.- but now it's a weapon of choice
For the Caspian Sea and the Med, and even then only the conventionally armed models near conflict zones.
These ships have limited numbers of available launch tubes... how many tubes would you suggest they use with nuclear armed land attack cruise missiles?
For instance a Corvette with 8 missile tubes... I would expect they would have anti ship and anti sub weapons most of the time and only land attack missiles loaded when embarking on a planned mission.
-the C-141 were the USN & Army logistics workhorses .
The C-141 were not popular and of rather ordinary performance and were replaced as soon as the C-17s were ready for production, and didn't sell well commercially either.
Russia doesn't, but with her size & expanding bases abroad she better get them installed on her IL-476s, AN-124s & future cargo planes.
-why can't they use 1-2 less engines while cruising to save fuel? in any case, that's why they need tankers!
Because turbofan engines used on subsonic types have enormous frontal areas... that is normally compensated for because of the thrust they generate when they are running... but when they are not running they generate enough drag to actually make it more fuel inefficient to shut them down because the remaining engines need to run at much higher revs to counter the extra drag.
When a prop engine is shut down the prop is feathered... the blades are turned into the airflow like a knife cutting the air instead of acting like an airbrake with the blade flat on to the airflow.
You can't feather a turbofan engine to allow air to flow through and therefore reduce the drag effect.... the best you can do is try to restart it.
Earlier they wanted to re-engine IL-86s to increase their range but nothing came out of it.
Possibly because of a lack of a suitable engine maybe?
-as mentioned, it won't happen, as different engines req. complete redesign of wings,etc., so a new plane is needed.
The Tu-95 has had its wing redesigned several times already and the Il-476 also had a new wing design... redesigning the wing is not a big deal....
It is much more expensive to create a brand new much more powerful engine than it is to design a new wing to carry those new engines.
A lot of money is going in to the PD-35 and other related engines in that engine family and to get the best value for money they need as many aircraft to use them as possible.
To that effect most of their new transport planes will likely get an engine from this new engine family including the Il-476 and Il-276 and Il-106 and any replacement for the Antonovs currently in service...
To get the best value for money from a new engine that has lots of thrust and low fuel burn and is reliable and should have good operational performance, you use it on as many platforms as you can.
With new engines even older planes will get much better performance and for a plane like the Il-96 they could increase the amount of composite materials in the wings and fuselage and make it lighter and stronger... new engines will make it competitive with even the newest designs today.
.-the fact that they been in service for so long & re-engined says they r not crap.
They are totally crap... the instant anyone suggests the Russian military is using Boeings for inflight refuelling duties the US will immediately impose sanctions and the damn things will be useless within a week.
The new pair of AF1s will be B-747-8s originally ordered by Transaero
Ordered and then rejected... except the Russian military wouldn't even bother with the order.