The Indo-Russian project to jointly design a transport aircraft for militaries of both nations kicked off in Moscow on Monday, where 30 engineers from Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) began working with their Russian counterparts from the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) on the $600-million project.
The MTA will be capable of carrying 15-20 tonnes of payload; or 80 paratroopers; or 60 stretchers and operate from airfields as difficult as Leh, in Ladakh, J&K. After completing the design and testing of the MTA in 60 months, during which five prototypes will also be built, Russia and India will join hands in building 205 aircraft: 100 for the Russian Air Force (RAF); 45 for the Indian Air Force (IAF); and 60 for export.
An artist representation of Indo-Russian Multi-role Transport Aircraft ( Image Courtesy - time4aviation.com )
For the IAF, the MTA would be a much-needed replacement for the already phased out AN-12 and the ageing AN-32 transport aircraft. The MTA will be a mid-way choice, being smaller than the AN-12, but bigger than the AN-32. Both those aircraft were propeller-driven turboprops; the MTA will have a turbofan jet engine.
The choice of which engine to use, as also the various systems of the aircraft which would be bought off the shelf, would be decided jointly, based on economy as well as suitability.
In production, which is expected to begin by end 2017, HAL and UAC will respectively manufacture a specified set of parts and modules for all 205 MTAs. However, the assembly of the IAF aircraft will be done at HAL, Kanpur; and the assembly of MTAs for the RAF from a production agency that Moscow nominates.
News Courtesy - business-standard.com