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july 2008 Special edition for Farnborough International Airshow 2008

SUPERJET 100 in the air! [p.6]

An-148 Russian prospects [p.14]

Sukhoi bolsters its leadership [p.24]

HeliRussia 2008 [p.34]

MiG-29 upgrade for European NATO countries [p.42]

Russian fighters over Mediterranean [p.46]

New weapons for new fighters



Russia’s largest defence holding company more than 40 industrial and research organizations powerful research and productive potential full range of air defence systems and assets integrated technological process from development to serial production of weapons and military equipment  full liability and timely fulfillment of contractual obligations

Our products are successfully operated in 50 countries worldwide ALMAZ-ANTEY CONCERN 41, Vereiskaya str. Moscow 121471, Russia Теl.: (495) 780-54-10; Fax: (495) 780-54-11 E-mail:

July 2008 Editor-in-Chief Andrey Fomin

Deputy Editor-in-Chief Vladimir Shcherbakov

Editor Yevgeny Yerokhin

Columnist Alexander Velovich

Special correspondents Alexey Mikheyev, Vladimir Karnozov, Victor Drushlyakov, Andrey Zinchuk, Valery Ageyev, Alina Chernoivanova, Natalya Pechorina, Marina Lystseva, Dmirty Pichugin, Sergey Krivchikov, Sergey Popsuyevich, Piotr Butowski, Alexander Mladenov, Miroslav Gyurosi

Design and pre-press Grigory Butrin

Web support Georgy Fedoseyev

Translation Yevgeny Ozhogin

Cover picture Marina Lystseva


Director General Andrey Fomin

Deputy Director General Nadezhda Kashirina

Marketing Director George Smirnov

Director for international projects Alexander Velovich

News items for “In Brief” columns are prepared by editorial staff based on reports of our special correspondents, press releases of production companies as well as by using information distributed by ITAR-TASS, ARMS-TASS, Interfax-AVN, RIA Novosti, RBC news agencies and published at,,, web sites Items in the magazine placed on this colour background or supplied with a note “Commercial” are published on a commercial basis. Editorial staff does not bear responsibility for the contents of such items. The magazine is registered by the Federal Service for supervision of observation of legislation in the sphere of mass media and protection of cultural heritage of the Russian Federation. Registration certificate PI FS77-19017 dated 29 November 2004

© Aeromedia, 2008

P.O. Box 7, Moscow, 125475, Russia Tel. +7 (495) 644-17-33, 798-81-19 Fax +7 (495) 644-17-33 E-mail:

Dear reader, You are holding another special issue of Take-off magazine, an addendum to Russian national aerospace monthly Vzlyot. This issue has been timed to Farnborough air show that has always been highly regarded by most aerospace companies from all over the world as a major aerospace event of the every even year. In 2008 Farnborough International Airshow celebrates several jubilees at once. First of all, this is 60 years of the aviation exhibitions at Farnborough aerodrome as such. Then, it is 40 years of the international status of the show. It is worth mentioning one more noticeable date. It was Farnborough where Russia 20 years ago unveiled its combat aircraft at the international airshows for the very first time in its history. Two MiG-29 fighters took place at Farnborough 1988 then starting a march of triumphal displays of the newest Russian combat aircraft at the different air shows all over the world that leaded to bolstering Russian aircraft exports and clinching new lucrative deals. In the following years our country used Farnborough as an effective showcase for international debuts of its new aircraft. For example, in 1992, it was Farnborough that hosted the debut of the Russian Generation 4+ fighters, the MiG-29M and Su-35 as well as the unique supersonic VTOL fighter prototype, the Yak-141. In 1996, it was Farnborough where Su-37 super-manoeuvrable fighter with thrust vector control won the hearts of the public with its unrivalled flight performance, thus heavily influencing the evolution of warplane in the class. This year Russian aerospace industry comes to Farnborough having a lot of new achievements that could interest potential customers. Famous MiG-29 fighters debuted at Farnborough 20 years ago this time are shown here by Slovakian Air Force – but in a new appearance, after an upgrade to meet NATO and ICAO standards provided by Russia’s MiG Corp. in cooperation with its American and European partners. Some more important events occurred in Russian aerospace industry just prior to the Farnborough airshow: Sukhoi SuperJet prospective regional airliner entered flight tests, Antonov An-148 regional jet is productionising at VASO plant, Tactical Missiles Corp. started promotion of its new generation and upgraded weapons, Russian helicopter developers unveiled new details of their prospective programmes, etc. Most of these events became the topics for this issue. I wish Farnborough 2008’s participants and visitors interesting meetings, useful contacts and lucrative contracts as well as enjoying unforgettable flight demonstration of planes and helicopters from all over the world. I hope our magazine will become a good guide for Russian and CIS exposition at the show. Sincerely, Andrey Fomin Editor-in-Chief, Take-off magazine


CIVIL AVIATION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Il-96-400T certificated

July 2008

SuperJet takes wing

6 14

19 May witnessed a long-awaited event: a prototype of the future Sukhoi SuperJet 100 regional airliner took off from the airfield of the Komsomolsk-on-Amur Aircraft Production Association (KnAAPO) for its maiden flight that it completed with success. Counter to sceptics’ expectations, the designers proved that the SuperJet programme, being run by a large team of Russian, US and West European companies, has been making steady progress and will – despite unavoidable slips behind schedule – meet its target – Russia building a sophisticated airliner competitive on the global market. However, the developers have to do a lot before their target has been met. They are to conduct 600 test flights under the certification programme, its approval by foreign aviation authorities, productionising the aircraft, setting up an aftersale support system and snagging new orders. Nonetheless, it is a safe bet to say even now that the aircraft has established itself, with its smooth maiden flight being another striking demonstration of that. Andrey Fomin reviews the recent events in Sukhoi SuperJet 100 programme

Russian prospects of An-148 First Russian-made An-148 unveiled in Voronezh Several agreements relevant to production and sales of Russian-Ukrainian regional airliner Antonov An-148 built by the Voronezh Aircraft Production Association (VASO) were signed on 27 June during the 1st Voronezh Investment Forum. The worth of the deals clinched exceeded 40 billion rubles (about $1.7 billion). In addition, representatives of the carriers – future An-148 operators – and reporters invited to Voronezh were shown the first production An-148-100 being built in VASO’s assembly hall and earmarked to start its trials before year-end. The manufacturing plan for the coming five years provides for VASO making as many as 96 aircraft of the type. Andrey Fomin attended the event in Voronezh

INDUSTRY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18


Second Il-76TD-90 built for Azerbaijan UAC – Civil Aircraft management company established Phazotron launches third stage of AESA radar trials New Ka-52 has flown MiG-AT powered by RD-1700 starts trials MC-21 gears up for second ‘gate’

Sukhoi bolsters its leadership Sukhoi is recognised as the major Russian aircraft manufacturer based on its 2007 performance



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In mid-June, Russian independent analytical organisation Centre for Analysis of Strategy and Technology (CAST), a specialist in assessing the state and providing estimates of arms exports, published its annual rating of Russia’s major companies based on the arms output in 2007. The Sukhoi holding company was rated by CAST as the first among Russian aircraft manufacturers with its income having more than doubled last year. Sukhoi’s revenue in 2007 was 47.7 billion rubles (over $1.9 billion) – a 2.6-fold increase over 2006 and almost half of the gross aircraft sales of the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), which unites all major Russian military and commercial aircraft makers, and more than 20 per cent of the gross revenue from the whole Russian aircraft industry. Sukhoi’s net income surged by almost 12 times, totalling 4 billion rubles (over $160 million), which makes up almost a quarter of the profits of all of UAC’s subsidiaries. Sukhoi made such a good production and commercial progress owing to its export success last year in the first place (about 50 Su-30MK aircraft were delivered last year) and the growing volume of work the company carried out under the State Defence Procurement Programme. Andrey Fomin analyses Sukhoi’s 2007 results


New weapons for new fighters Tactical Missiles Corp. kicks off advertising campaign to promote cutting-edge guided weapons


In early June, the Tactical Missiles Corp. launched a campaign to promote a number of latest air-launched guided missiles on the market. The weapons promoted include the new-generation Kh-38ME modular air-to-surface missile and several heavy upgrades, including the Kh-58UShKE antiradiation missile equipped with a wideband passive radar homer, Kh-59MK2 air-launched missile with a self-contained target area recognition capability and KAB-1500LG-F-E laser beam-riding smart bomb. The corporation’s Web site features detailed enough description of these new weapons designed to fit the upgraded Generation 4++ Su-35 and MiG-35 fighters, which are undergoing trials, and a future fifth-generation fighter. Over time, they might make their way to the weapons suites of the advanced Su-34 tactical strike aircraft and its export derivative Su-32 and latest derivatives of the global market’s bestseller, the Su-30MK family, as well. Yevgeny Yerokhin reviews new Tactical Missiles Corp. weapons

HELIRUSSIA 2008 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34


Oboronprom and AgustaWestland agreed to cooperate Farther and faster: Kamov unveils Ka-92 programme Ka-90: even faster Mi-X1: concept in detail Mi-8 awaiting upgrade Agreement on Mi-38’s engine signed First Ka-62 to be built in 2009 Ka-226 gets new engine Refining the Ansat Mi-34 production to resume

CONTRACTS AND DELIVERIES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 Upgraded MiG-29s In service with Slovak Air Force



On the last day of this winter, 29 February, Slovak air base Sliac hosted the ceremony of accepting the 12 MiG-29AS/UBS fighters into the Slovak Air Force’s inventory. The fighters had been upgraded by Russian aircraft corporation MiG in Slovakia in cooperation with a local aircraft repair plant and several Western companies. During the ceremony, Slovak Defence Minister Jaroslav Baska gave the chief of the Slovak General Staff, Gen. Lubomir Bulik, a symbolic key to the renovated fighters. Following that, the upgraded MiG-29s accomplished a group demonstration flight to entertain those present, with as many as 10 fighters taking to the skies over Sliac. Our correspondents Michal Stolar and Miroslav Gyurosi attended the ceremony

MILITARY AVIATION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 Sukhois over the Mediterranean A naval task force of the Russian Navy’s Northern Fleet, led by the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier, completed a successful cruise through the Atlantic and Mediterranean early in February this year. The cruise kicked off on 5 December 2007 and was completed two months later. The Russian Navy had conducted no such large scale exercises for over a decade. The aircraft carrier battle group cruising under command of the Vice Admiral Nikolay Maximov, CINC, Northern Fleet, was given a task of showing the Russian Navy’s flag in key areas of the ocean. During the cruise, the Admiral Kuznetsov’s carrier air group, comprising nine Su-33 fighters, two Su-25UTG trainers and several Ka-27PS and Ka-29 helicopters, logged 20 flying shifts, i.e. about 400 sorties, of which more than a hundred were flown by the fighters. Throughout the cruise, Take-off’s stringer Sergey Vassilyev was on board the Admiral Kuznetsov, providing his report for our readers

COSMONAUTICS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54


Another Rockot blasts off Russian-Kazakh space cooperation getting new impetus

take-off july 2008


civil aviation | news

In June, the Aviastar-SP close corporation delivered a new Tupolev Tu-204-100V airliner (RA-64043) to the Avialinii 400 carrier operating under the brand name Red Wings. The Avistar-SP had built the airliner on order from the Ilyushin Finance Company (IFC) that signed with the Red Wings a contract for six new Tu-204s in last August. The airliner rolled out of the assembly shop and began tests in Ulyanovsk in March. At the customer’s request, it has the maximum possible seating capacity. In all, nine Tu-204 airliners and freighters in various versions, designed for Russian and foreign buyers, are in various stages of assembly by Aviastar-SP. Two more Tu-204-100Vs may be delivered to Red Wings before the end of the year, and two more Tu-204-300s are to go to Vladivostok in a few months to become the fifth and sixth planes of the type in the fleet of the Vladivostok Avia carrier. III Boeing’s delivery of its new-generation Boeing 787 Dreamliner long-haul airliners to Aeroflot is to slip behind schedule by more than two years, the carrier’s Director General, Valery Okulov, told the media in late May. According to Okulov, Boeing had notified Aeroflot that the delivery time would slip by 28 months. Aeroflot is known to have ordered 22 Boeing 787 airliners, with deliveries slated to kick off in 2014. Now, Dreamliners will start arriving to the Russian carrier in 2016 at the soonest. The slippage is due to the airliner’s development programme delay: if all goes to plan, its maiden flight will take place in the four quarter of this year at the earliest, i.e. at least 15 months later than the initial schedule implied.

Il-96-400T certificated

Andrey Fomin

in brief III

On 4 May the Aircraft Registry of the Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC) announced its approval of a number of certification programmes under way over past several months. The programmes in question include the long-awaited certification of the advanced Il-96-400T long-haul transport aircraft developed by the Ilyushin design bureau, manufactured by VASO plant and promoted by the Ilyushin Finance Company (IFC). According to an IAC spokesperson, the Aircraft Registry “has completed the certification of the main change of the standard design of the Il-96-300 aircraft – the introduction of a new model, the Il-96-400T. Type Certificate Supplement No. 22-96-300/D20 was issued on 7 April 2008”. At the same time, the Il-96-400T was issued Perceivable Noise Certificate No. SSh175-96-400T dated 14 March 2008. Thus, all formal hurdles were cleared for

the unimpeded kick-off of the Il-96-400T’s operation, with VASO being ready to deliver the first two production aircraft (RA-96101 and RA-96102) to their buyer, the IFC leasing company, for subsequent lease to air carriers. As is known, the launch customer for the Il-96-400T was the Atlant-Soyuz airline owned by the Moscow mayor’s office. The firm contract for two first aircraft of the type was signed on 27 June 2005, followed by another for three more aircraft on 29 June 2007. Keen interest in receiving Il-96-400Ts as soon as possible was shown also by the Aeroflot Cargo airline that ordered six aircraft like that from IFC on 20 June 2007, with three to be delivered in September through December this year and the rest during 2010. Recently, the carrier has asked IFC to speed up their deliveries while Atlant Soyuz decided to postpone Il-96-400T operation in its fleet

till 2010–2011. So, the first two Il-96-400Ts built, RA-96101 and RA-96102, being already painted in Atlant Soyuz colours are now to be repainted and transferred to Aeroflot Cargo. As a result, Aeroflot Cargo reported in May that IFC had confirmed a new schedule of delivery of Il-96-400Ts. “According to the official letter from the Ilyushin Finance Company received, Aeroflot Cargo shall take delivery of the first aircraft in July 2008, the second one in August 2008 and the third one in December the same year. The first aircraft will enter medium-distance domestic and international services as soon as possible. The route network for the aircraft is being adjusted given the updated delivery date”, the carrier’s press release reads. The third Il-96-400T for Aeroflot Cargo is now under construction in the assembly hall of VASO plant (see the picture).



take-off july 2008

Andrey Fomin

According to the Russian Federal Air Transport Agency, delivery of advanced Yakovlev Yak-18T Series 36 trainer aircraft to the Ulyanovsk Higher Civil Aviation School (UVAU GA) has begun under the agency’s programme on training aviation personnel and furnishing civil aviation training institutions with new aircraft. The first two aircraft were brought from Smolensk Aircraft Plant to UVAU GA on 28 March, with the school’s Yak-18T Series 36 fleet to total 20 in the coming months.

civil aviation | event

Sergey Pashkovsky

SUPERJET TAKES WING 19 May witnessed a long-awaited event: a prototype of the future Sukhoi SuperJet 100 regional passenger aircraft took off from the airfield of the Komsomolsk-on-Amur Aircraft Production Association (KnAAPO) for its maiden flight that it completed with success. Counter to sceptics’ expectations, the designers proved that the SuperJet programme, being run by a large team of Russian, US and West European companies, has been making steady progress and will – despite unavoidable slips behind schedule – meet its target – Russia building a sophisticated airliner competitive on the global market. However, the developers have to do a lot before their target has been met. They are to conduct 600 test flights under the certification programme, its approval by foreign aviation authorities, productionising the aircraft, setting up an aftersale support system and snagging new orders. Nonetheless, it is a safe bet to say even now that the aircraft has established itself, with its smooth maiden flight being another striking demonstration of that.


