[Homestead] Ruslan air giant resumes production

Tvoivozhd tvoivozd at infionline.net
Sun Sep 5 17:26:35 EDT 2004



Russia to resume serial production of its famous air-giant "Ruslan"
09/03/2004 13:16

*Federal production agency (FPA) of Russia adopted a resolution to 
resume serial production of the famous airplanes An-124 "Ruslan", 
reports RIA "Novosti".*

"Aviastar-airplane manucturing" JSC located in the Russian town of 
Ulyanovsk assembles such airplanes as "Antonov" and "Tupolev". The 
company"s press-service has made it clear that this time they intend to 
"establish a joint venture with Ukraine to manufacture an updated 
version of An-124-100M with a load carrying capacity up to 150 tons, a 
more powerful engine, requiring only 4 instead of 6 crew members, and up 
to date electronics analogues to the ones used in space."

It is expected to manufacture as many as 80 An-124-100M airplanes 
between 2006 and 2020. Such timeframes have been approved by head of the 
FPA Boris Aleshin and the first deputy of Ukraine"s manufacturing 
politics Valery Kazakov.

"Aviastar-SP" will be the main manufacturer of the airplanes, whereas 
Ukrainian company "Aviant" will undertake supply of the tail units. 
General manager of the Russian company Victor Mikhailov considers it 
possible to assemble this many planes under one condition - timely and 
full financing.

In the course of the past years, "Volga-Dnepr" and "Poljot" airline 
companies used to be the only buyers of An-124 airplanes. In 2004 each 
one of the companies received one new airplane. According to the head of 
"Aviastar-SP" communication department Lubov Gruzintseva, each one of 
these companies still remain their clients.

However, the company has already signed several contracts with other 
organizations. Due to the mutual interests, names of the organizations 
will not be revealed.

It is noteworthy to mention however that in the end of June Victor 
Mikhailov had noted that new "Ruslans" will be more expensive than the 
previous model. The cost will be about $70-80 million USD.

Currently, to rent "Ruslan" for one hour will cost you between $14-16 
000 USD, reports "Military industrial courier." The airplane"s load 
carrying capacity equals to 120 tons.

European airplane Beluga (load capacity 47 tons, cost per "block hour" 
$20 000 USD)  and American airplane C-17 (load capacity 79 tons, cost 
per "block hour" $45 000 USD) are Ruslan"s main competitors on the market.






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