Russia and India ready to start designing joint MTA aircraft

04 July 2015
МТА.jpg Russia and India are ready to start engineering development of the joint multirole transport aircraft (MTA). If the decision is made now, the prototype will take its first flight in 2019–2020.

The aircraft will be finished in 3,4–4 years from the time of decision taking. If the decision to start design process is made now, the prototype will take flight in 2019–2020. This will take political determination to move forward from both parties. «In any case we will move forward, because Russia need this plane and it will be created», said OJSC «Il» Director for Foreign Economic Activity Vladimir Belyakov.

MTA is a commercial product which meets all modern aircraft and specific military requirements and is needed by both India and our parties.

Within the planned timeframe the aircraft will be necessary for critical transport tasks in both countries. The project is characterized by minimal technical risks, which is verified by the following: use of OJSC «Il» experience in creation and operation of military-transport aircraft, experience of the Indian company HAL in creation and organization of mass production of highly loaded elements from composite materials, joint decision on the use of components in production or at their final stages of certification testing, choice of field-proven engine, APU and a number of other components», noted Belyakov.

Besides, MTA meets the requirements of both countries in ensuring independence of their military-transport potentials from political risks.

«For example, the Brazilian KS-390 has all core components made in the USA or Western Europe. This is a political risk, which both we and our Indian partners, and dozens of other countries are well aware of. The result of such risk was clearly demonstrated in Indonesia, where C-130 crashed, the fleet of this aircraft for many years had been denied of the right for spare supply because of sanctions. Such political risks are unacceptable for armed forces of the country which wants to stay independent in its decision making.

The Indian party coordinates and rectifies various questions under the MTA project. This being said, the new medium-size transport aircraft is critical for Russia and India — the life cycle of the An aircraft is expiring.

«Representatives of the Indian national aircraft industry are very cautious with the obligations they undertake, both financial and production. We have to justify the correctness of offered decisions for a long time. A simple example — the acceptance of the first work stage was delayed for 1,5 years by the Indian customer. Finally, all questions that needed explanation according to the Indian party, were clarified, no corrections to our designs were necessary. But the time was lost,» said V. Belyakov.

Intergovernmental agreement between Russia and India about joint development and manufacture of MTA was signed in 2007. For the first time both countries reached an agreement on joint equal shared financing of the new project in aircraft industry. The production of the aircraft is planned to established both in Russia and in India.

According to specification documents MTA is ranked as a medium size military-transport aircraft, which can transport a wide range of cargo weighing up to 20 tons at distances of more than 2 thousand kilometers, from unpaved and paved runways. It also provides operation at high-level airdromes, in any geographic and weather condition, during the day and night, in visual and adverse weather conditions.

As a military-transport MTA is designed for transport and air drop of personnel, cargo and equipment on free-drop cargo platforms from low altitudes.

In accordance with the decisions made, the Russian shareholders in the joint enterprise are UAC – Transport aircraft (part of UAC) and Rosoboronexport.

As it was reported in June by Head of United Aircraft Corporation Yury Slyusar, Russia encouraged India to speed up the creation of the aircraft so that the first flight could happen prior to 2020.