take-off july 2008

civil aviation | event

Andrey FOMIN Photos by Marina Lystseva

On 25 April, a Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Co. (SCAC) spokesperson announced a successful completion of the frequency tests of the SuperJet 100’s first flying prototype (95001) by the company’s division in Komsomolsk-on-Amur. Based on the results produced, TsAGI cleared the aircraft’s maiden flight and initial stage of aeroelasticity and flutter flight tests. “The frequency tests have proven the calculations made for the airframe, landing gear and fly-by-wire control system”, the SCAC spokesperson quoted TsAGI Director Sergey Chernyshov as saying. The results of the frequency tests as well as aircraft aeroelasticity calculations were submitted to the aircraft industry’s Methodological Council for it to draw conclusions relevant to the kick-off of the flight trials. Based on the outcome of the static tests, TsAGI had already issued a report on the airliner’s static strength and readiness in these terms for its first flight. The engine maker reported their readiness for flight tests, too. According to Georgy Konyukhov, NPO Saturn Deputy Director General/SaM146 Programme Director, the SaM146 No. 101 and No. 102 engines fitted to the first SuperJet 100 prototype (95001) had been tested on the wing by early May, proving all declared characteristics. Individual and parallel engine runs had included everything all the way up to takeoff mode. According to Georgy Konyukhov, the tests ironed out the last of the criticisms listed by TsAGI’s flight-test clearance report. In addition, the bulk of avionics tests, tests of avionics’ compatibility and debugging of

take-off july 2008


civil aviation | event

SuperJet 100: Milestones Summer 2000. The Sukhoi Civil Aircraft company was established as a 100-per cent subsidiary of the Sukhoi company. November 2000. Preliminary designing of the future Russian regional aircraft by Sukhoi 13 April 2001. Russian Aviation and Space Agency (Rosaviacosmos) head Yuri Koptev and Boeing President Philip Condit signed a long-term cooperation agreement in Moscow, which provided, among other things, for co-development of the advanced regional jet. Actually, the agreement kicked off the Russian Regional Jet (RRJ) programme. 20 June 2001. During the Le Bourget air show, Sukhoi, Ilyushin and Boeing signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) and a protocol on cooperation in studying the feasibility of designing, manufacturing and selling the RRJ advanced regional aircraft family. The RRJ family was supposed to consist of three baseline models - the RRJ-55, RRJ-75 and RRJ-95 as well as their extended-range (ER) and long-range (LR) versions. 13 August 2001. The Aeroflot said it was willing to buy at least 30 RRJs, having signed a MoU with Sukhoi. December 2001. A business plan for the programme was drawn up. February 2002. Snecma and NPO Saturn set up a Russo-French joint venture to co-develop the SM146 engine that was offered in April 2002 in the tender for a powerplant to fit the RRJ family. In addition to the SM146, which was later re-designated as SaM146, the PW800 (a joint offer by Pratt & Whitney Canada and the Aviadvigatel company headquartered in the Russian city of Perm), Rolls-Royce BR700 and General Electric CF34 competed in the tender. 9 July 2002. Rosaviacosmos announced a closed competition for developing an advanced Russian regional jet airliner, with requests for proposals (RfP) sent to all Russian aircraft design bureaus. 30 October 2002. Technical proposals concerning the RRJ aircraft family (RRJ-60, RRJ-75 and RRJ-95) submitted to Rosaviacosmos for the advanced Russian regional aircraft competition. In addition to the RRJ, the Tupolev Tu-414 and Myasishchev M-60-70 projects competed. 18 December 2002. The tender for a powerplant to fit the RRJ family aircraft was completed. The winner was the SM146 engine project jointly promoted by NPO Saturn and Snecma that established the PowerJet joint venture in 2004 to that end. 19 December 2002. SCAC and Boeing signed an agreement on long-term cooperation under the RRJ programme. Under the agreement, Boeing was to provide consulting support to its Russian partner on the basic aspects of the programme, e.g. marketing, programme management, design, development, work with subcontractors, production, aftersale support, etc. March 2003. Sukhoi’s division NAPO (Novosibirsk Aircraft Production Association) was appointed prime contractor to manufacture RRJ airliners. KnAAPO was appointed subcontractor to make wing panels and empennage. Further down the road, the two plants swapped their roles under the production programme, with KnAAPO becoming prime contractor in charge of construction and final assembly, while NAPO was tasked with the manufacture and aggregate assembly of three fuselage sections and empennage. 12 March 2003. The RRJ programme wins the Rosaviacosmos competition for an advanced Russian regional aircraft. The RRJ become part of the federal programme 'Russian Civil Aircraft Development in 2002-10 and through 2015'. 29 April 2003. In Paris, Sukhoi, Snecma and NPO Saturn signed a tripartite memorandum on development and production of the SM146 engine for the RRJ aircraft family. June 2003. The RRJ programme unveiled during the Le Bourget air show. 10 October 2003. The programme cleared the third ‘gate’, being ready for proposal to air carriers. Selection of principal systems subcontractors was completed. 24 November 2003. The advisory council of air carriers earmarked as potential RRJ buyers took place in Moscow for the first time. 23 January 2004. The general meeting of the 16 companies, which had won the tender for basic aircraft systems supply, took place in Moscow. 28 April 2004. IAC’s Aircraft Registry accepted the RRJ certification request. 30 April 2004. The preliminary design stage is passed, with the Preliminary Design review issued. 14 October 2004. The first stage of the RRJ mock-up commission was completed under the AP-21 rules. IAC’s Aircraft Registry issued a positive report on the digital mock-up. 28 October 2004. The RRJ programme cleared its fourth stage and was ready for the launch of aircraft manufacture. February 2005. The SCAC's design bureau began to hand digital models for long-life-cycle part manufacture over to KnAAPO. 25 March 2005. Sukhoi, on the one hand, and the Sberbank, Roseximbank, VTB and VEB banks, on the other, signed an agreement on cooperation to work out financing the RRJ development and construction. June 2005. Full-size flight deck and passenger cabin mock-ups were unveiled at Le Bourget. The RRJ airliner market was estimated at 800 units for 15–20 years, including 300–350 aircraft for Russian customers and 450–400 for export. 13 June 2005. Thales was selected as the avionics integrator. 14 June 2005. Contracts were made with Parker on developing and delivering the hydraulic system and with Liebherr on developing and delivering the life support and fly-by-wire control systems.


take-off july 2008

the software used in the first flying prototype had been completed at the aircraft systems integration bench (the so-called Electronic Bird test bench). The test pilots crew selected to fly the aircraft (SCAC’s chief test pilot Alexander Yablontsev and test pilot Leonid Chikunov) had started simulating the flight test programme, using the Electronic Bird bench. SCAC’s chief test pilot Alexander Yablontsev is a former military test pilot who has learnt to fly nearly 50 types of combat aircraft and then became a commercial airline pilot with a wealth of experience in flying up-to-date airliners, including the Boeing 737, Airbus A319 and A320 with more than 8,300 flight hours under his belt. Leonid Chikunov used to be a KnAAPO test pilot trying KnAAPO-made fighters of the

civil aviation | event

Su-27/Su-30MK family and Be-103 light amphibians. Until then, he had served with the Air Force and worked for LII as test pilot following his graduation from the Test Pilot School in 1993. At last, on 12 May the aircraft was brought for the first time to the runway of the manufacturer’s Dzyomgi airfield, and Alexander Yablontsev and Leonid Chikunov started the first taxiings that continued on the next day in the morning. “In preparation for the flight trials, the Sukhoi SuperJet 100’s first taxiings and runs have taken place. The runs gradually become faster, with speed increasing up to 162 km/h, virtually the rotation speed. The crew and test engineers praised the aircraft based on the results produced”, a SCAC spokesperson reported on 13 May.

SuperJet got airborne! Left to right:: Mikhail Pogosyan, Sukhoi company Director General, Ruben Ambartsumyan, SCAC flight test service head, Victor Subbotin, SCAC Director General, Alexander Zudilov, Sukhoi flight test service head

16 July 2005. The programme’s review was completed. 16 August 2005. The Federal Agency for Industry awarded Sukhoi an order for development of the RRJ aircraft family. Under the federal programme 'Russian Civil Aircraft Development in 2002–10 and through 2015', the governmental funding for 2005–09 was set at 7.9 billion rubles (about $280 million). 17 August 2005. The first firm order for 10 RRJ-95 worth $262 million was awarded by the Financial Leasing Company (FLC) during the MAKS 2005 air show. 18 August 2005. A MoU on joint work under the RRJ programme was signed by Sukhoi and SCAC, on the one hand, and Finmeccanica and Alenia, on the other. 7 December 2005. An Aeroflot order was snagged. Under the order, the manufacturer is to deliver 30 airliners worth in the neighbourhood of $820 million, starting from November 2008. 17 January 2006. The Voronezh Aircraft Production Association (VASO) joins the production segment of the programme as a manufacturer of composite structural components. February 2006. KnAAPO and NAPO launched aggregate assembly of the first prototypes. In all, six prototypes were laid down. 13 February 2006. The RRJ Software Development Centre was set up jointly. 11 May 2006. Work commences on obtaining EASA certification. 20 June 2006. Sukhoi and SCAC, on the one hand, and Finmeccanica and Alenia, on the other, signed an agreement on strategic cooperation under the RRJ programme. 22 June 2006. NPO Saturn in the city of Rybinsk assembled the first full-scale SaM146 engine (No. 001), which first test-bench run took place on 5 July 2006. 17 July 2006. The programme was rebranded, with the RRJ family aircraft started being promoted on the market under the Sukhoi SuperJet 100 brand name. The programme was unveiled under the new name at the Farnborough 2006 air show. December 2006. KnAAPO completed the airframe of SuperJet first protoype (95002) designed for static tests. 9 December 2006. AirUnion ordered 15 aircraft worth over 400 million, with 15 options. 19 December 2006. Dalavia ordered six airliners worth more than $170 million starting from 2008, with four options. 28 January 2007. The Polyot airline’s An-124-100 Ruslan freighter airlifted the SuperJet 100 No. 95002 prototype from Komsomolsk-on-Amur to LII’s airfield in Zhukovsky for static tests at TsAGI. 9 June 2007. A $100-million 10-year credit agreement was made with EBRD at an international economic forum in St. Petersburg. 19 June 2007. At the Le Bourget air show, Finmeccanica and its subsidiary Alenia Aeronautica, on the one hand, and UAC and Sukhoi, on the other hand, signed a general contract on strategic partnership under the SuperJet programme. The contract stipulated the Italians’ acquisition of 25 per cent plus one share of SCAC’s stock, conditions under which the Italians would participate in financing the programme (at least 25 per cent of the aggregate investment), principles for setting up the joint venture, etc. 19 June 2007. During the Le Bourget air show, Sukhoi and Italian carrier ItAli clinched a deal on the delivery of 10 SSJ100/95LR airliners worth $283 million with 10 options. July 2007. NPO Saturn made the third SaM146 prototype engine and shipped it to LII for flight tests on board the Il-76LL flying testbed. 22 August 2007. The establishment of Russo-Italian joint venture SuperJet International on 15 July 2007 was announced during the MAKS 2007 air show. The venture was to be headquartered in Venetia and handle SuperJet sales as well as aftersale support, with its stock being divided 49:51 per cent between Sukhoi and Alenia respectively. 14 September 2007. Armenian airline Armavia ordered two aircraft with two more as an option. 26 September 2007. The first SuperJet flying prototype (95001) was rolled out officially in Komsomolsk-on-Amur. 6 December 2007. In Zhukovsky, LII flew the Il-76LL testbed (76454) with the SaM146 (003/2) engine running for the first time. 20 February 2008. SCAC’s subsidiary in Komsomolsk-on-Amur ran up the SaM146 (No. 101) engine on the wing of SuperJet 95001 for the first time. 25 March 2008. NPO Saturn announced preliminary results of the SaM146 test programme. By then, all available engines had logged 1,167 hours, including 83 hours on the flying testbed, of which 46 hours were logged in the course of 25 test flights. Overall, four out of eight planned engines were made for the tests. The SuperJet's first flying prototype (95001) was equipped with engines No. 101 and 102 for flight trials. April 2008. Manufacture of assemblies for the first production aircraft began. 12 May 2008. SuperJet's fist flying prototype (95001) completed its first taxiing at KnAAPO’s airfield. 19 May 2008. SuperJet (95001) conducted its maiden flight in Komsomolsk-on-Amur, with pilot Alexander Yablontsev and co-pilot Leonid Chikunov at the controls. The mission lasted for 1 h 05 min at a maximum altitude of 1,200 m. 24 May 2008. SuperJet flew its second sortie, on which it retracted its landing gear for the first time. The sortie took more than two hours and a half and was conducted at a maximum altitude of 3,000 m. 22 June 2008. SuperJet proceeded with factory flight tests, making the third test sortie lasting 1 h 40 min. 23 June 2008. The fourth test flight lasting two hours took place. take-off july 2008


civil aviation | event Partners in SuperJet 100 development and production SCAC (Moscow; subsidiary – Prime contractor. Aircraft development. Final assembly. Flight tests. Delivery Komsomolsk-on-Amur) KnAAPO (Komsomolsk-on-Amur )

Manufacture and aggregate assembly of the F2, F3 and F4 fuselage sections, wing centre section, wing panels with high-lift devices and systems mating, fuselage mating

NAPO (Novosibirsk)

Manufacture and aggregate assembly of the F1, F5 and F6 fuselage sections and vertical and horizontal stabilisers

VASO (Voronezh)

Manufacture of composite parts (high-lift devices, elevators, access doors, hatches, etc.)

Alenia Aeronautica / Finmeccanica group

Strategic partner. Marketing and aftersale support (SuperJet International joint venture)

NPO Saturn (Rybinsk, Moscow)

Risk-sharing partner. SaM146 engine development and manufacture (PowerJet joint venture)

Snecma / Safran group

Risk-sharing partner. SaM146 engine development and manufacture (PowerJet joint venture)


Programme consultant. Consulting support in marketing, design, production, certification, quality assurance system, suppliers and aftersale support


Development and delivery of the integrated avionics suite (production in cooperation with Aviapribor Holding in Moscow) and integrated and procedural simulators


Development and delivery of the fly-by-wire systems (production in cooperation with Voskhod PMZ in Pavlovo); development and delivery of the air conditioning, automatic pressure control and anti-icing systems (production in cooperation with PKO Teploobmennik in Nizhny Novgorod)

Messier Dowty

Development and delivery of landing gear (production in cooperation with Aviaagregat in Samara)

Intertechnique / Zodiac

Development and delivery of the fuel system (production in cooperation with Abris in St. Petersburg)

B/E Aerospace

Development and delivery of the flight deck and cabin interior and oxygen system (production in cooperation with Respirator in Orekhovo-Zuyevo)

Autronics / Curtiss Wright

Fire-suppressant system development and delivery


Auxiliary power unit development and delivery


Crew seat development and delivery


Hydraulic system development and delivery

Hamilton Sundstrand / UTC

Power supply system development and delivery

Vibro-meter / Meggitt

Engine vibration pickup development and delivery


Landing gear wheel and brake development and delivery

Air Cruisers / Zodiac

Survival gear development and delivery


Lighting equipment and canopy windscreen wiper development and delivery

“It’s an excellent aircraft. The Sukhoi SuperJet 100 is as good as airliners from Airbus and Boeing”, said Alexander Yablontsev, sharing his impression of the early taxiings. To obtain clearance for the first flight, the SuperJet 100 had to pass shimmy tests and high-speed runs with nose wheel rotation. The runs had continued on 14 May, and two days later, the aircraft was shown to Russia's Industry and Trade Minister Victor Khristenko who was on a special visit to Komsomolsk-on-Amur. On that day, the SuperJet 100 completed the first rotation runs. Finally, Monday, 19 May comes. The industry’s Methodological Council had cleared the maiden flight, and the crew comprised of Alexander Yablontsev and Leonid Chikunov rolled the aircraft to the runway of the Dzyomgi airfield. KnAAPO’s 'veteran', the Su-17UM3 side number 802 two-seater, returned from the weather reconnaissance mission with a favourable forecast, and the SuperJet 100 finally took to the skies at 16 h 50 min local time (9 h 50 min Moscow time), escorted by KnAAPO’s Su-17UM3. The maiden mission lasted 1 h 05 min. In line with the mission, the aircraft climbed at 1,200 m, passed over the runway four times at different altitudes, completed a pattern and a landing approach. The SuperJet 100’s wheels touched down the tarmac at 17 h 56 min local time. The long-awaited first flight of the airliner was complete. The programme’s chiefs and the rest of the participants were elated. “Today is a special day for us, because we have literally

