AWIN First Sep 10 , 2010
Neelam Mathews email@example.com
After months of wrangling, India and Russia have now formally signed off on a joint venture to co-develop and produce a twin-engine Multirole Transport Aircraft (MTA).
The industrial partners are United Aircraft Corporation and Rosoboronexport on the Russian side and Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. The deal was finalized late September 9.
The JV builds on an intergovernmental agreement on the development of the MTA which was signed in 2007.
The main features of MTA include maximum takeoff weight of 65 metric tons, payload capacity of 15-20 metric tons, cruise speed of 800 kmph with a range of 2500 km. (1550 mi.).
The development cost is estimated at $600 million to be shared equally. The MTA is expected to be derived from the IL-214 twin-engine military transport designed by the Ilyushin Design Bureau.
The final agreement on the MTA was delayed over disagreement on financial terms.
The exact development timeline for the MTA is still emerging. “We are at the initial stage of the project. Maybe in six to eight years we shall have the prototype of the aircraft flying,” a senior Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) official told a Russian news wire in March.
India requires the tactical aircraft to replace its 105 aging Antonov AN-32s, and Russia has said it will need around 100 aircraft of the type. The MTA will function as an airlifter for troops, armored carriers and possibly a mid-air refueling tanker.
For India, this is only the latest in a series of military transport deals. Last year, the country signed a contract with Ukraine for the life extension of the Indian air force’s AN-32 to increase the operational life by up to 15 years.
Furthermore, the Indian air force will receive its first two Lockheed Martin C-130J aircraft in February 2011 and the remaining four ordered by the end of the year. The country also is buying 10 Boeing C-17s, to replace 15 Il-76s that remain in service.