The Indo-Russian joint venture Multirole Transport Aircraft Ltd. (MTAL) exhibited for the first time at Aero India 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 are working on the contract to develop a new multirole military transport, using specifications developed by both countries. The core MTAL design team consists of engineers from Ilyushin and HAL’s design and development division.
“About 150 designers now are working on the MTA draft design,” explained Ilyushin general director Victor Livanov. “It will be a brand-new airplane. 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 high-wing twinjet. The payload will be 15,000 to 20,000 kg, cruise speed 432 knots and maximum range 1,460 nm. The fuselage length is 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 cross section, and a pair of standard Indian army trucks can be accommodated.