Indian-Russian joint venture Multirole Transport Aircraft Ltd (MTAL) is making its airshow debut at the Aero India event in Bangalore this week. Under the leadership of general director N.C. Agarwal the company was established by a framework agreement signed in October 2012 between Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) and United Aircraft Corporation’s Transport Aircraft division.
The Russian and Indian partners have already started work on the contract to develop a new multirole military transport, using specifications developed by both countries’ defense ministries. Government representatives will supervise fulfillment of the contract. The core MTAL design team consists of engineers from Ilyushin and HAL’s design and development division.
Plans call for an aircraft with the following characteristics: 15 to 20 metric tons payload, 432 knots cruise speed and maximum range of between 1,350 and 1,460 nautical miles. The twinjet will feature a modern flight management system and be capable of short takeoffs and landings.
“About 150 designers now are working on the MTA draft design,” explained Ilyushin general director Victor Livanov. “It will be a brand-new airplane. The core of the Russian engineering and design team is formed by employees of Ilyushin Aviation Complex. We hope that the aircraft will have its first flight in 2017 and that deliveries will commence in 2018 to the Indian air force and the Russian air force.”
A display at MTAL’s Aero India exhibit gave some basic information about the new transport aircraft. The main fuselage length is shown as being 115 feet, rising to 130 feet with the tail section and with a 129-foot wingspan. Fully equipped soldiers can be seated six abreast across the 11-foot cabin interior cross section, and a pair of standard Indian army trucks can be accommodated.