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IL-276 Is Waiting for the Army: New military transport aircraft can do without concrete runways

10/20/2017

The Russian Armed Forces are planning to purchase the IL-276 medium military transport aircraft. The new aircraft will be able to transport several combat vehicles or hundreds of soldiers over a distance of five to six thousand kilometers. At the same time, the IL-276 will do without runways - it can easily land and take off from unprepared strips. The aircraft was initially designed on the basis of the joint Russian-Indian project of the multirole transport aircraft MTA (Multi-role Transport Aircraft). 

According to experts, the Russian military urgently needs the IL-276 to replace the fleet of outdated transport aircraft built in Soviet times. In addition, the new aircraft could also be of interest to foreign buyers, primarily from the traditional partners of Russia. 

As "Izvestia" was told in the main command of the Air and Space Forces, at present the military department is in talks with aircraft manufacturers with which it is discussing the timing and the program for producing the IL-276. But it is already certain that the military need is for no less than 55 of these aircraft. 

JSC "Ilyushin" confirmed to Izvestia that negotiations with the military are under way. But they refused to comment further. 

The intergovernmental agreement on the joint development and construction of the MTA was signed by Moscow and New Delhi in 2007. Three years later, the basic agreement was concluded by the Russian United Aircraft Corporation and India's Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. It was expected that the aircraft would make its first flight in 2017. Subsequently, the terms were changed several times and, in late 2015, the Indian side announced its withdrawal from the project. 

But, in September 2016, representatives of Ilyushin reported that the project of a medium military transport aircraft (SVTS) would be continued. And in June this year SVTS received the official name of IL-276 (earlier, in Russian media, the project of MTA-SVTS was called Il-214). 

The IL-276 is a twin-engine jet with a take-off weight of just over 60 tonnes. Its payload is about 20 tonnes. The aircraft is to be capable of flying over 6,000 kilometers at a speed of more than 800 kilometers per hour. At the same time, the IL-276 will have to do without runways, and will be able to take off and land on unprepared or semi-prepared terrain. 

Independent military expert Anton Lavrov believes that the IL-276 will be very much in demand by the Russian military. 

"In the future, it will replace all those transport aircraft that have not been manufactured since the times of the USSR, like the An-12, An-72 and An-32," he explained. “This aircraft will be powered by the same engines as the upgraded IL-76. These are well mastered by industry, which will greatly accelerate the process of debugging the aircraft and putting it into service. 

Anton Lavrov added that the average transport aircraft is very necessary over such distances, where it is not cost-effective to use a large IL-76 transport, for example within military districts or regions. 

"The IL-276’s fuel consumption will be much less," he added. “It is useful for the transfer of light equipment and personnel. The transportation of supplies to remote garrisons is also in high demand, especially in the Arctic. Finally, the same airframe will probably be used to develop EW and radio intelligence variants. And if you want, you can make a flying laboratory and even a passenger plane to transport command staffs. 

Andrei Frolov, editor-in-chief of Arms Export magazine, told Izvestia that there also is a demand for medium-sized military transport planes on the world market. 

“Russian development may well interest traditional buyers of our military products. But much will depend on the timing,” he said. “The IL-276 will have strong competitors. Medium transport aircraft with turbojet engines are already offered for export by Brazilian and Chinese manufacturers.” 

Currently, there are 40 An-72 medium military transports and more than one hundred AN-12s in the fleet of the Russian military department.

Date: 
10/20/2017
Defense Products & Services Sectors: 
Countries: 
Sources of Information: 

Izvestia

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