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Ilyushin details plans for An-124-100M heavy airlifter development

The Ilyushin Aviation Complex (UAC) plans to spend almost 3.5 billion rubles (USD51 million) to create an upgraded version of the Ruslan heavy airlifter by 2022. Under Ilyushin’s 2018 procurement plan, the An-124-100 airlifter is going to be refitted into a new An-124-100M aircraft, which will undergo trials. Adequate aerodrome equipment and infrastructure should also be created.

Ilyushin details plans for An 124M heavy airlifter development 001 A Russian Volga-Dnepr An-124-100 long-range heavy transport aircraft takes off from Moffett Federal Airfield, California
(Credit: U.S. Air Force/Master Sgt. Daniel Kacir)

The contract’s guaranteed maximum price exceeds 3.45 billion rubles. The Ulyanovsk-based Aviastar-SP plant will be the only supplier of An-124-100M aircraft. The contract execution deadline is December 2021.

The Kristall Design Bureau will replace all electrically conducted centrifugal pumps meant for An-124-100M with domestic pumps for 33.4 million rubles before December 2018.

The Technodinamika holding company will replace imported pumping stations and units of the aircraft with the Russian ones for almost 18.6 million rubles.

The Central Aero-Hydrodynamic Institute named after Professor N.E. Zhukovsky is due to prepare the final aerodynamics and durability conclusion reports, including an expertise to prove the need to extend the age of the An-124-100 airlifter for 3 million rubles.

In addition to that, the institute should make calculations necessary for prolonging the service life of the modernized Ruslan aircraft to more than 45 years.

The Gromov Flight Research Institute is to issue a conclusion report on the project plan for the An-124-100M aircraft and its first flight by December for 3 million rubles.

Scientific Research Institute of Standardization and Unification is to carry out a 2-million-ruble expertise on standardization and unification of the modernized An-124-100M heavy airlifter by December while the Central Institute of Aircraft Engine Building named after P.I. Baranov will prepare a conclusion report on the aircraft’s power plant unit for 1.5 million rubles.

The Scientific Research Institute of Ergatic Systems will develop ergonomical materials for 3 million rubles to ensure the work of the An-124-100M crew.

Earlier, Vladimir Benediktrov, the Military Transport Aviation commander, said in an interview with the Ekho Moskvy radio station that Russia could resume the production of Ruslan aircraft.

Alexey Rogozin, vice-president of the United Aircraft-Building Corporation for transport aviation and the chief executive officer of the Ilyushin Aviation Complex, noted that the production of a new modern version of the An-124 aircraft was a tangible task.

Reports, which later appeared on Ilyushin’s state procurement portal, said that the Ulyanovsk-based Aviastar-SP enterprise had started preliminary works designed to resume the An-124 aircraft Ruslan production in Russia. The enterprise plans to assess what kind of equipment will be necessary for making the An-124 modernized version.

An-124 Ruslan is designed to airlift freights, including oversize cargoes, as well as personnel and army hardware. Its maximum cargo capacity is 865km/h; its range with full payload is 4,800 kilometers.

According to Military Balance, the Russian Aerospace Forces have nine An-124 Ruslan aircraft in their arsenal. Another 10 Ruslan aircraft are operated by the Volga-Dnepr Company.

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