NATO continues An-124 lease from Ukraine

NATO has extended its two-year lease of six Russian/Ukrainian An-124s. Two are leased from a Ukrainian company full-time while four are on call when needed.

NATO will use the aircraft to support peacekeeping operations in Africa and Afghanistan

The An-124 is the world’s largest production aircraft and can carry a payload of 120 tonnes. Demand for the plane has increased of late; 50 more are to be built in 2009. If demand continues then the modified An-124 – the An-225 – which can carry 250 tonnes, may started to be mass produced.

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