Well, the An-2 has already a 100% russian made successor reading for mass production.
True, but if it keeps working and you can keep going it is always going to be cheaper to use something you already own than to buy something new.
Of course not, An-12 resource is exhausted is better make a new airplane (first flight of An-12 in 1957), it is necesary a new and modern design, and good for export.
An-2 first flight 1947, and there have been several replacements developed and put into service but none of them offered the same performance for the price and it has outlasted most of the replacements so far.
The Il-276 will be quite a different plane... sort of a cross between an An-72 and the An-12 with jet engines for higher speeds, but it should be a good replacement for both with higher speeds as a bonus.
An-22 is the same (First flight in 1965) and the replacement are the An-124 of the reserve that remain to be put into service
The An-22 was popular and could easily have been upgraded and still be in use today, but they have a policy of getting rid of Antonovs and using Russian aircraft wherever possible.
An-124, like C-5 Galaxy will have no replacement, simply beacuse a project of this magnitude to manufacture only 30 or 40 machines is not economically viable nowadays. That only happened in the cold war
They can make it viable by making it modular allowing a 90-100 ton payload, a 150 ton payload, and a 180 ton payload design be developed using related engines.
It actually sounds like they want a 100 ton payload aircraft in the form of a modified Il-106 and a 180 ton payload larger aircraft called Slon, with the potential for a model for external loads to be developed from the latter aircraft too.
IL-76 is in service since 1974, Il-76MD-90A will be manofactured until 2040 or more and will be in operation until 2080 at least, this is more than 100 years of service
They make fun regarding the image but the same image can be made for Soviet interceptors flying with B-52 that were made in the 1950s and 1960s... the Tu-95s currently in use were made in the 1980s and 1990s... the US B-52s made in the 50s and 60s will soldier on till the 2050s based on current plans.
However, An-124 will continue in service for several decades, it is a unique case due to its large size and the impossibility of replacement nowadays
In any case, the russian An-124´s are Russian aircraft, they was manufactured in Aviastar and the factory has full capacity to do it again.
They have plans for a replacement aircraft that is waiting for new engines. Those new engines could be used on current An-124s, but the Russian military is not buying new An-124s... it might reengine the ones it has and use them up, but it will also build new replacement aircraft with those new engines too and produce them and gradually retire their An-124s.
The thing is that they are hardly going to encourage existing An-124 uses to keep using them... especially Russian airlines... new aircraft as soon as possible...
Russia should concentrate its efforts on the Il-96 to make an MRTT, increasingly scarce resources cannot be wasted to manufacture something that does not offer a quantitative or qualitative leap and also with the An-124 in the middle of its useful life .
I disagree. Killing off the An-124 as fast as possible is a good thing for Russia... the fewer there are around the place the more drips and drops of life support for Ukraine... why keep that zombie alive... develop a replacement with better performance and avionics and equipment and new engines that make it much more affordable and sell it to the current users of the Soviet aircraft and take that market...
Russian can make a new engine 100% russian, as the current engine (Soviet= Russian). No hurry for that, it will be necesary only after 2040
The Russian Air Force does not have a huge number of An-124s and has even fewer engines. They will start making replacements for the An-124 probably as soon as the PD-35 engine is ready which will likely be the middle of the 2020s... they can start by re-engining the An-124s and perhaps the Il-106s they might have already with PS-90 engines to upgrade them from 90 ton payload An-22 replacements to 100 ton payload aircraft replacing some An-124 missions.
But once the PD-35s are ready Slon will be built and at first suppliment the re-engined An-124s but as numbers increase they might sell off An-124s with PD-35 engines to private operators and replace their fleet of An-124s with Slons and Il-106s.
They only built 55 AN-124's in almost 20 years.
They also had about 4 economic collapses during that period and lost most of their international trade links to friendly countries around the world.
It would make far more sense to reengine with derated PD-35s and either resume production of the modified version or upgrade the fleet and build a larger plane based on the IL-76 like the Chinese did.
They already have the Il-106 programme in the C-17 size weight class... and it should sell rather well internationally with better performance and a fraction of the cost.
I cannot see Russia really needing much more then 25 AN-124 class planes, 50 at the very most. Especially when they are backed with a large fleet of IL-76s.
Russia is going to need to expand it international trade links, and while a lot will go by sea some of it can go by air... the Russian military has plans to make its lighter forces (Kurganets and Boomerang) very very mobile and large aircraft will be a key part of that change in strategy.
But how many do they really need and how far can they get my reconditioning the ones they have and also reengining them? AFIK they all have pretty low hours, with new engines they can easily last to 2050. The cost is not just the design, but the supply chain and tooling to manufacture. This is a HUGE cost made larger by small volumes.
Most of the upgrades for the An-124 could be used on the Slon... part of the upgrades for the Il-476 were improvements in manufacturing wing components that were made larger and stronger and in fewer pieces...
New materials and new designs and new shapes offer potential performance improvements, but they don't have to make it completely alien tech super plane shit that has nothing compatible with what they are currently making.
They could in fact make it a modular enlarged Il-106 that could be scaled to any size load you need without massive redesign...
For years the New Zealand military has been using C-130s which lack the range... with a full payload it is not a strategic transport it is a theatre transport...
New Zealand would have been better off with an Il-76 and today even more so with the Il-476, but an Il-106 it would be even better... we could fly to the Pacific Islands and back without using up their supplies of aviation fuel... without needing to hop from island to island...
The military are paying for these aircraft... they want aircraft and they don't care how much they will cost.