April 18, 2019

Not Ukraines property: Russia’s plan to revive huge Soviet-era aircraft irks Kiev

Russia wants to resume production of one of the world's heaviest cargo airplanes – the Antonov An-124. The jet, designed in the 1980s, is now part of Ukraines Antonov group, but Russia claims it has the rights to it.

The question of renewed production is still being discussed, but the Russian military says the aircraft is not Ukrainian intellectual property.

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"The airplanes of the super-heavy class like An-124 are in great demand all over the world. Two-thirds of them were manufactured in Russias Ulyanovsk, and today the priority is to maintain their serviceability.

"If we talk about the resumption of their production, this is an extremely difficult, but solvable task ", said Aleksey Rogozin, Vice-President for Transport Aviation of the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC).

The updated plane will likely come under a new brand since it will be significantly modified to meet the modern requirements. “The avionics, the chassis design, the new engines. It will be based on An-124, but really it will be another aircraft,” said a member of the Russian presidential commission on aviation development Yury Sytnik.

The An-124 is one of the largest aircraft in the world, with a huge capacity for cargo, drive-on loading ramps and built-in freight handling equipment. The plane made its maiden flight in December 1982. The largest users of An-124 are the Russian Aerospace Forces (16 units) and the Russian cargo airline Volga-Dnepr (12).

The Antonov Design Bureau was established in 1946 in the Russian city of Novosibirsk. In 1952, the company was relocated to Kiev.

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