Russia not planning to resume An-124 Ruslan heavy transport aircraft production - Deputy PM Borisov
MOSCOW. July 30 (Interfax-AVN) - Russia is not planning to resume the manufacturing of the Antonov An-124 Ruslan heavy transport aircraft, but it is going to modernize the existing fleet of these planes, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov said.
"There is actually no need for building new [An-124 Ruslan] planes, we have quite a large fleet of the existing ones, whose service lives are pretty long. The An-124s will certainly undergo modernization," Borisov told journalists.
Russia should start manufacturing engines to replace the D-18Ts installed on the An-124, he said.
"Eighty percent of the An-124's [components] are made in Russia. We have the entire package of documents. But if we thoroughly modernize the aircraft, primarily its cockpit, replace the avionics, and resolve the problem of the D-18 engine, then it could fly absolutely safely until 2050, and there is no urgent need [for building more An-124s]," Borisov said.
The An-124's performance will be better with new engines, he said.
A source told Interfax on June 19 that Russia was preparing to resume the manufacturing of the An-124.
A document posted on the state procurements web portal on Sunday suggests that the Ulyanovsk-based Aviastar-SP aircraft plant plans to assess the readiness of manufacturing facilities in Russia to build modernized An-124-100M military transport aircraft.