New Competition For C-130J Aircraft With Successful Flight Of The An-70 Heavy Airlifter

  • 12:00 AM, October 2, 2012
  • 2562
In a joint venture between Russia and Ukraine, the An-70 military transport aircraft has been flight tested after two years in development. The An-70 is certain to add to the competition between heavy airlift aircraft such as the C-130J Super Hercules and A400M aircraft. The An-70 can carry 47 tons for 1350 kilometers while C130J can take up 20 tons and the A400M with 37 tons. Although the road to developing the An-70 was a bit rocky with Russia initially refusing to pay its half for the project citing political differences with Ukraine. In 2006, Russia decided to focus of developing its own Il-76 transport aircraft. Eventually, Russia came on board after the Ukrainians made their case for the An-70. With a unit cost of $67 million, the Super Hercules fetches about $65 million per aircraft; a small difference considering the payload variation between the two. The D-27 turboprop engines uses Aerosila’s CV-27 8+6 blade configuration of contra-rotating, reversible-pitch propellers, allowing STOL (Short Take-Off and Landing) capabilities from unpaved runways only 600-800m long at a reduced 20 tons cargo weight. At full load, the aircraft can use 1550-1800 meter runways. Besides Russia, Ukraine is currently cooperating with China (AI-222-25F turbofans), Iran (An-140, An-148) on aircraft production projects. Additionally, in July 2012, joint Ukraine-Russia Ruslan SALIS GmbH won NATO air transportation bid.
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