Russian Defense Ministry refused to develop Il-96-400TZ long-range aerial tanker, newspaper Izvestia reports.

Russian MoD Cancels Il 96 400TZ Aerial Tanker Contract Ilyushin Company proposed to convert two Il-96-400T wide body cargo aircraft to Il-96-400TZ aerial tankers.

"The Defense Ministry has annulled a contract made in 2015 with the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) for supplying two strategic refueling aircraft for military aviation. Their final cost, including research and development work, flight trials and the cost of service life extension has significantly exceeded that initially expected," Isvestia said with reference to an informed source in the aviation industry.

Ilyushin Company proposed converting two Il-96-400T wide body cargo aircraft to Il-96-400TZ aerial tankers in a year and half to two years. However, the Defense Ministry disagreed with this proposal. The military establishment insisted on optimizing the machines, which included installation of electronic warfare systems, emergency evacuation equipment and satisfaction of other specific requirements "However, this would take 4 to 5 years, during which time the Il-96-400T will fully exhaust the remainder of its flying life," the newspaper notes.

The Defense Ministry confirmed to Izvestia that the contract to supply two Il-96-400TZ aircraft is canceled, declining any further comments.

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