Russian Air Force gets first modernised AN-124s

The main components of the modernisation programme for AN-124 are a new avionics suite and navigation system, increase range by 5,400 km.

Updated: May 17, 2012, 15:24 PM IST

Moscow: The Russian Air Force has received three modernised Antonov AN-124-100 super-heavy transport aircraft as part of an update programme for its transport fleet, Air Force spokesperson Colonel Vladimir Drik said on Thursday.

"The Air Force has got three modernised Ruslan AN-124-100s and four more are being updated at the Ulyanovsk Aviastar factory," he said.

The main components of the modernisation 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 modernise 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.

IANS