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    An-124 Strategic Transport: News

    Isos
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    Post  Isos Wed Mar 03, 2021 5:59 pm

    lol1 lol1
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    Post  GarryB Thu Mar 04, 2021 2:40 am

    The existing fleet with repairs will be good till 2040, which means the focus should be on the Il-106 as being a smaller aircraft and when they are ready new more powerful engines should be able to operate much more cost effectively than the An-124s which means a lot of jobs normally requiring An-124s could probably be done cheaper and easier with a smaller lighter Il-106 type aircraft.

    The An-22 were useful aircraft and were fairly heavily used, but as they were retired the loads they carried went to An-124s, so introduction of Il-106s should allow these lighter aircraft to do those jobs too.

    This reduces the urgency for Slon.
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    Post  slasher Fri Mar 05, 2021 10:27 pm

    An-124 "Ruslan": why Russia should revive the production of the aircraft giant

    Interesting facts to note:

    modern Kiev theses about the "Ukrainian origin" of the An-124 do not stand up to criticism. The An-124 aircraft was created in the Soviet Union, in cooperation with the aviation enterprises of Voronezh, Ulyanovsk, Kiev. It was adopted by the Soviet Army in 1991. It was originally intended for airlifting mobile launchers of intercontinental ballistic missiles, which independent Ukraine does not have. In Ulyanovsk, 36 out of 56 Ruslans were produced, and it is no coincidence that An-124 is missing from the list of four products of the Ukrainian company ANTONOV today.

    By the way, the world famous Soviet aircraft designer Oleg Antonov - a native of the Moscow province, studied in Saratov and Leningrad, began design work in Moscow. Since 1946, he headed the Siberian Research Institute of Aviation, which was transferred to Kiev in 1952.
    PapaDragon
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    Post  PapaDragon Fri Mar 05, 2021 11:13 pm


    All intellectual property of USSR has been handed down to it's former states and they all have the right to manufacture it's products provided that they are able to (see Il-76 in Russia and Su-25 in Georgia)

    Kyrgyzstan could legally build Buran Shuttle and Energia rocket if they wanted to (or could)

    They don't because they can hardly build water pumps

    Same as the Ukraine and Antonov who now build wood stoves instead of airplanes

    So if Russia wants to build An-124 and they have the required components they can go for it no problem

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    Post  mnztr Fri Mar 05, 2021 11:26 pm

    PapaDragon wrote:

    Same as the Ukraine and Antonov who now build wood stoves instead of airplanes

    So if Russia wants to build An-124 and they have the required components they can go for it no problem


    They do? Do they put the Antonov logo on them? I would love to see what they look like. As for Russia building 124s, I just honestly do not see the need. They have 14 in reserve. If they put all the reserve units into service plus a bunch of the 100+ parked IL-76s then perhaps we can see they have a need for more airlift.
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    Post  PapaDragon Sat Mar 06, 2021 12:11 am


    These things don't get built over night and same goes for restarting production and logistics cycle

    If they start now at reasonable pace they should be receiving first new builds by the time old ones start hitting expiration date

    Also, current numbers of An-124s are too close for comfort


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    Post  mnztr Sat Mar 06, 2021 4:35 am

    PapaDragon wrote:
    These things don't get built over night and same goes for restarting production and logistics cycle

    If they start now at reasonable pace they should be receiving first new builds by the time old ones start hitting expiration date

    Also, current numbers of An-124s are too close for comfort



    I don't agree, Russia does not need the same number of transports as the US because it does not have as many foreign bases and adventures. They can also use commercial air lifters for most needs. They also have another 12 at VD they can access in an emergency. The ones they have will last until at least 2040..maybe longer then you or me.
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    Post  GarryB Sat Mar 06, 2021 11:05 am

    I think this is an opportunity to start a replacement design for the An-124... which in my opinion should be the much heavier Slon transport in 180 ton capacity, and the Il-106 at 90-100 ton capacity with fewer Slons and rather more Il-106s which I think would be popular and sell rather well.

    Why put an aircraft from the 1970s back into production.... that isn't an F-15.

