012 - dailyairforce News
Photo: The Russian Air Force Antonov An-70 Transport Aircraft (Photo by FlightGlobal)
Photo Story: Russia may start receiving its first An-70 military transport planes as early as in 2012, the defense minister said on Thursday."We hope to start receiving the tested aircraft by 2012. We need this plane and the Russian Defense Ministry plans to buy it," Anatoly Serdyukov said during his visit to the Black Sea Fleet's base in Sevastopol on Ukraine's Crimean peninsula.
The An-70 is a medium-range turboprop military transport plane developed by Ukraine's Antonov design bureau. The Antonov company first tested a flying prototype of the An-70 in 1994, but a lack of Ukrainian state funds, and political disputes between Moscow and Kiev have prevented large-scale production of the aircraft.
The recent thaw in Russian-Ukrainian relations saw Moscow renew long-stalled funding to Ukraine for eventual joint production of the plane.
There are up to 300 transport aircraft in service with the Russian Air Force, including An-12 Cub, Il-76MD and An-124 Condor transport aircraft.
The An-70 is intended to replace Russia's An-12 military transport aircraft.
Russian Airborne Troops Commander Lt. Gen. Vladimir Shamanov said in May that his service had ordered 40 An-70 planes under the new state arms procurement program for 2011-2020.
SEVASTOPOL, June 24 (RIA Novosti)