Russia has abandoned plans to build a large fleet of Antonov An-140T tactical airlifters as replacements for aging An-26s and An-72s, thanks to deteriorating relations with the new regime in Ukraine, where Antonov is based. Instead, the Russian defense ministry has revived the Ilyushin Il-112 project, a development of the Il-114 airliner, even though it was shelved in 2010 in favor of the less expensive An-140T.
Worsening relations between Moscow, the new regime in Kiev and the latter’s supporters in the West have prompted the Russian government to “dust off” the Ilyushin-114 turboprop. The Kremlin favors the outdated, but home-grown, design to Ukraine’s Antonov An-140, now in low-rate production at the Aviacor plant in Samara, and the Bombardier Q400, local production of which by Russian aerospace conglomerate Rostec remains under negotiation.
As series production of Antonov’s new-generation An-148 and An-158 regional jets gains momentum, the manufacturer and its close ally lessor Ilyushin Finance Co. (IFC) are trying to raise the type’s temporary operational limitations.
Vector Aerospace, a Vancouver-based maintenance, repair and overhaul service, recently loaded four upgraded Eurocopter AS332L helicopters onto an Antonov An-124 at Vancouver International Airport. Two of the AS332Ls were bound for Australia for use in offshore oil rig servicing contracts and the other two were sent to Afghanistan for utility operations.
Russian airlines Aeroflot and UTair, along with leasing group Aviation Capital Services (ACS), have ordered 126 of Honeywell Aerospace’s avionics suites for various new aircraft that they have on order.
The Russian ministry of defense (MoD) has awarded United Aircraft (UAC) a firm order for 15 Antonov An-148 twinjets, according to UAC president Mikhail Pogosian, speaking at the Paris Air Show. The contract is worth Rouble 18 billion ($550 million). The delivery schedule calls for one aircraft this year, eight in 2014-2015 and six in 2016-2017. The Russian government has previously expressed a need for 130 jetliners for various government agencies. This requirement includes 59 An-148s, according to minister for industry and trade Denis Manturov.
The new short takeoff and landing Antonov An-70 military transporter will soon complete joint state testing, according to Dmytro Kiva, Antonov president and general designer and academician of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. The An-70’s noise certification has been issued, he added.
Transport aircraft designer Antonov (Hall 1 H298) is presenting the An-70 short take off and landing (Stol) military freighter at the Paris Air Show. The company claims it is the world’s only aircraft that can take off from short unpaved runways of 600 to 700 meters with 20 tons of cargo over a 1,620-nm range.
The An-70 cabin “accommodates all types of CIS and NATO military equipment and armaments as well as construction machines and vehicles weighing up to 47 tons,” according to Antonov.
The Russian navy introduced the first of a planned eight Antonov An-140-100 twin turboprops at Ostafievo naval air station. This follows delivery of four similar aircraft to the Russian Air Force, three of which are based at Chkalovsky airbase. But it is still unclear whether the Russian ministry of defense will order the Ukrainian design in quantity.
The first executive variant of the Antonov An-148ChS regional airliner is due to enter service by year-end, flying for the government and operated by Russia’s Special Air Detachment.
Three An-148s in executive guise are currently being completed at United Aircraft’s Vasco facilities in Voronezh, Russia. The original contract issued last year was valued at $66 million for two of the airplanes and the government has indicated the final contract may be for as many as six.
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