Russia to Order AN-70 Transports

The Russian Air Force is planning to order 60 of the transports:

Ukrainian company Antonov together with Russian United Aircraft Corporation will participate in manufacturing Antonov An-70 transport airplanes. Russian defense ministry already placed an order for 60 such machines, USD 67 million apiece. Developed since 1978, An-70 can carry heavier cargo than existing transport planes and land on ill-equipped runways.

An-70 can carry 300 troopers, or 200 injured persons, or 47 tons of freight. Comparably, the closest alternative to An-70 – the Airbus A400M Atlas – can carry 37 tons of cargo. Market price of the Spanish A400M is EUR 145 million, whereas the Ukrainian An-70 costs less than USD 70 million.

Planes An-70 will be produced at JSC Gorbunov Kazan Aviation Production Association in Kazan, Russia. The plane can fly at a speed of 780 kilometers per hour at distances of up to 7,800 kilometers. An-70 is capable of landing on 600-800 meter runways with earth surfaces. Onboard navigation equipment allows the plane to land and takeoff at airports lacking special earth-based equipment.

This is interesting, and not just because it represents a rapprochement between Russian and Ukrainian defense industry.

By almost every metric (except for noise where, the contra rotating props create a racket), it equals the A400M, and if this order is sufficient to make the production line viable, it could be a major headache for EADS.

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