RUSSIA TO RESUME MASS MANUFACTURE OF RUSLAN JUMBOS

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ULYANOVSK, September 2 (RIA Novosti's Lyubov Chikalova) - The decision to resume mass manufacture of the well-known An-124 Ruslan jumbo planes was taken at a conference on Tuesday of Russia's Federal Industry Agency, RIA Novosti quotes the press service of the Ulyanovsk ZAO Aviastar Aircraft Manufacture (Aviastar-SP) as saying on Thursday. The company assembles Antonov and Tupolev planes.

"The conference discussed making, jointly with Ukraine, of updated An-124-100M machines of an increased load-carrying capacity up to 150 tons, having a more powerful engine made by the OAO Motor Sich (Zaporozhye, Ukraine), a crew of four instead of six and modern avionics. They will operate mostly commercial services," the press service said.

FIA head Boris Alyoshin and Valery Kazakov, Ukrainian first deputy minister for industrial policy, inked the decision. Eighty updated jumbos will be manufactured in 2006 to 2020.

ZAO Aviastar-SP will manufacture the planes. The Ukrainian factory will manufacture tail units. The first machine will be supplied in 2006, the press service said.

It is quite possible, Aviastar-SP director Viktor Mikhailov is sure.

The Ulyanovsk-based Ustinov Aviation Industry Works (now ZAO Aviastar-SP) put the first An-124 Ruslan machine in the air in October 1985. Thirty six Ruslan jumbo planes were made in Ulyanovsk and 18 in Ukraine. The Ruslan has set 21 world records in lifting power, presented Russian aircraft-making at the international exhibitions in Le Bourget, Vancouver, San Diego, Richmond, Farnborough.

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