Russian Air Force gets first modernized AN-124s
Moscow, May 17 (IANS/RIA Novosti) The Russian Air Force has received three modernized Antonov AN-124-100 super-heavy transport aircraft as part of an update programme for its transport fleet, Air Force spokesperson Col. Vladimir Drik said Thursday.
"The air force has got three modernized Ruslan AN-124-100s and four more are being updated at the Ulyanovsk Aviastar factory," he said.
The main components of the modernization programme for the AN-124 are a new avionics suite and navigation system, increase the range by 5,400 km, and a strengthened airframe. The aircraft will also get a new braking system allowing it to make 30 percent shorter landing runs. It will also get a new terrain warning awareness system.
"We plan to modernize another 10 or so AN-124s to AN-124-100M standard," Drik said, adding the service will also get "up to ten new-build AN-124-300 transports with an increase in payload of up to 150 tonnes".
The largest transport aircraft in military service in the world, the AN-124 is Russia's main long-range heavy transport aircraft, and is capable of carrying outsize loads thanks to its large nose and tail doors. It is also capable of landing on rough airstrips.
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