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    Post  LMFS Sat Mar 06, 2021 1:19 pm

    mnztr wrote:I don't agree, Russia does not need the same number of transports as the US because it does not have as many foreign bases and adventures. They can also use commercial air lifters for most needs. They also have another 12 at VD they can access in an emergency. The ones they have will last until at least 2040..maybe longer then you or me.

    While you are right, the power projection needs of Russia are going to be seriously challenged this decade, the demands placed on the VTA will be much higher and the numbers and remaining resource of the An-124 fleet that are quite ok for today's requirements are on the one hand too reduced and in the other non replaceable for comfort. And then it comes the issue of the unreliable ukie engines. They need a plan forward for the -124 fleet

    GarryB wrote:I think this is an opportunity to start a replacement design for the An-124... which in my opinion should be the much heavier Slon transport in 180 ton capacity, and the Il-106 at 90-100 ton capacity with fewer Slons and rather more Il-106s which I think would be popular and sell rather well.

    Sure. They have been discussing this for ages and the needs are IMHO very clear for them. The issue is that their industry is badly struggling to put a less demanding project like the production of the Il-76 back in its feet again, until they are not able produce a good amount of those airframes per year with ease, it makes no sense to start more challenging programs. Ilyushin has their hands more than full with their currently assigned tasks, their lag behind other bureaus that managed to keep their specialists in place like Sukhoi is very noticeable.
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    Post  marcellogo Sat Mar 06, 2021 3:25 pm

    GarryB wrote:I think this is an opportunity to start a replacement design for the An-124... which in my opinion should be the much heavier Slon transport in 180 ton capacity, and the Il-106 at 90-100 ton capacity with fewer Slons and rather more Il-106s which I think would be popular and sell rather well.

    Why put an aircraft from the 1970s back into production.... that isn't an F-15.

    To say the whole truth Russia is actually putting a lot of effort into modernizing the production process of deeply updated versions of Il-76, that's even older...

    And it is doing it by building a new assembly line that once at full regime will allow to put out a plane at double the previous rhythm.
    For what I know such high tempo assembly lines are being contemplated also for both the MiG-35 than for the second production batch of the Felon.
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    Post  Rodion_Romanovic Sat Mar 06, 2021 5:56 pm

    GarryB wrote:I think this is an opportunity to start a replacement design for the An-124... which in my opinion should be the much heavier Slon transport in 180 ton capacity, and the Il-106 at 90-100 ton capacity with fewer Slons and rather more Il-106s which I think would be popular and sell rather well.

    Why put an aircraft from the 1970s back into production.... that isn't an F-15.
    actually the an124 is not obsolete. The airframe techonology  used there is not outdated.


    It does not need stealth or other strange things. It would just need an "upgrade" similar to that of the il76 into il-76 MD-90A.
    I do not know how extensive are the modernisations being done for the existing an124, but in case of restart of production I would try to fit new modern internal systems (hydraulics,  pneumatics, avionics, navigations systems, etc) into the airframe (which probably does not need substantial changes).

    The main  obstacle to a restart of production is the lack of engines with a similar thrust as the D18T (that where anyway really outdated and also undersized for the capacity.

    I believe that that the An124 was actually partially limited in max payload and range by the D18T and probably would have needed engines 10 to 20% more powerful to fully show the airframe capabilities.  (While in the il-76 MD90A the engines are actually derated since they have more than enough thrust for that airplane).

    Anyway the main show stopper for the restart of production is lack of engines. If they have solved it and they have  the PD24 (or PD26 or PD28) or the engine derived from the NK32 ready, well then please go ahead  with the Il-124 (it is not a typo)

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    Post  mnztr Sat Mar 06, 2021 9:46 pm

    LMFS wrote:
    While you are right, the power projection needs of Russia are going to be seriously challenged this decade, the demands placed on the VTA will be much higher and the numbers and remaining resource of the An-124 fleet that are quite ok for today's requirements are on the one hand too reduced and in the other non replaceable for comfort. And then it comes the issue of the unreliable ukie engines. They need a plan forward for the -124 fleet

    Since the basic airframe has no issues and is incredibly robust, I see no reason they cannot re-engine the plane. If they were building it in Russia then they have very deep knowledge of the plane and can do deep modernisations with new avionics they develop for CR929 for example. Its a question of where you invest. Even the Syria adventure was supported by the current transport assets. Of course if they project further they will be more stretched, which is why they are building more heavy ships I guess. But if they modernize and return to service all their AN-124s and IL-76 they will have a massive airlifter fleet. They can even turn the IL-76 into a pretty good bomber I suspect.
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    Post  GarryB Sun Mar 07, 2021 9:44 am

    The issue is that their industry is badly struggling to put a less demanding project like the production of the Il-76 back in its feet again, until they are not able produce a good amount of those airframes per year with ease, it makes no sense to start more challenging programs. Ilyushin has their hands more than full with their currently assigned tasks, their lag behind other bureaus that managed to keep their specialists in place like Sukhoi is very noticeable.