Three first Sukhoi SuperJet 100 flying prototypes at the assembly hall of SCAC facility in Komsomolsk-on-Amur


take-off july 2008

civil aviation | event SuperJet second flying prototype (95003) under final assembly at SCAC facility in Komsomolsk-on-Amur (on the foreground). The aircraft is slated to join flight tests later this summer. The third flying prototype (95004) seen on the background is planned to be assembled by September

take-off july 2008


civil aviation | event

SCAC chief test pilot Alexander Yablontsev (left) and Victor Khristenko, Russia's industry and trade minister, in the cockpit of the first Sukhoi SuperJet, 16 May 2008

regained our wings”, said Mikhail Pogosyan, Sukhoi’s Director General and the driving force behind the Sukhoi SuperJet 100 programme. “We have waited for this day to come for a long time. Any work is about a result, and the only real result to aircraft makers is a new aircraft of theirs in flight. Sukhoi’s first commercial aircraft has taken wing today. Thousands upon thousands of people throughout the world have shared our success for the first time throughout the history of Russian commercial aircraft making. We have built a beautiful aircraft that has paved its way to the skies today. An important difficult phase – certification tests –


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is next. I am certain we will do fine”, Mikhail Pogosyan concluded. “I am so happy I am out of words”, said Alexander Yablontsev, chief test pilot with SCAC. “Finally, after so many years, we have done something a man can be proud of. I am glad that I had a chance to be the first to take this beautiful aircraft to the skies. The plane is excellent indeed. I am quite certain that it is on a par with the best planes in the world I have had an opportunity to fly”. The advanced airliner is facing 600 certification flights. The certification programme is planned to be completed in

less than a year so that deliveries for launch customers can begin already in the first half of 2009. By the time the prototype kicked off its flight tests, the manufacture of parts for the first production aircraft had been underway, with the lead airliner entering the aggregate assembly stage in April. Time will show if the developer manages to stick to the tight schedule. The experience of major foreign aircraft manufacturers indicates that the time between the maiden flight and type certificate issuance for a radically novel airliner is usually about a year, sometimes two. For instance, the certification of the Boeing 777 required 11 months of intensive flying of nine aircraft that logged a total of 7,000 flight hours (the first aircraft was delivered to the launch customer on 7 June 1995, five days short of one year after a prototype had completed the maiden flight). As far as the A380 is concerned, its certification programme from the airliner making its maiden flight on 27 April 2005 to it receiving the FAA and EASA type certificates on 12 December 2006 lasted just over 19 months and involved 800 sorties totalling upwards of 2,600 flight hours, four flying and two static prototypes and the first two production planes. Still, the launch customer had waited more than 10 months for the first delivery. The certification of Embraer’s new model, the E170, took two years sharp (the maiden flight on 19 February 2002, US and EC type certificates on 20 February 2004, the first delivery to the launch customer in March 2004) and involved seven aircraft. Boeing’s

Sergey Pashkovsky

civil aviation | event

SuperJet 100 was escorted in its maiden flight by KnAAPO's 'veteran', Su-17UM3 twin-seater

cutting-edge Dreamliner is to wrap up its certification trials within nine months, using six prototypes to this end, with the prototypes to log up to 120 sorties a month – about 1,000 flights in total. Will the SuperJet 100’s developer manage to maintain a similarly high tempo to beat the clock in a manner unprecedented for the Russian aircraft industry? The certification test programme was devised with Boeing providing consulting support, and we would like to believe the announced deadline is not only a marketing trick to lure buyers. There are certain ground for optimism. By the time when the first SuperJet 100 started its trials, final assembly of the second flying aircraft (95003) and assembly of the airframe of a next flying prototype (95004) had been in full swing in SCAC’s assembly hall in Komsomolsk-on-Amur. Two more examples – the fourthflying prototype (95005) and the durability test prototype (95006) – are to arrive there soon. That the airliner’s developer is working in earnest is proven by the SuperJet 100 flying again just five days after its first sortie to defy sceptics. It spent more than 2.5 hours airborne

on Saturday, 24 May, flying for the first time with its landing gear retracted. Its maximum altitude on that mission equalled 3,000 m and its maximum speed was 410 km/h. We shall continue to keep an eye on Sukhoi’s future regional airliner programme. Meanwhile, Take-off would like to congratulate all the participants and those interested in the future of Russian aviation on the emergence of a new airliner and to wish the developer intensive and safe flights! Firm orders for SuperJet 100 (as of July 2008) Date

Customer Number Delivery Options

17 Aug 2005



7 Dec 2005



9 Dec 2006 19 Dec 2006





19 Jun 2007



14 Sept 2007 Total


2 73

from 2008 from Nov 2008 from 2009 from 2008 from Dec 2009 from 2008

Price, million USD*













* list prices

take-off july 2008


civil aviation | programme

Andrey FOMIN Photos by the author


AN-148 First Russian-made An-148 unveiled in Voronezh Several agreements relevant to production and sales of Russian-Ukrainian regional airliner Antonov An-148 built by the Voronezh Aircraft Production Association (VASO) were signed on 27 June during the 1st Voronezh Investment Forum. The worth of the deals clinched exceeded 40 billion rubles (about $1.7 billion). In addition, representatives of the carriers – future An-148 operators – and reporters invited to Voronezh were shown the first production An-148-100 being built in VASO’s assembly shop and earmarked to start its trials before year-end. The manufacturing plan for the coming five years provides for VASO making as many as 96 aircraft of the type. A Take-off correspondent attended the event in Voronezh.


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The basic agreement signed in Voronezh on 27 June was the one between the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) and Ilyushin Finance Company (IFC), under which the latter is to buy 34 An-148-family planes from UAC in 2008-11 to lease them to airlines further down the road, and additional 30 aircraft during 2011-12. UAC President Alexey Fyodorov and IFC Director General Alexander Rubtsov signed the agreement. According to the IFC boss, a large launch order for the type enables UAC to have VASO launch the An-148’s full-scale production. In this connection, a relevant deal between UAC and VASO is to be formalised in the coming days. The second deal closed during the forum in Voronezh is an An-148 leasing agreement signed by IFC Director General Alexander Rubtsov and Mikhail Alexeyev, Director General of the Moskovia airline. Under the agreement, Moskovia is to lease 15 An-148-100E extended-range aircraft during 2008-13, of which 10 are firm orders and five are options. The production of the An-148 in the coming years is expected to become a key line of business for VASO, because demand for the type has been growing with Russian and foreign carriers. To date, IFC, the principal buyer and lessor of Russian-built commercial aircraft, has signed several firm contracts with air companies for more than three dozen An-148s.

civil aviation | programme

Alexander Rubtsov, IFC Director General (left) and Alexey Fyodorov, UAC President signing a contract on 34 An-148 production in Voronezh

As is known, the Russian launch customer for airliners of the type is the Rossiya government-owned transport company that awarded IFC a firm order during the MAKS 2007 air show for leasing six An-148s (with six more as an option) designed to oust the carrier’s Tu-134s from its fleet. The deal followed in the wake of the August 2005 agreement for eight An-148-100Bs for the Pulkovo air company, with 10 options. Following Rossiya and Pulkovo’s merger, the agreement was not abandoned, morphing into a firm order, under which the advance payment has already been made. Another carrier ordering An-148s is Voronezh-headquartered Polyot that awarded IFC 10 firm orders in the An-148-100B version on 20 June 2007. The contract stemmed from the August 2005 agreement for leasing 15 An-148-100B passenger planes and five An-148T transports until 2010. Now, Moskovia has joined the two customers expecting soon to start taking delivery of its 10 An-148-100Es under the firm contract. The situation is a bit more complicated as far as one of the early An-148 orders announced as far back as April 2005 is concerned. As is known, the KrasAir carrier, which is now a member of the AirUnion joint stock company, ordered 10 An-148-100Bs with options for five An-148-100Es. The emergence of the AirUnion alliance and a number of changes to KrasAir’s operation has resulted in no firm

deals on the An-148 clinched since 2005 and AirUnion ordering 15 Sukhoi SuperJet 100s in December 2006. At the same time, another carrier, which used to be an AirUnion alliance member but will not join the joint stock company of the same name being established under the Russian president’s decree dated 2 May 2007, has been displaying keen interest in the aircraft for several years now. It is regional carrier Sibaviatrans headquartered in Krasnoyarsk. The company operates a fleet of four Tupolev Tu-134s, six Antonov An-24RVs and 11 Mil Mi-8 helicopters and is very interested in replacing its Tu-134 workhorses with far more efficient An-148s. Sibaviatrans Director General Victor Korol told Take-off that talks between his company and IFC on leasing An-148s had been under way for two years and Sibaviatrans could joint the An-148 operators’ club if agreement was reached on the price. According to Victor Korol, one of the principal strengths of the An-148 over the obsolete Tu-134 is higher fuel efficiency that is especially topical given the current avgas price hike. The Tu-134’s average fuel consumption per hour equals 2,700–2,800 kg/h while that of the An-148-100B stands at only 1,600 kg/h. An almost 75 per cent fuel efficiency increase, a higher cruising speed, a shorter runway required, a longer range with the same payload, sophisticated avionics suite and a lack of restriction on operating in the

EU – all favour the An-148. “I whish it were a bit less expensive”, laments Korol, who, however, still hopes to cut a mutually beneficial deal with the supplier. Mention should be made that the growing demand for the An-148 is due to a large extent to the recent resolution by the Russian-Ukrainian intergovernmental commission to cooperate in the An-148 production and resume the production of the An-124 heavylifter. The intergovernmental resolution has been based on the agreements between UAC and the Aviation of Ukraine state aircraft-making concern covering joint development of advanced aircraft and co-production, certification and use of the An-148 and An-124. In particular, the commission has adopted a Russian-Ukrainian cooperative An-148 production through 2015 and settled the matter concerning the technical documentation transfer by the developer, Antonov, to the manufacturer, VASO. In addition, UAC and VTB bank have recently come to terms on a 1.1 billion-rubles loan (over $45 million) to the plant in Voronezh, with the plant to receive another 1 billion rubles from UAC. VASO will spend the money on increasing the output and renovation of the production facilities. This enables VASO finally to launch the full-scale An-148 production under UAC’s commercial aircraft production plan, under which the company is going to make as many as 96 aircraft of the take-off july 2008


civil aviation | programme type during 2008-12. The launch of full-rate production will act like a charm upon potential customers’ doubts as to the feasibility of the programme and is expected to encourage them to award new orders. The leaders of carriers concerned as well as the media had an opportunity to see how the An-148 production programme has been pursued in VASO’s assembly shop on 27 June. There is the first production An-148-100 (c/n 40-03) there now. Its fuselage has been mated, with the mating of the wing nearing completion. Its wing high-lift devices, empennage, fillets, fairings, pylons and transparency are to be mounted during July and August, with the aircraft to be put on its landing gear and fitted with hatches and doors by the end of September. Following the final assembly, installation of all systems and painting, VASO’s first An-148-100 will be taken for flight tests in November or December, undergo relevant trials and then will be ready for delivery to the launch customer. At the same time, VASO is manufacturing other production An-148s. Assembly of the second aircraft (c/n 40-04) is to begin in September, with its tests to start in February or March 2009. It will be followed by An-148 c/n 40-06 slated to be assembled from December 2008 to May or June 2009. In all, VASO is going to have built six production-standard An-148s before 2009’s year-end – one this year and five during 2009. The Ukrainian partners have supplied some of their components so far. For instance, fuselage section F1 and F2 and the wing panels for use on the early VASO-made planes are provided by the Aviant plant in Kiev and the wing centre section by KSAMC in Kharkov. However, starting from the very first production airliner, VASO has been making fuselage section F3, the empennage, wing high-lift devices, engine nacelles and their pylons and numerous composite hatches and doors on its own. The An-148 localisation by VASO will be intensified considerably further down the line. To this end, VASO is beginning to make its own rigging in July to build the F1 and F2 fuselage sections and wing, with the rigging to be completed next year. In addition, to ramp up the outcome, VASO in September will start making the backup rigging slated for completion by mid-2010. Owing to that, VASO-built An-148s will start having locally made F1 fuselage sections starting from the sixth production aircraft, the ninth plane will receive the first locally produced F2 section and the 16th one will get the locally manufactured wing. Thus, the first all-VASO-made An-148 is to be the 16th production aircraft slated to kick off its tests in summer 2010. Starting from the 26th aircraft (estimated ready time – late 2010), VASO will


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be able to do without Ukrainian-made components in the An-148 production. At the same time, there are plans to encourage more Russian plants to take part under the An-148 programme due to VASO’s future growing commitments to other programmes, e.g. productionising of the Ilyushin Il-112V tactical transport turboprop, participation in the Il-76’s production in Russia, making composite components for Sukhoi SuperJet 100, continued production of the Il-96s, etc. Therefore, production of F1 fuselage sections, hatches and doors are to be vested with the aircraft plant in Saratov and that of the wing centre section to Aviakor in Samara. Samara-based

Aviaagregat will supply landing gear. VASO will retain production of F2 and F3 fuselage sections, wing, high-lift devices, empennage, engine nacelles, nacelle pylons and all composite parts and final assembly as well. The measures being taken to renovate the production facilities and manufacture the rigging will result in VASO building 18 An-148 airliners in 2010 (an aircraft per month in earlier 2010 and two per month later in the year). The output will achieve the expected 36 aircraft a year (three a month) in 2011 and will have remained so at least until 2015. This is to help UAC to meet its target – having VASO make 96 aircraft of the type during 2008-12

civil aviation | programme Existing cooperation for An-148 production VASO Aviant KSAMC

Prospective cooperation for An-148 production in Russia VASO Saratov plant Aviakor Aviaagregat

and 108 follow-on airliners during 2013-15 (a total of 204 An-148s in eight coming years). The developer estimates the An-148’s total market capacity until 2022 at 590 units in various variants. 270 of them (46 per cent) may be procured by Russian carriers, 110 (19 per cent) by those in other CIS countries, including Ukraine intent on carrying on the An-148’s production both independently at the Kiev-based Aviant plant and in cooperation with Russia, 150 planes (25 per cent) could be exported to Asia, Africa and the Middle East and 60 (10 per cent) to Europe and America. It is important that in addition to the baseline An-148-100B (now being

ised) designed to seat 68–73 passengers in the two-class cabin or 75 in the single-class layout (80–85 if the seats are set real close) and its An-148-100E extended-range as well as An-148-100A shorter-range versions, a whole family of airliners is to be promoted on the market while featuring a considerable design, powerplant, avionics and service systems commonality. During the unveiling of the An-148 programme in Voronezh, Antonov Designer General Dmitry Kiva for the first time went into detail on the ‘stretch’ – the An-148-200 – featuring two fuselage plugs 1.7 m long, which will increase the seating capacity to 86–89 passengers in the two-class cabin and to 92–99 seats in the single-class one. According to

