Volga Dnepr gets an upgrade

UKRAINE’s Antonov State Enterprise has signed a deal to upgrade the first of Volga Dnepr’s fleet of An-124-100 Ruslan freighters to a modernised An-124-111VD standard.

This deal, which was signed at the MAKS-2011 Aviation and Space Salon in Russia on 16 August, marks the latest step towards relaunching serial production of this cargo aircraft.

The technical specifications in the agreement envisage that the modernised aircraft will have a take-off weight of 402 tonnes, a cargo lift capacity of 150 tonnes, a flight range of at least 5,000km with a 120 tonne payload and a minimum crew of three persons. Avionics and some of the aircraft systems will be replaced with digital systems.

“The signing of this agreement is the first step in implementing the programme for resuming the production of the An-124, the world’s largest cargo aircraft,” Antonov president and general designer Dmytro Kiva said.

“We will continue to exploit the best aircraft in the world. In future, our company is ready to buy 40 modified An-124s after the resumption of their production,” Volga Dnepr group president Alexey Isaikin said.

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