Russia’s brand-new light military transport aircraft, named the Ilyushin Il-112, is scheduled to make its first flight in 2017, Yury Borisov, a Russian deputy minister of defense, announced Thursday.
Ilyushin Il-112, a twin-engine turboprop plane developed by Russia’s Ilyushin Aviation Complex (JSC IL), is reportedly designed to carry out missions in any geographic or weather conditions. The aircraft, which has a payload of six tons and is capable of traveling a maximum distance of 3,100 miles, will be manufactured by Voronezh Aircraft Production Association, one of Russia’s largest aircraft production facilities, located about 250 miles south of Moscow, Ria Novosti reported.
According to the report, Russia’s Ministry of Defense is expected to buy at least 35 Ilyushin Il-112 planes. JSC IL had earlier said that it could deliver more than 60 planes to the country’s military. The plane was reportedly scheduled to have its maiden flight in 2011, but the Russian defense ministry later decided to abandon the plan, and purchased 7 Antonov An-140 cargo planes instead. Work on the Ilyushin Il-112 planes resumed in 2013, Ria Novosti reported.
The latest report follows another stating Russia was planning to build 80 supersonic military transport aircraft, dubbed PAK TA, with a payload of 220 tons. The planes, expected to be built by 2024, are believed to be capable of delivering 400 Armata heavy missile tanks or 900 light-armored vehicles to the American continent or Australia in seven to eight hours.
“For your understanding, one flight of the [PAK TA aircraft] fleet will be enough to deploy, say, to Cuba an operational and tactical army unit comparable to the total amount of US and NATO forces in Iraq,” a military expert told Expert Online, according to Ria Novosti.