Dmitry Kiva, the first An-148-200 may be furnished for testing already next year. In addition, the An-148-100ABJ (ABJ stands for Antonov Business Jet) bizjet featuring enhanced comfort and extended range is planned to be derived from the An-148-100. Depending on the layout of its cabin, the An-148-100ABJ will be able to seat 10, 14, 18, 28 or 39 passengers comfortably. On the customer’s request, the production An-148’s versions carrying different avionics suites (for example, those from Honeywell or Collins) and powered by some other powerplants (e.g. CF34-10, BR710, SaM146, etc.) may well be developed. A separate group of the An-148’s future derivatives may involve adaptation of the aircraft for cargo hauling. The simplest of the versions is the An-148C-100 with a carrying capacity of just over 10 t and a side cargo door. A more impressive derivative, which retains a high degree of commonality with the An-148-100 airliner and, as far as some of the systems are concerned, An-74 transport, is the An-148T multirole freighter with a lifting capacity of 13.5 t and a cargo ramp in the rear. Finally, a further aircraft in the line of cargo planes of the An-148 family may be the advanced An-148T-100 transport having the 20 tonne carrying capacity, a larger fuselage cross-section and a takeoff weight of 62 t (the An-148T has that of 45 t). An increase in the aircraft’s dimensions necessitates a more radical change to its design and a more efficient powerplant (fitting the aircraft with the 11,000 kgf AI-727M engines is under consideration). The An-148T and An-148T-100 may serve the base some time in the future for developing a wide range of derivatives for various applications and versions powered by other engines or carrying other avionics. However, all of the above is the matters of the future. So far, VASO in Voronezh is assembling the lead production An-148-100. Anyway, what was shown at the plant as well as new deal clinched on that day is a cause of some optimism as for the future of the An-148 programme on the Russian market. “A lot of preparations have preceded the signature of these agreements today. We are certain VASO has everything it needs – all technological, financial and economic capabilities – to launch full-rate production of the An-148. The programme is among the first endeavours sponsored and guaranteed by UAC. It is not unimportant to us that the An-148’s production in Voronezh is an element of the revival of the company that will become a key participant in several UAC’s promising programmes, once it has completed its technological upgrade. The programme enjoys the immediate support by the federal and regional authorities”, UAC President Alexey Fyodorov said in Voronezh on 27 June. take-off july 2008


industry | news

Another meeting of the board of directors of United Aircraft Corp., chaired by Deputy Prime Minister and UAC Chairman of the Board Sergey Ivanov, took place on 28 May in Moscow. In the run-up to the annual general meeting of stockholders of UAC, the board of directors approved a preliminary annual report for 2007 and annual accounts of the corporation. It was noted that UAC had started with a capital of 97 billion rubles (about $4 billion) last year, and its capitalisation had stood at 110 billion rubles ($4.5 billion) by late 2007, i.e. the cost of a share had increased by 13 per cent. UAC’s preliminary consolidated proceeds in 2007 accounted to about $100 billion rubles ($4 billion). The total profit generated by the corporation’s members was almost 8.5 billion rubles (about $350 million). The parent company’s 2007 net profit, exclusive of its subsidiaries, exceeded 121 million (around $5 million). III The annual general meeting of stockholders of the Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant (UUAP) on 27 May approved the handover of the functions of the sole executing agency of the company to the Helicopters of Russia JSC. The resolution stemmed from the policies on centralising the functions of managing Russia’s helicopter industry. Earlier this year, Helicopters of Russia has been approved as the management company for the Mil Helicopter Plant, Kamov, Vperyod company and Stupino Machinebuilding Production Company. Leonid Belykh retained his job of UUAP Director General. III A new Tupolev Tu-214 aircraft (RA-64515) made its first flight from the airfield of the Kazan Aircraft Production Association (KAPO) on 27 April. The aircraft is the Tu-214SR relay variant ordered by the administrative department of the Office of the President of the Russian Federation. The Tu-214SR became the first of six new Tu-214-family aircraft designed to operate in support of top Russian officials. According to the Kommersant daily, once the tests have been completed, the aircraft will be delivered to the customer, joining the ‘presidential’ fleet operating as part of the Rossiya air company. The Kommersant reports that the second aircraft of the type, which is being built by KAPO, could be delivered in October or November this year.


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Second Il-76TD-90 built for Azerbaijan

Felix Mayer

in brief III

Early in May, the new Ilyushin Il-76TD-90SW transport aircraft (c/n 9309) flew its maiden sortie from the factory airfield of the Tashkent Aircraft Production Corp. named after Valery Chkalov (TAPC). It was powered by PS-90A-76 engines from the Perm Engine Company. TAPC built the aircraft on order from Azeri carrier Silk Way Airlines and it is the second freighter of the type the customer has ordered. The first Il-76TD-90SW (c/n 9307), which

differs from earlier-made Il-76TDs in being powered by Perm Engine Company PS-90A-76 engines, was built in Tashkent in 2006 and delivered to the Azeri air carrier last year to be given registration number 4K-AZ100 (see the photo). Flight tests of the second Azeri aircraft are slated for completion in mid-summer, after which it will be ferried to the customer. Azerbaijan has already given it registration number 4K-AZ101. Silk Way Airlines is among the largest private

carriers in Azerbaijan. It handles charter and scheduled operations worldwide using an Il-76TD and An-12 fleet. It is noteworthy that this aircraft is the fourth Il-76 built in Tashkent over the past three years powered with advanced PS-90A-76 engines fit for services to the European Union and North America. Two more aircraft of the type, designated as Il-76TD-90VD, have been operated by Russian airline Volga-Dnepr with success.

UAC – Civil Aircraft management company established On 30 May, the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) announced that it had set up a subsidiary to productionise and sell commercial aircraft. The subsidiary is called the UAC – Civil Aircraft management company. “The 100-per cent subsidiary will allow establishing a single centre on the Russian market, responsible for development, production, sales and aftersale maintenance of commercial aircraft”, UAC’s press release reads. UAC’s production programme and the ensuing hike in production calls for pooling the production facilities, massing key resources, expediting technical upgrading programmes and changing the production partnership arrangements. In addition, the corporation needs to arrange a new commercial aircraft selling and aftersale support system

aimed at revealing and meeting the customer’s needs. In line with the resolution of UAC’s board of directors, the office of Director General of the management company shall be initially assumed by Alexey Fyodorv, UAC’s president and chairman of the board. Having set up the management company, UAC direct responsive control of a considerable increase in the civil aircraft output provided for by the UAC Development Strategy Guidelines through 2025 and civil aircraft production schedule for 2008–12 approved by the federal executive authorities. The management company takes over control of sales, including making contracts with airlines on behalf of UAC for aircraft deliveries and managing the production and aftersale support of the Tupolev Tu-204/214, Tu-334, Antonov

An-148, Ilyushin Il-96 and Il-114 aircraft families. At present, the economic performance of the manufacturers of these aircraft do not meet the requirements of UAC, and a problem facing the management company is to boost the profit margin of the existing aircraft models through slashing production costs in the first place. In accordance with UAC’s plans, investment in the technical upgrading of the commercial aircraft manufacturers through 2010 is to total about 10 billion rubles (over $400 million). The bulk of money will be carved up by the VASO and KAPO joint stock companies and Aviastar-SP close corporation. UAC – Civil Aircraft will control investment cash flows and take care the money is spent effectively under UAC’s strategy of technical upgrading.

Phazotron NIIR Corporation Open Joint Stock Company 1 Elektrichesky Pereulok, Moscow 123557 Phone: +7 495 253 56 13. Fax: +7 495 253 04 95 E竏知ail: Web: www.phazミセ

industry | news

Piotr Butowski

Stage 3 of the programme on testing the advanced Phazotron-NIIR Zhuk-AE multirole active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar kicked off in late June. The corporation’s Director General Yuri Guskov told Take-off that the radar had been again mounted on board the MiG-35’s demonstrator (aircraft number 154) earlier in the month following a series of lab tests and improvements and now has entered flight trials. The tests are aimed at gauging the general operation of the radar and its basic performance in air-to-air and air-to-surface modes on board the aircraft. As was reported by Take-off earlier, Phazotron-NIIR has been developing the Zhuk-AE active electronically scanned array radar to fit the heavily upgraded Generation 4++ MiG-35 fighter that MiG Corp. offered in the Indian Air Force-held tender for 126 advanced multirole medium fighters under the MMRCA programme (for details on the Zhuk-AE, see Take-off, February 2007, p.30). A Zhuk-AE prototype had been mounted on MiG-35 demonstrator No. 154 for the first time by early 2007 and displayed as part of the aircraft at the Aero India air show in Bangalore in February 2007, becoming Russia’s first true AESA radar on board an aircraft and causing quite a stir among Indian experts. Given the peculiarities of the nose section of MiG-35 prototype No 154, the first Zhuk-AE example had an active phased array 575 mm in diameter, which provided for 680 transmit-receive (T-R) modules 5W


take-off july 2008

Piotr Butowski

Phazotron launches third stage of AESA trials

each (a total of 170 quad-pack modules) produced by Mikran scientific production company in the city of Tomsk. At the first and second stages of the test programme, which were held last year along with a series of lab tests and improvements, the designers checked the radar’s integration and interaction with other systems onboard MiG-35 prototype and conducted the radar’s first in-flight activation with a limited number of T-R modules installed. Special attention was paid to testing the radar’s power supply and cooling systems that, along with active T-R modules proper, are the most critical systems of the AESA radar. At the same time, rig tests were being run to refine power supply

modules (that total 23 as part of the Zhuk-AE) and other systems of the cutting-edge radar. At this stage of the trials, the Zhuk-AE is so far equipped with an incomplete set of T-R modules (about a third of the number required) that will nonetheless, is quite enough to appraise the operation of the AESA radar on board an aircraft and prove its basic characteristics through an experiment. The decision was taken due to a possibility of an accidental failure of the whole set of expensive T-R modules (a T-R module costs in the neighbourhood of $1,500) due to a commonplace glitch during the trials and unavoidable slippage of the programme behind the schedule as long as new T-R modules are made (this takes some time due to technological peculiarities). During the third stage of flight tests onboard the MiG-35 demonstrator, the new Zhuk-AE radar will be fitted with the full set of T-R modules for the final development and large-scale testing as part of the fighter. According to Yuri Guskov, introduction of the final variant of the Zhuk-AE to the MiG-35 prototype may take place this summer, and, following relevant tests and refinements, the MiG-35 carrying the full-fledged Zhuk-AE AESA radar will have been provided to the Indian Air Force before

year-end for evaluation tests in line with the tender’s requirements. To speed up the flight trials of the AESA radar and the fighter as a whole, MiG Corp. is about to make several MiG-35 prototypes and order several Zhuk-AE radars from Phazotron-NIIR to fit them. Concurrently, Phazotron-NIIR Corp. is researching into further development of the AESA radar, particularly, it is going to get back to the initial variant of the radar with the 688 mm active phased array made up by 1,064 T-R modules and switch to advanced T-R modules with radiated power double that of the current ones. A special high-tech production facility is being built near the city of Tomsk to make active T-R modules to make up at least three dozen active phased-array radars a year. According to Yuri Guskov, this number is quite enough to sustain the MiG-35 programme in case the fighter comes on top in the Indian tender. It also is important that the Russian Air Force has displayed interest in the Zhuk AESA radar as well. According to Phazotron-NIIR’s Director General, satisfied with testing the Zhuk-ME on the MiG-29SMT fighter, RusAF is eyeing further upgrade of its MiG-29 fleet, with upgrades including the introduction of AESA radars from Phazotron-NIIR.

industry | news

Progress and the machine’s kick-off of the test programme are “a hallmark event for the Russian helicopter industry”. “The Ka-52 is a priority in the product range of the Russian Helicopters holding company as a machine designed for the Russian Defence Ministry”, the head of Russian Helicopters said. After its first flight, the new Ka-52 was given to Kamov for debugging. The development work on it is to be complete by September this year, when the first Ka-52 made by Progress begins its official trials. According to Progress Director General Yuri Denisenko, the company will launch full-scale production of the aircraft this year, with the government having already ordered some number of Ka-52s.


A new Kamov Ka-52 two-seat combat helicopter – the first aircraft of the type built by the Arsenyev-based Progress aircraft-making company – made its maiden flight from the factory airfield on 27 June. Until then, only the Ka-52 prototype built by Kamov’s prototype manufacture division near Moscow had been undergoing tests, having flown for the first time on 25 June 1997. The importance of the event was highlighted by the first flight of Progress’s first production Ka-52 was attended by Russian Helicopters JSC Director General Andrey Shibitov and his first deputy Igor Pshenichny, Kamov Designer General Sergey Mikheyev and other representatives of the developer. According to Andrey Shibitov, the completion of the first Ka-52 by

MiG-AT powered by RD-1700 starts trials

Alexey Mikheyev

New Ka-52 has flown

A modified MiG-AT jet trainer powered by an advanced Russian-made RD-1700 turbofan instead of one of its two organic French-made Larzac engines flew its maiden mission from the airfield of the Gromov LII institute in Zhukovsky, Moscow Region, on 27 June. The Soyuz TMKB Tushino-based design bureau designed the engine. It was built and bench-tested by the Chernyshev Moscow Machinebuilding Enterprise that funds the whole of the programme on developing and testing the new engine. Under the programme, the plant has made nine RD-1700 prototypes. The first MiG-AT trainer prototype (side number 821) was selected for the engine’s flight tests after it had completed

the test programme that commenced in March 1996 and involved two Larzac engines. Thus, the MiG-AT turns into a flying testbed for trying advanced engines (the second aircraft with side number 823 is to start testing in the near future another Russian-developed turbofan – the AL-55I under development by NPO Saturn on order from the Indian Air Force). MiG Corp.’s test pilot Oleg Antonovich, who holds the title of Hero of Russia, flew the RD-1700-powered MiG-AT on its maiden sortie. He checked the operation of the new powerplant in various modes on a 35-min. mission flown at an altitude of up to 3,000 m. According to Antonovich, the RD-1700 worked without a hitch.

MC-21 gears up for second ‘gate’

Vladimir Shcherbakov

Come August, the MC-21 short/ medium-haul airliner development programme is to pass the second ‘gate’, i.e. the stage of conceptual design, which is to be submitted to the UAC and the government for approval. Oleg Demchenko, president of Irkut Corp., the prime contractor under the MC-21 programme, announced the news at the recent ILA 2008 air show in Berlin. At the same time, a pool of subcontractors is to be determined and a tender for a powerplant to be released. It is known so far


take-off july 2008

that the MC-21’s prime contractor is the Yakovlev design bureau, a member of Irkut corp. Another of Irkut’s subsidiaries, Beriev company, is to develop the empennage and the Sukhoi company has landed a contract on designing the composite wing known as the ‘black’ wing. The ‘black’ wing is to be a feature of the MC-21, being a highest risk of the programme at the same time. “It is Risk No. 1”, stresses Demchenko, “but production of composites is needed not only under this programme. It is

needed by Russia in a wider sense. Production of composites should become a national programme in Russia unrelated to any specific aircraft development project. This should be done by the government, because even our corporation, which is quite successful, cannot take on the problem single-handedly”. Overall, composites are to make up 40 per cent of the MC-21’s structure. In September, after the MC-21 passes the second ‘gate’, Irkut plans to launch the initial designing that could be completed in 2009 with passing another – the third – gate. Then detail designing can kick off. Oleg Demchenko noted that under the business plan, the programme was to start paying off after the 200th aircraft was delivered. Actually, it might be a tad more complicated, with the main risk here being the continuous growth

of prices of metal and components. Therefore, until the layout has been approved, Irkut is making preliminary inquiries with air carriers without any commitments. However, the money allocated by the government is so far enough to make a good, quality airliner on time, Demchenko says. “I would like to emphasise that there has not been such large-scale programme financing in post-Soviet Russia yet”, Irkut’s boss remarked. Earlier, he had said that 1.6 billion rubles (over $65 million) were to be spent on the MC-21 conceptual design stage in 2008 alone. Overall, Irkut’s analysts expect that the MC-21 market capacity may equal 1,000 aircraft, of which 600 units fall on Russia where the advanced airliner is to oust the huge fleet of obsolescent avgas-guzzling Tu-154s in the first place.