    Well they could just focus on the Il-106 project because the vast majority of the time the AN-124 does not fly around with a full payload so having Il-106 aircraft would be cheaper and far more efficient than using a bigger aircraft.

    Extra programmes require extra funding and new production facilities or upgraded existing factories, they have improved production facilities for the Il-476 and those facilities could also produce the Il-276 which is another much more urgent programme.

    Maybe production of the Tu-330 might be a good shorter term solution so that An-12s can start to be retired before they start falling out of the skies, but I think the smaller lighter Il-276 would also be cheaper to buy and operate once it is ready.

    For what I know such high tempo assembly lines are being contemplated also for both the MiG-35 than for the second production batch of the Felon.

    They could certainly do with high tempo production capacity for an An-12 replacement in the form of the Tu-330 or Il-276... or preferably both first of all.

    actually the an124 is not obsolete. The airframe techonology used there is not outdated.

    Never said it was. With modern engines it will likely be cheaper and rather more efficient, but it is not Russian and putting it back into production is wasting more money on a foreign aircraft design they don't need to keep in their inventory.

    Keep the existing ones... re engine them when they can and then use them for the next decade, but an Il-106 will be more useful being slightly smaller and cheaper to operate yet able to perform most jobs the bigger aircraft can perform. The Il-276 is probably the most urgent, and to the degree that I think the Tu-330 could be produced too to get the An-12 out of service before it starts killing people.

    It does not need stealth or other strange things. It would just need an "upgrade" similar to that of the il76 into il-76 MD-90A.

    No, of course it does not need stealth, but new PD-35 engines would be wasted on an An-124, yet are being developed for the twin engined Il-96 variant. Putting them on the An-124 would give it very similar thrust to the An-225 which would dramatically improve flight performance but also increase fuel consumption and costs.

    A scaled up aircraft with a payload of 180 tons would make more sense with that sort of engine power... an H tail would also allow external loads to be carried on the aircrafts back so it could perform the role of the An-124 and An-225.

    I do not know how extensive are the modernisations being done for the existing an124, but in case of restart of production I would try to fit new modern internal systems (hydraulics, pneumatics, avionics, navigations systems, etc) into the airframe (which probably does not need substantial changes).

    I would suspect most components are replaced to make them all Russian, and even older stuff is updated... except the components that need it the most... ie the engines.

    Anyway the main show stopper for the restart of production is lack of engines. If they have solved it and they have the PD24 (or PD26 or PD28) or the engine derived from the NK32 ready, well then please go ahead with the Il-124 (it is not a typo)

    It sounds like they are going forward with the PD-35 for the Il-96, but they would be too much engine for the An-124, that is why the Slon is suggested in a heavier payload weight class of 180 tons but with four PD-35 engines.

    Most avionics and systems wont need to be developed from scratch the updated systems for the An-124 upgrade could be the basis.

    But if they modernize and return to service all their AN-124s and IL-76 they will have a massive airlifter fleet. They can even turn the IL-76 into a pretty good bomber I suspect.

    Their main problem is that their An-22s are going or gone and the An-124 gets heavier use to replace them... at 80 tons payload they were popular and got used a lot, while the bigger heavier An-124 can do the same thing but costs more to run. The An-12s are also about to expire too.

    Ramping up production of the Il-476 is good, but they should build even more facilities to fast build them because the Il-276 could probably be made on the same production lines and the smaller the plane the larger the numbers you make and use of them so they will probably need rather more Il-276 aircraft than Il-476.

    The commonality of the two will make them useful on the international market where they are jet powered aircraft that operate faster than the An-12 or C-130 aircraft they replace and offer better flight performance simply by being pressurised and able to fly over weather at jet speeds.

