ZHUKOVSKY, Moscow Region, August 17 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia’s Volga-Dnepr transport company and Ukraine’s Antonov aircraft maker have signed an agreement on upgrading An-124-100 Ruslan cargo planes.
The agreement was signed on the sidelines of the MAKS-2011 airspace show currently underway in Zhukovsky outside Moscow.
According to Alexei Isaikin, Volga-Dnepr’s CEO, cost account for one aircraft is estimated at 40 to 60 million U.S. dollars. “In all, it is planned to upgrade 10 planes,” he said. “We will go on using the world’s best aircraft. Our company plans to buy 40 upgraded An-124 planes after their production is resumed.”
“This agreement is the first step in the implementation of the program for restarting the production of An-124 planes, the world’s biggest cargo plane,” said Dmitry Kiva, Antonov’s president and general designer.
The Antonov An-124 Ruslan is a strategic airlift jet aircraft. It was designed by the Ukrainian SSR’s Antonov design bureau, then part of the Soviet Union. It is the world’s largest ever serially-manufactured cargo airplane. The plane made its maiden flight in 1982 and received civil certification in 1992. With a length of up to 36 meters, the aircraft is capable of lifting monocargoes of up to 150 tons.