Alexey Mikheyev

industry | results

Andrey FOMIN

SUKHOI BOLSTERS ITS LEADERSHIP Sukhoi is recognised as the major Russian aircraft manufacturer based on its 2007 performance

In mid-June, Russian independent analytical organisation Centre for Analysis of Strategy and Technology (CAST), a specialist in assessing the state and providing estimates of arms exports, published its annual rating of Russia’s major companies based on the military materiel output in 2007. The Sukhoi holding company was rated by CAST as the first among Russian aircraft manufacturers with its income having more than doubled last year. Sukhoi’s revenue in 2007 was 47.7 billion rubles (over $1.9 billion) – a 2.6-fold increase over 2006 and almost half of the gross aircraft sales of the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), which unites all major Russian military and commercial aircraft makers, and more than 20 per cent of the gross revenue from the whole Russian aircraft industry. Sukhoi’s net income surged by almost 12 times, totalling 4 billion rubles (over $160 million), which makes up almost a quarter of the profits of all of UAC’s subsidiaries and more than quarter of those of the domestic aircraft industry as a whole. Sukhoi made such a good production and commercial progress owing to its export success last year in the first place (about 50 Su-30MK aircraft were delivered last year) and the growing volume of work the company carried out under the State Defence Procurement Programme. According to Sukhoi’s 2007 annual report published at the official corporate web site ( on 23 June, the bulk of the sales revenues (71.3 per cent) fell on aircraft exports that generated an income of 33.9 billion rubles (over $1.35 billion). Mention should be made that the sum is almost a quarter of the gross revenue from all 2007 Russian arms exports, which earned Rosoboronexport $6.1 billion. Of the money mentioned, Sukhoi got $280 million out of services and aftersale maintenance it is authorised to provide abroad independently.


take-off july 2008

Last year’s success of Sukhoi in terms of export revenues was due to both the current implementation of the contracts clinched with Venezuela and India and the kick-off of the deliveries of aircraft to two new customers, Malaysia and Algeria. Under the former two deals, new batches of KnAAPO-built Su-30MK2 fighters have been shipped to Venezuela (in all, 12 aircraft) and 18 Su-30MKIs more went to India under the contract, whose prime contractor is Irkut Corp. In addition, Irkut delivered eight Su-30MKI kits more for licence production in India. In 2007, Malaysia and Algeria took delivery of their first

Sukhoi fighters – six Su-30MKMs and four Su-30MKAs from Irkut as well. This year, deliveries under the contracts will continue, with two of them to be completed. KnAAPO is going to ship the last batch of 24 Su-30MK2s ordered to Venezuela in the summer. 12 Su-30MKM fighters more will have been delivered from Irkutsk to Malaysia before year-end, with the fleet of the fighters of the type in RMAF’s inventory to total 18. Irkut will also keep on deliveries of complete Su-30MKIs and their assembly kits for licence production in India and will ship more Su-30MKAs to

industry | results Algeria. According to Irkut Corp. President Oleg Demchenko, the Irkutsk Aircraft Plant’s production plan for 2008 provides for making 36 Su-30MKI/MKM/MKA fighters. In addition to making the final Su-30MK2s for Venezuela, the plant in Komsomolsk-on-Amur, for its part, is to deliver three Su-30MK2s this year under a new contract made with Indonesia in August 2007, with another three Su-27SKM single-seaters to be delivered to Indonesia in 2009 under the contract. Thus, the total Sukhoi fighter output in 2008 is estimated at about 50 units. Actually, this correlates with the estimate by authoritative US analytical company Forecast International saying the market capacity for Sukhoi fighters in 2008–12 is 177 aircraft, or over 12 per cent of the global market’s segment in question that Forecast International estimated at 1,449 aircraft. According to Forecast International, Sukhoi in the near future will rank fourth in the world in terms of fighter sales, trailing only Lockheed Martin (estimated 346 aircraft, or 23.9 per cent), Eurofighter (290 units, or 20 per cent) and China’s Chengdu (228 warplanes, or 15.7 per cent) and leading even Boeing (159 fighters, or 11 per cent). However, to maintain such a sales level on the global market, the Su-30MK family’s fighters that are all the rage with customers today may turn out to not enough. Certainly, various

has been performed, and the first prototype of the Su-35 designed to succeed the Su-30MK in the next decade conducted its first flight on 19 February this year (for details see Take off, May 2008, p. 24–29). Featuring a number of considerable design improvements aimed at enhancing reliability and extending service life, the Su-35 is powered by advanced NPO Saturn 117S engines with a 16 per cent thrust increase and thrust vector control and is fitted with a cutting-edge avionics suite wrapped around the Tikhomirov-NIIP Irbis-E phased-array radar unique in terms of target acquisition range. The aircraft also mount an extensive weapons suite comprising latest air-launched weapons. Next two prototypes are being completed in Komsomolsk-on-Amur. Once their tests have been completed, KnAAPO plans to launch the Su-35 production in 2010–11. Several potential buyers have shown interest in the Su-35. According to the regional press, Venezuela and a Middle Eastern country may be launch customers. Sukhoi’s hopes of returning to the Chinese market are pegged on this aircraft as well. Overall, Sukhoi’s annual report reads, the company is going to retain its positions on the warplane market until 2015 through carrying on with Su-30MK (Su-27SKM) deliveries and launching Su-35 production. To bolster these

Fighters deliveries forecast for 2008–2012 (source: Forecast International)

Deliveries of main types of fighters in 2007


Indian delegations have paid numerous visits to Russia, specifically to the Sukhoi design bureau and KnAAPO. The latter started making the first prototypes of the PAK FA last December. Sukhoi’s representatives have gone to India a few times to visit HAL. The talks covered the basic issues of joint development and production of the fifth-generation fighter, and a finalised contract on it may be made in the near future. According to experts, the Russian-Indian fifth-generation fighter in terms of configuration and powerplant will be a derivative of the PAK FA whose prototype is slated for maiden flight in 2009. It also will use individual Indian-developed systems. The Russian-Indian next-generation warplane development programme implies both its joint financing and joint manufacture by KnAAPO and HAL. Such aircraft are expected to enter service not only with the Indian Air Force, but with the air forces of third parties as well. The second component of last year’s sales proceeds and income growth of Sukhoi is an increase in the work under the State Defence Procurement Programme. As is known, the share of Sukhoi warplanes in the tactical fleet of the Russian Air Force has exceeded 60 per cent to date, with the tactical bomber and attack aircraft fleets as well as the Russian Navy’s fighters arm operating Sukhoi aircraft only. It

export deliveries deliveries to national Air Force 50

Lockheed Martin KnAAPO 40



(F-16) 346 24%

(MiG-29/35, Gripen, Rafale, etc.) 249 17%


Eurofighter (EF2000 Typhoon) 290 20%


Boeing (F-15, F-18) 159 11%


Irkut (Su-30MKI, MKM, MKA) 10


(FC-1, J-10) 228 16%

(Su-27/30/35) 177 12%





variants of there are going to be in production under the existing and future contracts for some years more. For instance, the delivery of 28 Su-30MKIs to Algeria are planned to be complete in 2009, but the country is pondering ordering 14–18 aircraft of the type more. Irkut will have delivered its Su-30MKI assembly kits to India even longer – until 2014 at the least. However, to increase the export capabilities and land new orders for the fighters of the Sukhoi family, a heavy upgrade with the use of fifth-generation technologies is needed. Such an upgrade




positions in 2016–25, Sukhoi is working on the development of a fifth-generation fighter. PAK FA is intended to meet the requirements of the Russian Air Force in the first place. However, the fifth-generation fighter’s export version may hit the global market from the later next decade. In this connection, 18 October 2007 was a milestone, with Russia and India signing an intergovernmental agreement on joint fifth-generation fighter development and production. Sukhoi and Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) were earmarked as prime contractors. After that,

is an open secret that deliveries of new combat aircraft to the Russian Air Force virtually ceased in the early 1990s but the recently adopted State Defence Procurement Programme through 2015 provides not only for overhaul and upgrade of the existing aircraft but for a gradual switch to newly built warplanes deliveries. In 2001–03, Sukhoi began a drastic upgrade of the Su-25 attack aircraft, Su-24M bombers and Su-27 fighters. The Russian Air Force’s Combat and Conversion Training Centre (CCTC) in Lipetsk took delivery of the first take-off july 2008


two Su-25SM attack aircraft last year, with the 121st Aircraft Repair Plant in the Kubinka town upgrading Su-25s using the Sukhoi design bureau’s documentation. The Novosibirsk Aircraft Production Association (NAPO) started the so-called series upgrade of Su-24M tactical bombers in 2007 and handed six upgraded Su-24M2s to RusAF, of which four were fielded with a bomber air regiment in the Russian Far East and two with CCTC in Lipetsk. KnAAPO carried on with overhauling and upgrading RusAF’s Su-27 fighters. In 2003 and 2004–06, the company gave back five and then 24 Su-27SM fighters more to the Air Force that fielded them with CCTC and a fighter air regiment in the Russian Far East respectively. In 2007, KnAAPO launched upgrading the Su-27s of a second RusAF fighter regiment to Su-27SM standard by delivering the first eight Su-27SMs to a Guards fighter air regiment in the Primorsky Territory. These efforts shall continue this year. In addition, sizeable deliveries of warplanes to the Russian Air Force began in 2007 finally. Last year, the first two production Su-34 tactical strike aircraft, which were built by NAPO in 2006 and accepted by RusAF in the same year, were delivered to the service last year. One of them has continued the official test programme at the Defence Ministry Main Flight Test Centre (GLITs) in Akhtubinsk, while the other is being scrutinised by flying and ground crews at CCTC in Lipetsk. This aircraft with Firm orders backlog for 70-100-seat regional jets (as for early 2008) 500 450 400 350 300 250 200


150 100 155 50 73 00 Bombardier CRJ (CRJ700/705, 900,1000)

Sukhoi SuperJet (SSJ100/95)

side number 02 participated in the flypast over Red Square in Moscow during the Victory Day Parade on 9 May 2008. A five-year governmental contract on fielding production Su-34s with RusAF is in the pipeline. Russian Vice-Premier Sergey Ivanov has repeatedly said that as many as 58 such aircraft will have been delivered to RusAF until 2015, with their production to continue afterwards. The State Defence Procurement Programme also makes provision for deliveries of newly built Su-27SM2 (Su-35) fighters to RusAF after 2010–11 and for launching deliveries of first fifth-generation fighters after 2015 following the completion of the PAK FA’s official trials and KnAAPO’s launch of its full-scale production in cooperation with NAPO. “The development and production of warplanes for the Russian Defence Ministry, including the upgrade of the Su-24 and Su-27 and production of the advanced Su-34, Su-27SM2 and PAK FA, and for export (Su-32, Su-35, Su-27SKM and Su-30MK) are high on the holding company’s priority list”, reads Sukhoi’s annual report. Owing to that, the company is going to achieve one of its strategic objectives – “driving [Sukhoi’s] tactical warplane share of the global market up to 10–12 per cent”. However, consolidating the positions on Sukhoi’s traditional combat aircraft market is not the only priority of Sukhoi. Another is “the positioning of the holding company by 2015 as a centre of global commercial aircraft production in the regional aircraft class”. The task is to be fulfilled in the near

future with productionising the advanced regional airliner, the Sukhoi SuperJet 100 (SSJ100), under development in close cooperation with numerous foreign majors. Last year, the SSJ100 programme passed several key milestones – the first prototype entered and passed most of its static tests, the first flying prototype was rolled out and new firm orders were snagged, including first orders from foreign carriers. This year is expected to become a most difficult for the SSJ100 programme. The SuperJet’s first flying prototype conducted its long-awaited maiden flight on 19 May and is to begin its certification tests in July, with three more flying prototypes being completed by KnAAPO now to join it during the coming six months. The certification programme is to be wrapped up in the first half of 2009 when deliveries of the production SSJ00s may commence. To date, Sukhoi’s order book has swelled to 73 firm orders. The estimated SSJ100 output rate is to stand at 60–70 aircraft a year by 2010–11, and the airliner’s total market capacity is estimated at least at 800 aircraft for the near 20 years, of which about 500 may be exported (for more details on the state and prospects of the SuperJet 100 see a separate article in this issue). Owing to the SSJ100 programme, Sukhoi plans to “establish the holding company as a leader on the global commercial aircraft market in 2016–25”, with its share of the global regional aircraft production growing up to 18–20 per cent, Sukhoi’s annual report maintains.


Embraer E-jet (E170/175, E190/195)

Yevgeny Yerokhin

industry | results


take-off july 2008

industry | weapons


Tactical Missiles Corp. kicks off advertising campaign to promote cutting-edge guided weapons In early June, the Tactical Missiles Corp. launched a campaign to promote a number of latest air-launched guided missiles on the market. The weapons promoted include the new-generation Kh-38ME air-launched modular guided missile and several heavy upgrades, including the Kh-58UShKE antiradiation missile equipped with a wideband passive radar homer, Kh-59MK2 air-launched guided missile with a self-contained target area recognition capability and KAB-1500LG-F-E laser beam-riding smart bomb. The corporation’s Web site features detailed enough description of the weapons designed to fit the upgraded Generation 4++ Su-35 and MiG-35 fighters, which are undergoing trials, and a future fifth-generation fighter. Over time, they might make their way to the weapons suites of the advanced Su-34 tactical strike aircraft and its export derivative Su-32 and latest derivatives of the global market’s bestseller, the Su-30MK family, as well. Tactical Missiles Corp. unites most of Russian developers of guided missiles fitting fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft in service with both the Russian and foreign militaries. The corporation’s subsidiaries are the manufacturers of both all up-to-date Russian air-to-air guided missiles carried by fighters (R-73E dogfight missile, various variants of the RVV-AE and R-27 medium-range missiles and R-33E long-range missile from the Vympel design bureau) and a wide range of tactical air-to-surface guided missiles (Kh-25M short-range missile family from the corporation’s headquarters company, Kh-29L/T short-range missile from the Vympel design bureau, Kh-25MP and Kh-31P antiradiation missiles from the headquarters company and Kh-58E from Raduga design bureau, Kh-31A and Kh-35E antiship missiles


take-off july 2008

from the headquarters company and Kh-59MK from Raduga, etc.) and also a whole number of KAB-500 and KAB-1500 smart bombs with various guidance packages from Region company. The performance of the missiles is on a par with those of advanced Western designs, however, to meet market requirements better and enhance the effectiveness of upgraded and cutting-edge aircraft, Tactical Missiles Corp.’s have been for several years both developing radically novel guided weapon types and upgrading the existing missiles and guided bombs heavily. The efforts have been under way under the comprehensive air-launched weapons development programme devised by Tactical Missiles Corp. and its partners in 2006, the corporation’s President Boris Obnosov said during

the MAKS 2007 air show last August. “Under the State Armament Programme for 2007–15, which was approved in December 2006, more than 60 billion rubles (approx. $2.5 billion) will be allocated for air-launched weapon development”, said Vladislav Putilin, deputy chairman of the Military Industrial Commission under the Russian government. For instance, the funding of the research and development into air-launched weapons was to be increased by 2–2.5 times last year. Tactical Missiles Corp. unveiled several newly developed and upgraded tactical guided missiles, which are in development under the comprehensive air-launched weapon development programme, at the MAKS 2007 air show (Take-off, November 2007, p. 17). They included the new-generation Kh-38ME modular

industry | weapons

Yevgeny YEROKHIN photos by the author

tical air-to-air missile, modified Kh-58UShKE antiradiation missile and upgraded Kh-31AD antiship missile. However, no characteristics of theirs were disclosed at the time. For various reasons, some other sophisticated air-launched weapons were not displayed at MAKS 2007, though permission was granted by the presidential decree dated 21 August 2007 (see the official Web site of the Russian president at It took the developers almost a year to cut through the red tape. Finally, the corporation has managed to have advertising passports approved for several of advanced air-launched weapons. This allowed some detail on their characteristics to be published. Among the latest designs from Tactical Missiles Corp., the family of new-generation

