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    Russian Air Force may start receiving An-124 cargo jets in 2014

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    New An-124 Ruslan (Condor) heavy-lift transport aircraft could start being delivered to the Russian Air Force in 2014, the contractor said on Monday.

    New An-124 Ruslan (Condor) heavy-lift transport aircraft could start being delivered to the Russian Air Force in 2014, the contractor said on Monday.

    United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) CEO Alexei Fyodorov said a total of 20 aircraft were to be produced by 2020 in accordance with the state arms procurement program.

    He added the UAC planned to manufacture three Ruslans each year through 2020.

    He said the cost to build one aircraft was around $200 million.

    Lt. Gen. Viktor Kachalkin, commander of the 61st Air Army, said Friday the aircraft of this type is in high demand as "An-124 Ruslan is the most powerful military-transport aircraft in the world."

    Russian Air Force Commander, Col. Gen. Alexander Zelin, said in August that the Defense Ministry decided to resume the production of the An-124, which could be used both for domestic and military purposes.

    The An-124 was designed by the Antonov Design Bureau in 1982, and was produced in Ukraine's Kiev and Russia's Ulyanovsk until 1995. The plane has a maximum payload of 150 metric tons with a flight range of around 3,000 kilometers (1,864 miles).

    The cargo jet is the world's third largest after the An-225 and the Airbus A380F.

    Russia and Ukraine reached a preliminary agreement to resume production of the An-124 in April of 2008.

    MOSCOW, December 28 (RIA Novosti)

     

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