The Russian Air Force has received three modernized Antonov An-124-100 super-heavy transport aircraft as part of an update program for its transport fleet, Air Force spokesman Col. Vladimir Drik said on Thursday.
"The air force has got three modernized Ruslan An-124-100s and four more are being updated at the Ulyanovsk Aviastar factory," he said.
The main components of the modernization program for the An-124 are a new avionics suite and navigation system, increase the range by range 5,400 km, and a strengthened airframe. The aircraft will also get a new braking system allowing it to make 30 percent shorter landing runs. It will also get a new SRPPZ-2000 terrain warning awareness system.
"We plan to modernize another ten or so An-124s to An-124-100M standard," Drik said, adding the service will also get "up to ten new-build An-124-300 transports with an increase in payload of up to 150 tons."
The largest transport aircraft in military service in the world, the An-124 is Russia's main long-range heavy transport aircraft, and is capable of carrying outsize loads thanks to its large nose and tail doors. It is also capable of landing on rough airstrips.