Kh-38ME modular multirole short-range air-to-surface missiles under development by the corporation’s headquarters company will certainly be turn quite a few heads. According to the corporation’s Web site (, the weapons are designed to kill a wide range of armoured, hard and soft single and multiple ground targets and surface threats in the littorals as well. “The Kh-38ME’s beefed-up performance is ensured through developing a modular line of missiles packing various combinations of guidance systems and warheads”, Tactical Missiles Corp.’s Web site says. The model line includes four basic versions: - Kh-38MLE with a combined guidance system made up by the INS and semiactive laser homing head; - Kh-38MKE with a combined guidance system made up by the INS and satnav update capability; - Kh-38MTE with a combined guidance system made up by the INS and heat-seeker; - Kh-38MAE with a combined guidance system made up by the INS and active radar homer. Over time, the Kh-38ME variants are to oust the corporation’s existing versions of the Kh-25M and Kh-29 missiles from Russian war-

planes’ weapons suites. In terms of the dimensions, the new weapon is to occupy a niche between them, with the Kh-38ME’s launch weight to equal 520 kg (the Kh-25M’s weight hovers about 300 kg depending on the version, while the Kh-29L/T weighs 660–690 kg at launch). The Kh-38ME’s 250 kg warhead is to have various types of payload. The missile measures 4.2 m in length and 310 mm in diameter while the Kh-25ML and Kh-29L/T being 3.7 m and 3.9 m long and 275 mm and 380 mm in diameter respectively. The Kh-38ME’s maximum range will be 40 km (the Kh-25ML and Kh-29L have a range of up to 10 km and only the upgraded Kh-29TE has a range of 20–30 km). According to the Web site of Tactical Missiles Corp., fixed-wing and

rotary-wing aircraft of various types will be able to carry Kh-38ME missiles. Another Tactical Missiles Corp. novelty recently announced by the corporate Web site is the Kh-59MK2 medium-range air-to-surface missile being derived by the Raduga joint stock company from the Kh-59MK radar homing missile that is already known but is only entering full-rate production. The Kh-59MK, for its part, is itself a derivative of the production Kh-59ME tactical TV-guided air-to-ground missile. By the way, unlike the Kh-38ME, which full-scale mockup was displayed at MAKS 2007, information on the Kh-59MK2 has been published for the first time. According to the corporation’s Web site, the Kh-59MK2 can be used in any season, under the 10-3–105 lux condition and in any terrain. The weapon is designed to kill a wide range of static ground targets with known coordinates, including those with no radar, infrared and optical signatures. The missile is a fire-and-forget weapon reliant on autonomous target area identification. The low-altitude route is downloaded to the missile together with its mission. The Kh-59MK2’s navigation and self-contained control system is wrapped around the BINS strapdown inertial navigation system, NAP satnav receiver and OE-M electro-optical system. It provides a circular error probable (CEP) of 3–5 m. The Kh-59MK2 will have a launch weight of up to 900 kg (the Kh-59ME’s and Kh-59MK’s launch weight equals 930 kg), with the weight of the penetrator or cluster-type warheads to be 320 kg and 283 kg respectively. The missile is 5.7 m long, with its diameter measuring 380 mm (nose section – 420 mm) and its wingspan standing at 1.3 m. The maximum range is estimated at 285 km. The weapon can be fired within the 200–11,000 m altitude bracket with the launch platform travelling at a speed of Mach 0.5–0.9. The target aspect angle at launch may be up to ±45 deg. After launch, the Kh-59MK2 will fly at a speed of 900– 1,050 km/h and at an altitude of 50–300 m depending on the relief. The advanced Raduga Kh-58UShKE antiradiation missile, which full-scale mockup was unveiled at MAKS 2007, differs from the known Kh-58E and Kh-58UShE missiles in a sophisticated folding wing. The pop-up wing enables the weapon to be launched from both external weapon stores of the existing aircraft and internal weapons bays. According to Tactical Missiles Corp.’s Web site, in the former case, Kh-58UShKE missiles will be attached to AKU-58 catapult launchers and in the latter case to UVKU-50 ones. The Kh-58UShKE carries a wideband passive radar homing head operating in the A, A’, B, B’ and C bands and a navigation/autonomous guidance system based on the BINS take-off july 2008


industry | weapons Basic characteristics of advanced air-to-surface missiles from Tactical Missiles Corp. Type Kh-38ME Kh-59MK2 Kh-58UShKE Launch 520 900 650 weight, kg Warhead 250 320/283 149 weight, kg Maximum 40 285 245 range, km Length, m 4.2 5.7 4.19 Diameter, 310 380/420 380 mm Wing … 1.3 0.8/0.4 span, m


INS +laser, satnav, IR, active radar homing

INS + satnav + optronic

INS +passive radar homing

its latest products, and Tactical Missiles Corp. published data on the KAB-1500LG-F-E at its Web site. The 1,525 kg bomb with the 1,170 kg HE warhead (HE fill weighs 440 kg) is reported to be designed for eliminating stationary surface pinpoint targets (reinforced-concrete shelters, railway and motorway bridges, military and industrial installations, ships, ammunition dumps, rail junctions, etc.). Tactical aircraft – fighter-bombers and attack aircraft carrying laser target designators – can use it round the clock. The weapon has an impact fuse with three degrees of delayed action. The CEP is 4–7 m. The bomb is 4.28 m long and 580 mm in diameter with the 0.85 m and 1.3-m wing span in the folded-wing and extended-wing configurations respectively.

The KAB-1500LG-F-E is released from an altitude ranging from 1 km to 8 km at the carrier’s speed from 550 to 1,100 km/h. Tactical Missiles Corp. has launched a campaign to promote its latest weapons. For instance, at the recent ILA 2008 air show in Berlin, Russian aircraft corporation MiG included many advanced weapons systems, which had not been published before, into the weapons suite of the latest heavily upgraded version of MiG-29 family fighters it offers, the MiG-35. In addition to the above Kh-38ME (MLE/MKE/MTE/MAE) and Kh-59MK2 missiles, which data have been shown by Tactical Missiles Corp.’s Web site, the MiG-35 booklet circulated at ILA 2008 mentioned some other latest air-to-surface and air-to-air weapons. Probably, more detail on these weapons is to be expected to be given soon.

strapdown navigation system. The missile is designed to eliminate ground radars operating in pulse radiation mode in the 1.2–11GHz band and in continuous radiation mode in the A band. The missile can be launched at both pre-programmed and pop-up radar targets. The developer estimates the probability of the missile hitting within a circle with the 20 m radius, within which the target sits in the centre, at 0.8 at least. Like the Kh-58E and Kh-58UShE variants, the Kh-58UShKE has a launch weight of 650 kg, with its HE warhead weighing 149 kg. The weapon is 4.19 m in length and 380 mm in diameter, and its wing span measures 0.8 m (the wing of the Kh-58E and Kh-58UShE with organic delta wings spans 1.17 m). In case of internal carriage, the lateral dimension of the missile with the wings and empennage folded drop to 0.4x0.4 m. When launched from underwing hardpoints at an altitude 200–20,000 m, the missile has a maximum range of 76–245 km (the range of the previous versions is within 200 km). The minimum range in case of the 200 m altitude launch is 10–12 km, with the aircraft flying as fast as Mach 1.5 and the target aspect angle at launch being up to ±15 deg. The solid-propellant motor accelerates the weapon to 4,200 km/h, or almost 1,200 m/s. Tactical Missiles Corp. also provided information on an advanced 1,500 kg guided bomb, the KAB-1500LG-F-E with the gyro-stabilised laser homing head (its predecessor, the KAB-1500L, mounts the so-called ‘feathering’ gimballed laser homer). A full-scale mockup of a smart bomb fitted with such a homer, the 500 kg KAB-500LG, was unveiled as far back as in August 2003 during the MAKS 2003 air show. However, the lack of permits for displaying bombs with such guidance systems prevented further exhibiting of such weapons. Recently, their developer Region has managed to obtain an advertising passport for several of


take-off july 2008

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industry | company


Vyacheslav BOGUSLAYEV Chairman of the Board of Directors, Motor Sich JSC Motor Sich JSC is one of the world leaders in development, manufacture, testing, in-service support and overhauling of engines for various-purpose airplanes and helicopters operated in more than 120 countries of the world. The world-famous companies, such as Antonov ANTK, Ilyushin Aviation Complex JSC, Beriev TANTK JSC, Tupolev JSC, Yakovlev Design Bureau, Kamov JSC, Mil MVZ JSC, Aero Vodochody of Czech Republic and Hongdu of China are among the main consumers of our products. The biggest deliveries are channelled to Russia, India, China, and Algeria. Systematic

efforts aimed at expanding our sales markets in Asia and Latin America resulted in the increased amount of exported products from Motor Sich JSC. Motor Sich JSC is the biggest multi-industry science-intensive company in the field of development and manufacture of up-to-date gas-turbine engines and power-generating plants possessing all required Ukrainian and international certificates and certified quality of production facilities. The company continuously improves the system of quality and has been granted certificates of the IAC Aviation Register and State department of aviation transport of Ukraine. All company’s products offered to the international market feature high functional characteristics and are manufactured on the certified production basis. The quality system of Motor Sich JSC has been certified by transnational company Bureau Veritas Certification for compliance with the requirements of International standard ISO 9001:2000 relating to production, repair and maintenance of aeroengines, gas-turbine drives and designing of gas-turbine power-generation stations. The manufacture of up-to-date aeroengines as well as overhaul of all engines produced earlier are certified by IAC Aviation Register and D-436-148 State department of aviation transport of Ukraine. Motor Sich JSC has been also recognized by IAC Aviation Register as a Development Agency of aeroengines for civil aircraft. Motor Sich JSC is a unique enterprise that accummulated the cutting-edge aviation technologies, high-efficiency equipment, intellectual and




take-off july 2008

production potential. In different historical periods the company mastered gradually series production of engines for the needs of domestic aviation: beginning from the first aircraft piston engines to gas-turbine engines for the world-biggest Mi-26 helicopters and An-124 Ruslan and An-225 Mriya airplanes. commercial

At present the major task of the company is to manufacture engines for aircraft and industrial plants competitive with the most up-to-date products of the world industry leaders. At this stage we make preparations for the quantity production of aircraft engines such as D-27, AI-222-25, AI-25TLSh, AI-450, D-36 Series 4A, D-436-148, AI-450-MS for An-70, Yak-130, An-74TK-300, An-148 airplanes and refurbishment of Mi-2 and L-39 being operated now. The engines of D-436 family produced by Motor Sich JSC are the most up-to-date engines in this class in the CIS countries. They meet the most stringent standard requirements with regard to cost-efficiency, emissions and noise. Productionizing of the D-436-148 turbofan is one of the priority directions of the company activity. This modification based on the best design solutions makes at present the core of our promising program. The D-436-148 is a unique engine equipped with a full-authority electronic digital control system that helps to optimise its operation at all phases of flight, increase reliability, decrease fuel burn and maintenance expenses. Originally it was designed for installation in the Russian-Ukrainian airplane An-148 and according to experts opinion it has good prospects for application in the other planes. The up-to-date two-shaft AI-450-MS APU with equivalent power of 222 kW is based around the AI-450 gas generator. All its parts and units were developed by Motor Sich designers with the use of up-to-date CAD methods. The availability of electronic mockup of this unit enabled to perform its assembly and installation in the engine nacelle without any rework. Use of AI-450-MS APU enables to decrease operating time of propulsion engines, improve safety of servicing and decrease expenses for auxiliary on-ground equipment and maintenance personnel. The engine meets all up-to-date technical requirements and its digital control system provides faults control, diagnostics, indication and operating time recording. The AI-222 engines arouse intense interest in our challenging programme for trainers and combat trainers used both for training flying cadets and military pilots. The new turbofan AI-222-25 was optimised for operation in trainers, combat trainers and light combat trainers and meets stringent requirements for this class of engines. The use of AI-222-25 engines will enable to create aircraft with high level of competitive power. On customer’s demand the AI-222-25 may

industry | company be completed with nozzles with thrust vector control and its modifications with afterburners may be built. The effective use of helicopters is impossible without up-to-date helicopter engine. Rotary-wing aircraft are in need of improved powerplants and engines with optimum power enabling to increase considerably flight range and speed, payload, power-to-weight ratio and cost-efficiency. Motor Sich JSC produces a wide range of helicopter engines. The characteristics of a new propulsion helicopter engine TV3-117VMA-SBM1V which creation and certification was completed in September 2007, on the eve of Motor Sich centenary, comply with the latest technical requirements (AP-33 air regulations) and the engine received type certificate No.CT 267-AMD issued by IAC Aviation Register. It is based on certified serial turboshaft engine TV3-117VMA-SBM1 and employs its gas generator and free turbine. The engine incorporates the best design features aimed at improvement of parameters and providing specified service life of prototype engines. So the use of compressor turbine with TV3-117VMA-SBM1 allowed to exclude covering discs with limited service life employed in the TV3-117. The TV3-117VMA-SBM1V has the same weight, overall characteristics and mounting dimensions as the engines operated on board of Mil and Kamov helicopters. The earlier produced TV3-117 engines may be reworked into design version of TV3-117VMA-SBM1V during overhaul at Motor Sich. Engine ACS differs from that used in helicopters slightly and practically no rework of helicopter airborne systems is required. Depending on helicopter type on which the engine is mounted the ACS enables to set takeoff power within Yak-130


2000 to 2500 hp range but emergency power makes 2800 for all ACS settings. Higher performance on maintaining takeoff power at different ambient temperature and starting altitude, i.e. stable engine start up to 6000 m and stable operation at 9000 m altitude, provided for in the TV3-117VMA-SBM1V design were investigated and confirmed in the course of a number of tests in high-altitude chamber. Presently the first overhaul period established for the TV3-117VMA-SBM1V engine makes 3,000 hours and total service life – 9,000 hours. It is being planned to increase subsequently the first overhaul period and TBO up to 4,000 hours and total service life up to 12,000 hours. Thus installation of TV3-117VMA-SBM1V engines with minor expenses allows to significantly improve characteristics of new and earlier rotary-wing aircraft especially in hot and mountainous regions, to improve combat load as well as to provide high flight safety should one engine gets damaged in combat. Since 1982 Motor Sich has been producing the most powerful helicopter engine in the world D-136 of modular design. The engine has been developed by Ivchenko-Progress SE around the D-36 engine. This engine makes the Mi-26 and Mi-26T helicopters the best in the world with regard to lifting capacity and fuel consumption per one tonne-kilometre of transported cargo. Today 235 helicopters powered with 470 engines performing different functions are in operation. Reliability and gradual modernisation of the D-136 make possible soft landing of the heaviest helicopter even in case of one engine failure. The Mi-26 is one of the best helicopters operated by Emergency Ministries in several CIS countries. Modular design enables to replace faulty modules directly on site by the specialists of Motor Sich Product Support Department. One of priority lines of Motor Sich activities is production of industrial on-ground installations. Great experience of the company in gas-turbine machine-building allowed to diversify production and strengthen its position in energy equipment market due to manucommercial



facture of gas-turbine drives and gas-turbine power stations. Throughout a century the production activities of the company were aimed at development and improvement of aviation equipment, creation of smoothly running servicing system for the products supplied to the customers, which allow to provide competitive servicing of engines practically in any point worldwide. In order to ensure adequate and economically efficient operation of dozens of thousands of engines, the company established a network of post-warranty maintenance centres and regional offices spread all over the world. The qualification of specialists and modern equipment ensure high level of rendered services ranging from diagnostics to repair directly on site observing the most stringent requirements to the quality of work. We perform light and major overhaul of our articles restoring expensive parts and units with the use of advanced processes. Participation in air shows and exhibitions being the site for demonstration of export potential and negotiations has always been an event of great importance for us. Farnborough 2008 international exhibition is a world show of technical achievements, powerful promotion of new equipment and the place for exchanging scientific and technical information. Participation in this show assists in making new contacts, development of joint projects, meetings with customers, opens the way for entrance to markets. We welcome our traditional partners and are always ready to meet new partners interested in joint work and mutually beneficial cooperation. Motor Sich JSC, 15, 8th of March Str. Zaporozhye 69068, Ukraine Tel.: +38 (061) 720-47-77 Fax.: +38 (061) 720-50-00 e-mail: take-off july 2008


HELIRUSSIA 2008 | news

in brief

Oboronprom and AgustaWestland agreed to cooperate

Yevgeny Yerokhin


Among the novelties of HeliRussia 2008, a conceptual model of the future rotorcraft unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) being developed by Mil and dubbed MRVK (Multirole Robotic Helicopter Complex) was noted by experts. The MRVK concept provides for implementing novel ideas of Mil’s designers on boosting helicopters’ speed by means of the attached flow around the main rotor blades and an additional propeller – a shrouded pusher-type propeller in the fuselage tail section. The same configuration is planned to be used in the future Mil Mi-X1 high-speed passenger helicopter. The MRVK programme is in the early stages, for which reason Mil keeps mum on the specifications. However, as was learnt during the show, the machine is now being viewed in the 3,000 kg takeoff weight class fitted with the VK-800 engine.