    An Il-106 in the 90-100 ton payload range aircraft would be in demand too... look at the sales of the C-17 (which is probably why the Il-106 was killed in the first place in the 1990s under Yeltsin)... most countries could buy 5 or 6 planes for what they paid for C-17s...

    I would say to speed up replacement of the An-12 that the Tu-330 could be put into production too.... it is different enough to be useful on its own.

    The PD-35 engines will be used in the Il-106 (2) which would be the first priority and the old D-18s will soldier on till PD-26s perhaps become available, but Slon with four PD-35s make sense as its ultimate replacement.

    Essentially what I am suggesting is replacement of the An-12 ASAP, it is the most urgent, while the PD-35 will mean the Il-106 can replace essentially the An-22 which will take a lot of pressure off the An-124, which can soldier on a little but the arrival of the PD-35 means the Slon is good to go too... but not so urgent as the Il-276 and Tu-330.

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    Post  LMFS Sun Mar 07, 2021 1:32 pm

    GarryB wrote:
    Well they could just focus on the Il-106 project because the vast majority of the time the AN-124 does not fly around with a full payload so having Il-106 aircraft would be cheaper and far more efficient than using a bigger aircraft.

    Extra programmes require extra funding and new production facilities or upgraded existing factories, they have improved production facilities for the Il-476 and those facilities could also produce the Il-276 which is another much more urgent programme.

    Maybe production of the Tu-330 might be a good shorter term solution so that An-12s can start to be retired before they start falling out of the skies, but I think the smaller lighter Il-276 would also be cheaper to buy and operate once it is ready.

    That is what I mean, look at the amount of programs Ilyushin/UAC Transport is involved in:

    > Il-112V
    > Il-114-300
    > Il-96-400M
    > Il-76MD-90A
    > Il-276
    > Il-106
    > Slon
    > Overhaul of An-124

    To make things even more complicated, all of them are urgent or rather "needed for yesterday"

    So this is a tricky situation they are in, and as you say some planes will start to fall from the sky sooner than later, but there is simply no capability to get all of those projects ready in parallel.

    In terms of military aviation, they can make conceptual work on a number of models without it taking a huge amount of resources, like for instance creating the specs of Il-276, Il-106 and Slon. But I think the industrialization of other planes will be stopped until they start churning out Il-76 in big numbers. This increased amount of new Il-76 will in turn reduce the pressure on the rest of the components of the VTA, even when some loads cannot be transported effectively without the An-124, this will allow to manage with the current Ruslan numbers and not deplete their resource too fast. It may take also the roles of smaller planes like An-12 in case of critical condition of the fleet.

    As to the new models that need to be designed, will they be capable to develop three of them (276/106/Slon) at the same time or will they give the smaller of them to Tupolev and the medium to Myasishchev? Possible since it will be a huge amount of work...
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    Post  mnztr Sun Mar 07, 2021 7:59 pm

    I don't understand the il-96-400m project to be honest. Why?
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    Post  Isos Sun Mar 07, 2021 8:24 pm

    mnztr wrote:I don't understand the il-96-400m project to be honest. Why?

    It's their only big plane that exist that can also target the civilian market of cargo transport but also they can improved the passenger version.
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    Post  LMFS Sun Mar 07, 2021 8:58 pm

    mnztr wrote:I don't understand the il-96-400m project to be honest. Why?

    It is the best way to get a domestic wide body to attend their own market and not be vulnerable to Western sanctions + avoid further financing their declared enemies + further develop their industry. First, upgrade systems and create a plane that is usable today, even if it is not the most economical. Together, ramp up production capabilities and consolidate industrial and staff competences that would be lost otherwise. Then, on a later phase, put the PD-35 and a new wing and you have a fully modern, high value wide body you can sell internationally and become a real alternative to the duopoly. The CR929 program can fail anytime and Russia does not need to let produce their own planes in China, so they will act as technological partners and suppliers in that program for a profit, but keep their independence fully secured with the Il-96. The approach is about 100% right, if you ask me...

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    Post  Isos Sun Mar 07, 2021 9:11 pm

    CR929 has already failed. Chinese want russian to transfert all the technologies.

