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Russia to receive first An-70 military aircraft by 2012

Antonov An-70 military transport aircraft. Photo: Antonov ASTC.

MOSCOW (BNS): Russian armed forces plan to receive their first Antonov An-70 military transport aircraft by 2012.

According to a news report by RIA Novosti, Russian defence ministry has given its nod for the purchase of this tested aircraft.

"We need this plane and the Russian Defence Ministry plans to buy it," Anatoly Serdyukov was quoted as saying in the news report, during his visit to the Black Sea Fleet's base in Sevastopol on Ukraine's Crimean peninsula.

The An-70 is a next-generation four-engine medium-range transport aircraft, and the first large aircraft to be powered by propfan engines.

The aircraft is capable of carrying practically any item of the military armament and equipment nomenclature with a total weight up to 35-47 tonne of cargo over the 3,000-5100 km range at cruising speed of 700-750 km/hr.

Depending upon the type of operation and takeoff weight, the An-70 can be operated on both average-strength hard-surface runways and unpaved 700-900 metre strips with low surface strength. In case of short takeoff and landing on 700 metre unpaved runways, the aircraft is capable of carrying 20-30 tonne of cargo over the range of 1,200-3,000 km.

There are up to 300 transport aircraft in service with the Russian Air Force, including An-12 Cub, Il-76MD and An-124 Condor transport aircraft.

An-70 is developed by Ukraine's Antonov design bureau to replace the An-12 military transport aircraft.

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