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The HeliRussia 2008 helicopter show, which took place in Moscow from 15 to 17 May, brought together all major Russian rotorcraft developers, manufacturers and operators as well as demonstrated its international nature graphically. A good case in point is the joint news conference held by Oboronprom – the founder of the Russian Helicopters joint stock company – and European company AgustaWestland on the first day of the show, during which the two announced the launch of large-scale long-term cooperation in helicopter production. The cooperation is based on the memorandum of understanding signed last summer and aimed at deepening the relations between the two companies in various fields of helicopter business. Oboronprom and AgustaWestland agreed to deepen their cooperation gradually. The first step along this path has been the signature this May of a long-term contract and a five-year distribu-

tion agreement by AgustaWestland, Oboronprom and Lloyd’s Investments Corp. Their agreement makes provision for the Russian company to buy AgustaWestland’s helicopter to the tune of about 450 million euros until 2012. Already this year, 10 machines worth about 65 million euros are to be sold on the Russian market – two single-engine AW119Ke helicopters, two AW109 Powers, four lightweight twin-engine Grands and two medium two-engined AW139s. Under the agreement, AgustaWestland’s helicopters are to be marketed in Russia and most of the CIS member countries for use in the VIP carrier role, in support of oil and gas producing companies and in emergency and rescue operations. The second stage of cooperation will be when Oboronprom and AgustaWestland set up several maintenance centres in Russia to service AgustaWestland-made helicopters. At the third stage of the growing cooperation, there may be launching

Andrey Fomin

The future Mil Mi-54 medium-weight transport helicopter designed to carry 12 passengers or 1,500 kg of cargo may complete its maiden flight before 2011, with its certification tests slated for completion in 2012, Nikolay Pavlenko, chief designer of the Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant, said at the HeliRussia 2008 air show. The Russian Helicopters joint stock company has included the Mi-54 in its future model pool and is going to fit it with two Klimov VK-800 turboshaft engines rated at 800 hp each. The helicopter’s maximum takeoff weight is 4,500 kg and the maximum lifting capacity stands at 1,700 kg. The machine will have a range of 600 km, a cruising speed of 260 km/h (maximum speed – 280 km/h), a static ceiling of 2,500 m and a service ceiling of at least 5,500 m.

Andrey Fomin

Andrey Fomin


joint production of AgustaWestland machines in Russia to be sold on the domestic and international markets. Now, experts with both companies are working hard to implement the programme and select a location in the European part of Russia to build the production facility. Helicopters made in Russia will be sold both in the country and the CIS and – through AgustaWestland – throughout the world. AgustaWestland CEO Giuseppe Orsi said in this connection: “We are satisfied with the beginning of our comprehensive cooperation with Oboronprom, which we expect will evolve and facilitate the development of the high-tech branches of the economies of our countries. We regard Russia and other CIS countries as a rather important region for our business to thrive – a region featuring a considerable potential of further growth. To date, we have received orders from Russian operators for 14 VIP AgustaWestland helicopters, including five AW119Ke, five AW109 Power and four Grand machines. Oboronprom Director General Andrey Reus echoes him: “Our multifaceted cooperation with AgustaWestland means the Russian helicopter makers joining the international aviation cooperation system, feasibility of sharing expertise and technologies in helicopter manufacture and familiarisation with stringent maintenance standards. It also facilitates the promotion of Russian-made helicopters on the global market”.















OBORONPROM United Industrial Corporation OJSC 27, Stromynka str., Moscow, 107076, Russia e-mail:

HELIRUSSIA 2008 | news

Yevgeny Yerokhin

Development of the Ka-92 high-speed helicopter is a priority programme pursued by the Kamov company, a division of the Russian Helicopters holding company, said Kamov Designer General Sergey Mikheyev at the HeliRussia air show. “To open up the Arctic, including new oil-producing areas, an effective transport system will be required, with helicopters featuring enhanced range and speed to become its integral part”, he said while outlining advanced programmes of his company during the show. Mikheyev explained that the maximum speed of up-to-date transport helicopters was usually within 300 km/h and the range was 700–800 km. At the same time, effective operation of remote oil platforms, e.g. those in the Shtokman field situated more than 600 km from the nearest airfield in Murmansk, necessitates a machine with an unrefuelled range of 1,200–1,400 km at least. This is due to the need of returning to base if landing on an oil platform is impossible for some reason. In addition, delivery of avgas to the oil field is problematic enough; therefore, the chopper will have to haul its own fuel for the return leg. However, the Shtokman field is only one of particular cases. There are many places in Russia’s Far North, Siberia


take-off july 2008

Andrey Fomin

Farther and faster: Kamov unveils Ka-92 programme

and Far East, which can be accessed only by helicopter, but nearest airfields and, hence, fuel are about 600–700 km away. Present-day helicopters cover such distances in at least 2.5–3 h, as a rule. To reduce the time, the future helicopter will need a higher cruising speed, which is hard to get, because the classic helicopter has virtually exhausted its speed growth potential. Unorthodox technical solutions are required to resolve the problem. In this connection, Kamov has been developing a 30-seat helicopter dubbed Ka-92. Its designers expect it to have the 1,400-km unrefuelled

range and a maximum speed of up to 450 km/h. According to Sergey Mikheyev, a Ka-92 carrying 30 oilmen would be able to hop from Murmansk to oil platforms in the Shtokman oil field 635 km away in only an hour and a half, cruising at 420 km/h. In case weather conditions prevent it from landing on an oil platform, the machine would be able to return to base without refuelling. According to Mikheyev, the Ka-92 is “a promising aerial means of transportation with a range of 1,400 km, capable of landing anywhere within the 700 km radius without infrastructure whatsoever,

having taken off from Tixi, Magadan or Yakutsk”. The Ka-92 concept was unveiled at the MAKS 2007 air show last August, when its model was given to Vladimir Putin (Take-off, November 2007, p. 15). Since then, the appearance of the aircraft has changed, with the Ka-92 model displayed at HeliRussia 2008 featuring even more streamlines. However, the gist of the concept persists – Kamov’s typical coaxial main rotor (this time, however, a ‘high-speed’ version with rigid, rather short blades), a pusher-type coaxial rotor behind the tail unit to ensure a higher forward speed, a powerplant made up of two turboshaft engines, retractable landing gear, etc. The Ka-92’s designers estimate its takeoff weight at 15 t. Two of 2,400 hp Klimov VK-2500 engines rated at 2,700 hp each in emergency power mode are mulled over as its powerplant. However, in the course of productionising, the machine may switch to the more powerful and efficient Klimov VK-3000 turboshaft engine (a TV7-117V derivative) rated at 2,800 hp on takeoff (up to 3,750 hp in emergency power mode). According to Kamov’s estimates, a Ka-92 prototype could be made by 2015. By the time, individual solutions of the high-speed helicopter concept are to have been refined on flying testbeds to be derived from today’s production machines.

HELIRUSSIA 2008 | news

Sergey Mikheyev would wink playfully: “We are not disclosing all of our secrets yet”. OK, let it be a secret for a while. Anyway, if a project

similar to the Ka-90 is ever embodied in metal, it will happen very far down the road. Nonetheless, Sergey Mikheyev says: “A speed increase for helicopters is a global trend, and we should follow the trend, with maintaining the momentum of research and development work being very important. This calls for efforts, money and pooling the efforts by the whole of the Russian helicopter industry”. It was announced during the show that no matter how futuristic the Ka-90 model looked, research into high-speed helicopters had been covered by the advanced research programme of the Russian Helicopters company and, hence, has a chance for implementation. Some time in the future.

Mi-X1: concept in detail

machine’s main rotor in hover and at low-speed. At present, the Mi-X1 programme provides for developing a passenger/ transport helicopter with a normal takeoff weight of 10 t (maximum takeoff weight – 12 t), powered by a pair of VK-2500 engines and capable of hauling 20–25 passengers or 3,5–4 t of cargo. Its cruising speed is estimated at 475 km/h and its maximum speed – at 520 km/h.

The Mi-X1 will have a static ceiling of 3,500 km and a range of 1,550 km. Nikolay Pavlenko said the Mi-X1 programme first provides for an extensive research stage followed by experimental testing of advanced technical solutions on flying testbeds to be followed by launching a prototype machine. According to Pavlenko, the Mi-X1’s maiden flight may take place in 2014–15 at the earliest.

At the HeliRussia 2008 show, Mil went into some details on its concept of the Mi-X1 high-speed helicopter under development since last year. As is known, the development of the helicopter was unveiled during the celebration of an anniversary of the Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant in December 2007 (Take-off, May 2008, p. 31). At HeliRussia 2008, Mil Chief Designer Nikolay Pavlenko delivered a rather detailed report on the programme, saying, “In line with the conceptual design of the Mi-X1 high-speed helicopter, it became clear that cutting-edge technologies on the main rotor and other systems and units were needed”. A main technical problem to be resolved under the Mi-X1 programme is the development and testing of a stall local elimination system (SLES). According to Mil’s designers, introduction of such

a system, coupled with a pusher-type propeller as a source of extra propulsion and enhanced helicopter aerodynamics, will furnish the Mi-X1 with a speed of at least 500 km/h, and the thrust vector-controlled pusher propeller in the slipstream will offset the torque reaction from the single-rotor

Yevgeny Yerokhin

the mast onto the upper surface of the fuselage and lift being generated, probably, by the aeroplane-type wing. However, the model displayed at HeliRussia 2008 lacked the wing for some reason. There were only small trapezoid surfaces painted in grey on the sides the fuselage, which could be taken for the folded wing panels. However, their surface looked obviously too small for an aircraft intended to fly at such a speed. During the show, we could not find out what would keep the Ka-90 airborne in the aeroplane configuration. Kamov’s Designer General

Yevgeny Yerokhin

A most interesting exhibit displayed by the Kamov company at the stand of the Russian Helicopters joint stock company during the HeliRussia 2008 air show was a conceptual model of an aircraft of the future – the Ka-90 superhigh-speed helicopter able to fly at 700 km/h. The programme provides for the Ka-90 to take off as helicopters do, i.e. by means of the main rotor’s lift. With the machine transitioning to level flight and its horizontal speed increasing, a turbojet mounted in the fuselage tail section kicks in, with the main rotor folding behind

Andrey Fomin

Ka-90: even faster

take-off july 2008


HELIRUSSIA 2008 | news

Mi-8 awaiting upgrade While retaining the basic weight characteristics of the current Mi-8MTV/AMT (Mi-171, Mi-172), the upgraded Mi-8M will fly at least 30 km/h faster and almost 200 km farther than now. For this purpose, designers are going to equip it with advanced Klimov VK-2500 engines, composite main rotor blades, X-shaped tail rotor, upgraded main reduction gearbox and powertrain, enhance the quality of the external fuselage surface and improve the cargo ramp in the rear. Owing to these improvements, Mil expects to increase the Mi-8M’s cruising speed from the current 230 km/h

improvements are slated for introduction within several years. A next stage of upgrading the Mi-8 provides for introducing an even greater change to the design. At the stage, the helicopter will be given a new rotor system sporting composite rotor blades with sophisticated profiles, torsion-box integral fuel tanks beneath the floor of the cabin and landing gear retracting into the side sponsons. The enhancements will increase the Mi-8M’s cruising speed by 30 km/h more – to 290 km/h. According to the developer, the heavily upgraded Mi-8M can emerge in about six years.

Yevgeny Yerokhin

As a most popular and widespread transport helicopter in the world, the Mil Mi-8, may remain in demand on the global market for at least 10–15 years to come, but only if it is upgraded to enhance its performance and transport efficiency, the managers of the Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant believe. The company has devised another modernisation programme for the popular machine that conducted its maiden flight 47 years ago. Some details on the new upgrade programme were unveiled at the HeliRussia 2008 show.

to 260 km/h and maximum speed from 250 km/h to 280 km/h. Its range on internal fuel may total 900 km, increasing to 1,200 km with the use of extra fuel tanks. In addition, the machine will have its service life extended and cabin noise reduced, with its crew dropping from three to two. The Mi-8M is supposed to carry an advanced integral flight navigation system with digital data displays, the sophisticated PKV-171 autopilot and more efficient dust filters, with military versions of the aircraft to feature cutting-edge infrared signature suppressors, composite armour-protected cockpit, an up-to-date defence aids suite, etc. The

Agreement on Mi-38’s engine signed On 15 May, the first day of the HeliRussia 2008 show, the Russian Helicopters joint stock company, UMPO Ufa-based JSC and CIAM (Central Institute of Aviation Motors), on the one hand, and the Pratt & Whitney Canada company, on the other, signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperating in the development and production of the PW127T/S engine to power the advanced Mi-38 medium-weight transport helicopter with a lifting capacity of 5 t (7 t if cargo is slung externally). The engine’s takeoff power is 2,500 hp (3,750 hp in emergency power mode). The Russians, who signed the memorandum, were Russian Helicopters Director General Andrey Shibitov, CIAM Chief Vladimir Skibin and UMPO


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Director General Alexander Artyukhov, with Joseph Torchetti, vice-president, international business development, Pratt & Whitney Canada, signing the MoU for the Canadian company. Under the agreement, Pratt & Whitney Canada is to complete the development of a turboshaft variant of the PW127 turboprop engine intended to power the Mi-38 helicopter, have it certified and launch deliveries of component kits to Russia for final assembly to be handled by UMPO, in the city of Ufa. UMPO also is going to run rig tests of all engines assembled and, further down the line, manufacture individual parts and units setting the PW127T/S turboshaft from the aeroplane-intended PW127 turboprop powering, among

other things, the Ilyushin Il-114-100. The PW127T/S licence assembly in Ufa and technical support will be supervised by the Pratt & Whitney Rus company – a St. Petersburg-based affiliate of Pratt & Whitney Canada. The cooperation between Russian helicopter makers and the Canadian engine manufacturers under the Mi-38 programme dates back to 1997. In the early stages, Pratt & Whitney Canada developed and shipped two prototype PW127/5 engines that were fitted to the first Mi-38 prototype undergoing flight tests since December 2003. During the Mi-38 programme presentation at HeliRussia 2008, Mil’s Chief Designer Georgy Sinelshchikov said the helicopter had completed its preliminary tests

involving the first prototype (OP1). By 15 December 2007, the OP1 had logged over 100 test missions, achieving a flight speed of 320 km/h and reaching a service ceiling of over 8,300 m. At present, Mil is completing the second Mi-38 prototype (OP2) and building the third one (OP3) slated for certification tests. Both aircraft are to be equipped with PW127T/S engines. The OP2 is to begin its trials by this year-end. The PW127T/S engine and Mi-38 helicopter are planned for certification in 2011, with the deliveries of the first production machines tentatively scheduled for 2012. According to Russian Helicopters Director General Andrey Shibitov, there have been advance orders from several Russian carriers for 75 Mi-38s.