    If Russia agrees chinese will restart a new program and copy it to make it alone after leaving the program with russians.

    Il-96 has a brighter future IMO. With the 100% russian ssj-100 and MS-21 they will have 3 classes of russian made aircraft. 4 if we count the cargo and the passenger il-96.

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    Post  mnztr Mon Mar 08, 2021 1:27 am

    Isos wrote:CR929 has already failed. Chinese want russian to transfert all the technologies.

    If Russia agrees chinese will restart a new program and copy it to make it alone after leaving the program with russians.

    Il-96 has a brighter future IMO. With the 100% russian ssj-100 and MS-21 they will have 3 classes of russian made aircraft. 4 if we count the cargo and the passenger il-96.

    https://simpleflying.com/the-cr929-turbulence/

    yeah I can see its dead. Let me see, what is harder to build. Engines and Carbon wing..or fuse? lol. All the Chinese are doing is financing the project. The Russians should offer the UAE a full partnership and bail on that project. from il-86 to IL-96 only 136 frames built. Is there any chance the IL-96-400M will be a twin engined plane? I know they studied this in the past. It would also be cool if they were able to move the Frigate Ecojet into production. I have always said Russia cannot just match the west, just with their military equipment, they need to deliver a peerless product.
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    Post  PapaDragon Mon Mar 08, 2021 4:33 am

    LMFS wrote:...
    That is what I mean, look at the amount of programs Ilyushin/UAC Transport is involved in:

    > Il-112V
    > Il-114-300
    > Il-96-400M
    > Il-76MD-90A
    > Il-276
    > Il-106
    > Slon
    > Overhaul of An-124
    ...

    Il-114 and Il-76-90A are complete

    Il-96-400 is modification of existing aircraft so it's doable without too much strain

    Il-276 is priority clean sheet project which has to be completed at all costs

    That leaves Il-106, Slon and An-124 which basically do the same job and have massive overlaps

    Restarting production of An-124 is most logical and efficient way to solve that problem

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    Post  Tsavo Lion Mon Mar 08, 2021 4:34 am

    That's what I expected & posted many times: An-124s will be modernized & produced again before any IL-106s & Slons r produced.
    They could also produce a twinjet variant of the An-124 with new more powerful engines instead of bothering with the IL-106.
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    Post  mnztr Mon Mar 08, 2021 5:29 am

    PapaDragon wrote:
    LMFS wrote:...
    That is what I mean, look at the amount of programs Ilyushin/UAC Transport is involved in:

    > Il-112V
    > Il-114-300
    > Il-96-400M
    > Il-76MD-90A
    > Il-276
    > Il-106
    > Slon
    > Overhaul of An-124
    ...

    Il-114 and Il-76-90A are complete

    Il-96-400 is modification of existing aircraft so it's doable without too much strain

    Il-276 is priority clean sheet project which has to be completed at all costs

    That leaves Il-106, Slon and An-124 which basically do the same job and have massive overlaps

    Restarting production of An-124 is most logical and efficient way to solve that problem


    Except that the Il-106 is an IL-76 develpment. So if you have just created a massively upgraded IL-76, added a composite wing, all new avionics. Why bother with restarting the ancient AN-124 when the ecosystem for the IL-76 as been built and is running. The supply chain is so important. Since they have a decent fleet of super heavy transports, why not build a bunch in the 80-100T range, that may very be far more usable and keep the 124's for the rare requirement that requires 120-150T.
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    Post  Tsavo Lion Mon Mar 08, 2021 5:40 am

    Why bother with restarting the ancient AN-124 when the ecosystem for the IL-76 as been built and is running.
    Because they already built 36 An-124s & 0 IL-106s that is still a paper plane.
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    Post  mnztr Mon Mar 08, 2021 5:44 am

    Tsavo Lion wrote:
    Because they already built 36 An-124s & 0 IL-106s that is still a paper plane.

    Yeah but the new AN-124 is also a paper plane as they will not be able to build it in the same way. Look at what it is taking to get the TU160 production restarted.
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    Post  Tsavo Lion Mon Mar 08, 2021 7:17 am

    It wasn't that hard to restart the IL-76/78 production in its latest version; the IL-106 is an entirely new plane, unlike the An-124 is going to be.

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