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New generation Ruslan planes to be produced in 2016-2018


An-124-100 Ruslan aircraft.

MOSCOW (ITAR-TASS): Regular production of the Ruslan new generation planes will start in Ulyanovsk, Russia in 2016-2018, Director General of the Volga-Dnepr Company Valery Gabriel said.

"The Volga-Dnepr company will place an order for 20 planes, and there is an option for 20 more," he said. "The project will repay itself if we have orders for 50-60 An-24 Ruslan planes of the new generation."

"I am sure that the order for this model, which is unique in the world, will come from Russia's Air Forces," he added.

The project is implemented jointly with aircraft specialists from Ukraine.

In 2017-2018 the international aviation commission will raise its requirements to the engines and board equipment. The programme to modernise the Ruslan to answer the new requirements, would need 400 million dollars, Gabriel said.

Modernised Ruslan will have a cargo capacity of 150 tonnes.

"Not a single foreign aircraft even approaches Ruslan, their maximum capacity is below 100 tonnes," experts say.

For a time the massive An-124 held the mantle of the world's largest aircraft before the arrival of the An-225, a stretched six engine derivative. It is commonly used for oversize freight charters.

Developed primarily as a strategic military freighter in which role it can carry missile units and main battle tanks, the first prototype An-124 flew on December 26, 1982.

A second prototype, named Ruslan after a Russian folk hero, made the type's first western public appearance at the Paris Airshow in June 1985, preceding the type's first commercial operations in January 1986. Since that time the An-124 has set a wide range of payload records, a recent achievement being the heaviest single load ever transported by air - a 124 tonne powerplant generator and its associated weight spreading cradle, a total payload weight of 132.4 tonnes, set in late 1993.

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Russia  Aircraft  Ruslan  

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