Russian Air Force will soon need new medium transport aircraft

04 July 2015
МТС.jpg From the beginning of 2020s a new medium-size military-transport aircraft will be vital for the Russian Air Force due to life expiration of the Antonov aircraft. This new aircraft may become the MTA (Multirole Transport Aircraft), which is being developed jointly by the Russian Federation and India.

« Russia will need this aircraft starting from 2020s. Whatever we do, however we try to extend the life of the An-12 and An-72, their operation beyond 45-50 years is not rational», reported OJSC « Il» Director for International Economic Activity Vladimir Belyakov.

However Russia will execute the MTA project independently even in case India for some reason leaves it. « Our Air Force have developed technical specification, it have been officially approved and the aircraft have been introduced into all requisite documents. And, what is important, the money have been allocated», said V. Belyakov.

India estimated the first order for 45 aircraft, Russia – for 100 aircraft.

« India currently has 104 An-32 aircraft. Another 10-12 years and there will be a replacement of air fleet. The light military-transport CASA 295 aircraft, which India is planning to manufacture, does not replace the An-32, it does not have requisite altitude capacity, and the fuselage size does not allow transport of military equipment. For the special forces India has ordered the C-130J. Now they have 12 of them. But they are essentially attack planes with air guns and machine guns», said Belyakov.

Competitors of MTA in the Indian market can include the Brazilian KC-390 and the American upgraded C-130 Hercules.

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.