HELIRUSSIA 2008 | news

Yevgeny Yerokhin

First Ka-62 to be built in 2009

Andrey Fomin

The Kamov company, which is a member of the Russian Helicopters joint stock company, will in the coming years focus on developing the Ka-62 medium-weight cargo/passenger helicopter with a takeoff weight of 6.5 t Kamov’s Chief Designer Alexander Vagin voiced the news during the first HeliRussia show. Mr. Vagin emphasised that despite the considerable outwards similarity to the Ka-60 military transport helicopter, of which two prototypes had been built, the Ka-62 is a new programme due to radically different safety, reliability and environmental friendliness requirements to civil helicopters. The Ka-62 is part of the advanced helicopter development programme of the Russian Helicopters joint stock company. The Ka-62 programme provides for developing a cargo/passenger machine able to carry 2 t of cargo in

the cabin or 2.7 t slung externally and being on a par with or even superior in some respects to the best foreign machines in the class – the Sikorsky S-76C++ and AgustaWestland AW139. For instance, the Russian helicopter will one-up them in terms of the external cargo lifting capacity, cabin volume, endurance and static ceiling, with the Ka-62’s baseline model to be 35–40 per cent cheaper than its Western rivals. The basic requirements to the Ka-62 are certification under both the latest Russian airworthiness rules AP-29, on the one hand, and FAR-29 and JAR-29, on the other, ability to continue to take off with the maximum takeoff weight and one of the engines down, structural crashworthiness including that of the crew and passenger seats, and safe landing after a failure of the tail-rotor shafting

or tail rotor with the run at a speed of 80 km/h. The helicopter will be operated on condition, and its assigned life will total 18,000 flight hours or 25 years. The Ka-62 will carry 12–14 passengers at a distance of 500–700 km in any weather, including under icing conditions and above water, and up to 2 t of cargo inside the cabin or on the external sling. In the latter case, its lifting capacity can be increased to 2.7 t. The company also ponders a search-and-rescue variant fitted with a rescue hoist with a lifting capacity of 300 kg as well as extra night vision gear, radar, a searchlight, etc. At HeliRussia 2008, an announcement was made that the future of the Ka-62 would depend considerably on fitting the aircraft with Turbomeca Ardiden 3G engines rated at 1,640 hp on takeoff (emergency power is 1,870 hp for 2.5 min). Kamov and Turbomeca signed the agreement during the show, at which the French demonstrated a mock-up of the engine (see the picture below). The Ardiden has a takeoff specific fuel consumption of 0.215 g/(hp•h) and a time between overhaul of 3,200 h. The Ka-62’s powerplant will be able to start up in the -40° Celsius minimum ambient temperature (up to –50° at restart) and operate in a stable manner in an ambient temperature of up to +50° Celsius. On the customer’s request, the Ka-62 can be fitted with Russian-made

RD-600V engines rated at 1,300 hp (1,550 hp in emergency mode) developed by NPO Saturn in the city of Rybinsk. Now, such engines power two Ka-60 prototypes (according to Alexander Vagin, Saturn has made 32 such engines certificated by the Aircraft Registry of the International Aviation Committee as far back as December 2003). The Progress company in the town of Arsenyev has been earmarked as manufacturer. Kamov plans to build the first Ka-62 prototype powered by RD-600V engines in 2009, with the next example to be fitted with Ardiden engines. In all, the certification programme will involve the construction of five Ka-62 prototypes, with four slated for flight tests and one for static ones. Final assembly of prototype machines from Progress-made components is to be handled by Kamov’s prototype construction division. The Ka-62 is planned to complete its certification trials in 2011, with Progress to launch its full-rate production in 2012. During the show, first agreements on Ka-62 deliveries to launch customers were signed. The launch customers may be the Aviashelf air company headquartered on the island of Sakhalin, which has signed a MoU for four Ka-62s, and the Naryan-Mar Joint Air Detachment slated to receive five machines in 2012. Another Far Eastern carrier has shown interest in buying up to five Ka-62s as well.

take-off july 2008


HELIRUSSIA 2008 | news

Ka-226 gets new engine certification trials are to be completed in 2010. The trials are to involve four prototypes – three for flight tests and one for ground ones. The first Ka-226T prototype is slated for construction by year-end and its maiden flight is scheduled for early 2009. The aircraft plant in Kumertau has been earmarked for launching the machine’s production. Kamov had conducted preliminary tests of a Ka-226T experimental machine powered by Arrius engines.

Launched in 2004, the flight tests of the aircraft yielded a considerable increase in flight performance, with the helicopter exceeding an altitude of 7,000 m (the production Ka-226 climbs at 5,000 m) on both engines and at least 4,000 m on one engine in case the other fails. In addition, the powerplant’s margin of power allows an increase of the Ka-226T’s maximum takeoff weight from the current 3,400 kg to 4,000 kg, thus boosting the payload as well. “As the international experience shows, same-class helicopters powered by several variants of engines are always offered on the helicopter market”, Leonid Shiryayev said, “Such an approach is also going to be pursued as far as a Russian helicopters are concerned. The current production Ka-226 is powered by two Rolls-Royce engines, and the Ka-226T powered by Arrius engines is to hit the market in the near future”. The chief designer remarked that to expand the offer on the aircraft market, there are also plans to fit the Ka-226 with the 465 hp AI-450 engine from the Ivchenko-Progress design bureau that developed it to the design specification OK’d by Kamov among others.

tomer once the ongoing official joint trials have been completed. Presenting the Ansat programme at HeliRussia 2008, Kazan Helicopters’ Deputy Chief Designer Alexey Garipov spoke about the testing and refining the helicopter and the main efforts to hone the production model. The efforts in question include a takeoff weight

increase from the current 3,300 kg to 3,600 kg with a simultaneous hike in the payload, fitting the Ansat’s civilian variant with wheeled landing gear instead ski landing gear, installing the tail boom pylon and modernising the avionics suite, particularly, replacing traditional needle-type instruments with digital displays, etc.

Refining the Ansat During the HeliRussia 2008 show, a full-scale production Ansat helicopter developed and produced by the Kazan Helicopters plant took the central place of the Helicopter of Russia joint stock company’s exposition. According to the plant’s Chief Designer Alexey Stepanov, the Ansat displayed was the 16th production machine of the type, with six aircraft delivered to the launch customer, South Korea, during 2004–2006. At present, Kazan Helicopters is in the final stages of testing and debugging a trainer version ordered by the Russian Air Force. The aircraft differs from early production helicopters in having the double controls, wheeled landing gear and some avionics peculiarities and is powered by Canadian turboshaft engines PW207K with a takeoff power of 630 hp each (710 hp at emergency rating). Talking to


take-off july 2008

a Take-off correspondent, Alexey Stepanov said that the foreign-made powerplant of Ansat-U was OK with the customer, because “there are no other options so far”. At the same time, Kazan Helicopters is mulling over fitting the Ansat with Russian-made Klimov VK-800 engines to meet the Defence Ministry’s requirement for helicopters it orders to have only domestic components. However, introduction of VK-800s will call for upgrading the power train to transmit enhanced torque as well as the rotor and control systems. On the other hand, this will allow a takeoff weight and payload increase. Helicopters earmarked for Air Force flight schools will be fitted with Canadian engines so far. According to Alexey Stepanov, a 12-machine batch is to be built next year and then delivered to the cus-

Andrey Fomin

rated at 460 hp on takeoff. However, to enhance its flight performance, especially in hot and high conditions, Kamov is developing the Ka-226T version featuring more powerful Turbomeca Arrius 2G2 engines that have a takeoff power of 550 hp and an emergency power of 705 hp. The relevant agreement was signed by Kamov and its French partners during the show. According to Kamov Chief Designer Leonid Shiryayev speaking at HeliRussia 2008, the Ka-226T’s

Andrey Fomin

Full-scale displays at the HeliRussia 2008 air show included as many as two examples of the Kamov Ka-226 lightweight multipurpose helicopter (one built for Gazprom and the other fitted with an electro-optical surveillance system for testing) and two detachable cabin modules to fit them – the medical evacuation and VIP ones. In production by two aircraft factories at the same time (one in Kumertau and the other in Orenburg), the Ka-226 is fitted with the Rolls-Royce Allison 250-C20R/2 engine

HELIRUSSIA 2008 | news

Mi-34 production to resume

Andrey Fomin

ous Mi-34S, both of the new variants will have a maximum takeoff weight of 1,450 kg and seat three passengers and a pilot. The piston-engined machine’s cruising speed will increase to 195 km/h over the previous 170 km/h, and that of the gas turbine-powered helicopter will increase to 235 km/h (the Mi-34AS’s maximum speed will be 260 km/h). The AI-450 gas turbine engine also will serve a considerable improvement in the altitude performance: the static ceiling will hike from the Mi-34SM’s 1,375 m to the Mi-34AS’s 4,025 m and the service ceiling from 4,450 m to 6,000 m respectively. Anatoly Belov stressed that the Mi-34’s advanced variants will outperform in some respects their western analogues – the piston-engined Robinson R-44, which is rather popular in Russia, and the turbine-powered Eurocopter EC120B. For instance, the Mi-34SM will outperform the R-44 in range (610 km on full tanks with the 30 min fuel reserve over the R-44’s 535 km), and the Mi-34AS will one-up the EC120B in cruising

speed (235 km/h over 210 km/h) and static ceiling (4,025 m over 3,340 m respectively). The first five Mi-34SMs are slated for assembly by the manufacturer in Arsenyev in 2010. A year later, the Progress plant will be able to productionise the turbine-powered Mi-34AS variant as well, with 200 machines in each of the two variants to be built by Progress by 2017. The updated Mi-34 production team will include the Reductor-PM joint stock company (main and tail reduction gearboxes and power transmission shafts), Stupinskoye MPP joint stock company (main and tail rotor hubs, swash plate) and Voronezh Mechanical Plant (development and production of the M-9FV engine to fit the Mi-34SM). The Progress plant will make the fuselage, main and tail rotor blades and handle general assembling of the helicopters. A fuselage mock-up of the Mi-34AS future gas-turbine version was displayed at the HeliRussia 2008, as was a production Mi-34S provided by the Russian Helicopter Systems company.

Production plans of the major Russian helicopter manufacturers, Ulan-Ude plant (UUAZ) and Kazan Helicopters, for the coming two years were disclosed at the HeliRussia 2008 air show. A UUAZ spokesman told a reporter with the AviaPort.Ru news agency that the company made 48 helicopters of the Mi-8AMT (Mi-171) family in 2007. The plan for 2008 provides for building 56 such machines, with the output to grow up to 65 aircraft in 2009 and 75 in 2010. Kazan Helicopters’ Director General Vadim Ligai said his company was to manufacture 60 Mi-8MTV-family helicopters (Mi-17-1V, Mi-17-V5, Mi-172) in 2008 and as many in 2009, with 15 Ansat machines to be made in 2009 as well. III

Andrey Fomin

Andrey Fomin

The production programme of the Russian Helicopters joint stock company makes provision for the resumption of the full-scale production of the Mi-34 lightweight multirole helicopter by the Progress aircraft plant in the Russia’s Far East town of Arsenyev. As was announced during the HeliRussia 2008 show, the machine is to be manufactured in two new variants – the Mi-34SM powered by the 370 hp M-9FV upgraded piston engine and the Mi-34AS powered by a gas-turbine powerplant (the 460 hp AI-450 engine from Ivchenko-Progress or Turbomeca Arrius). In 1993–2002, the Progress plant built 22 production Mi-34S helicopters powered by 325 hp M-14V26V engines, with the aircraft operated in Russia, Kazakhstan, Nigeria and Croatia. However, the production was suspended in late 2002 and the operational machines were grounded gradually due to the expiry of the initial service life of the components, with that of some of them being only 300 flight hours. At the same time, marketing analysis conducted by Russian Helicopters indicates that the market capacity for such aircraft may total up to 400 units in the coming years. 70–75 helicopters could be sold in Russia in 2010–17 (including about three dozens to uniformed services), 120–125 more throughout the CIS countries and 165–175 throughout the rest of the world. Mil’s Chief Designer Anatoly Belov spoke about resuming the Mi-34 production in new variants during the presentation of the programme’s at HeliRussia 2008. Like the previ-

in brief III

At HeliRussia 2008, the Zaporozhye-based engine makers – the Ivchenko-Progress design bureau and Motor Sich joint stock company – unveiled several new turboshaft engine programmes including a version of the world’s most powerful helicopter engine D-136, which was designated as AI-136T1. In addition to the ordinary takeoff mode with the 11,400 hp power, it has an additional emergency mode, in which the engine produces 12,180 hp. Both the upgraded engine and its baseline model are designed to power the Mil Mi-26T heavylift transports. Ivchenko-Progress and Motor Sich planned for the AI-136T1 to make the debut at HeliRussia 2008, to which end they wanted to bring a full-scale engine to Moscow. However, the complicated Russian-Ukrainian customs laws prevented them from doing so. Other novelties displayed by the two companies at the helicopter show included the AI-450M engine rated at 400 hp on takeoff and designed to power the upgraded Mi-2AM helicopter, and the 630 hp takeoff power AI-450V-2 that may serve the alternative to the Canadian engine powering the Ansat.

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contracts and deliveries | report

Michal J. STOLAR, Miroslav GYŰRÖSI (Slovakia) Photos by Miroslav Gyűrösi


IN SERVICE WITH SLOVAK AIR FORCE On the last day of this winter, 29 February, Slovak air base Sliač hosted the ceremony of accepting the 12 MiG-29AS/UBS fighters into the Slovak Air Force’s inventory. The fighters had been upgraded by Russian aircraft corporation MiG in Slovakia in cooperation with a local aircraft repair plant and several Western companies. During the ceremony, Slovak Defence Minister Jaroslav Baska gave the chief of the Slovak General Staff, Gen. Ľubomír Bulík, a symbolic key to the renovated fighters. Following that, the upgraded MiG-29s accomplished a group demonstration flight to entertain those present, with as many as 10 fighters taking to the skies over Sliač. Our correspondents attended the ceremony.


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contracts and deliveries | report

Left: MiG Corp. chief test pilot Pavel Vlasov (left) and Sliac AB commander Jozef Dobrotka

NATO-compliant MiGs Fielding the upgraded aircraft, crowned with a unique group takeoff of as many as 10 renovated MiGs, became the well-deserved outcome of a long and often thorny restructuring, reorganisation and upgrade of the Slovak Air Force and its aircraft fleet. The upgrade of 10 MiG-29s to MiG-29AS standard (A indicates the export version of the MiG-29 – Variant A, or item ‘9-12A’ – and S stands for Slovakia) and two MiG-29UBs to MiG-29UBS standard kicked off as far back as 2004. The improvements included advanced radios and IFF gear, latest navigation aids and measures to make the aircraft compatible with standard systems used by NATO forces. At the same time, the service life of the MiG-29s was extended by 10–15 years. The upgrade programme for 12 MiG-29s cost Slovakia 1.6 billion korunas (about $78 million). Our magazine covered the contents and process of upgrading the Slovak MiGs (see Take-off, May 2006, p. 10–13). The first upgraded Slovak MiG-29AS (No. 6728) completed its maiden flight from the factory airfield in the Slovak city of Trencin, flown by MiG Corp. test pilot Pavel Vlasov on 1 December 2005. A week later, Vlasov completed a check flight on the first uprated two-seater, MIG-29UBS No. 5304. By then, the Slovak Air Force had operated a total of 21 MiG-29s – 18 MiG-29 Variant A singleseaters and three twinseaters. 10 of them were inherited by the country in 1993 from Czechoslovakia’s dissolution into two independent states (Czechoslovakia had

gotten them from the Soviet Union in 1989–90), with 14 more delivered by MiG Corp. during 1994–95 after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Despite Slovakia’s accession to NATO on 15 April 2003, its government decided to retain the Sovietand Russian-built aircraft in the Slovak Air Force inventory and introduce them into NATO’s combined forces, to boot. In this connection, Slovakia and MiG Corp. made on 24 November 2004 a contract on upgrading 12 Slovak MiG-29 fighters, extending their service life and tailoring the aircraft to meet NATO standards. Mind you, this is the first time a Russian company has worked on materiel operated by a NATO member state. The upgraded MiG-29AS/UBS aircraft completed their opeval in last December, with a small additional series of fight tests flown in January. However, as far back as mid-2006, the first several MiG-29AS fighters joined the NATO Integrated Air Defence System (NATINADS), to which Slovakia allocates two fighters under a current agreement.

‘Digital’ camouflage pattern Upgraded MiG-29AS No. 0921 was rolled out of a hangar of the aircraft repair plant in Trencin on 20 December last year. It was the first Slovak Air Force aircraft to get a rather original – ‘digital’ – camouflage pattern made up of tiny square ‘pixels’ in two shades of grey on the third shade of grey covering the airframe and both sides of the vertical tails. The first upgraded MiG-29’s new camouflage pattern was the beginning take-off july 2008


contracts and deliveries | report of the final stage of the Slovak MiG-29 upgrade programme. The improvements of the last of the 12 aircraft under the contract were introduced in November 2007, and the planes are to be repainted gradually. Not long before the acceptance ceremony, in January this year, the ‘digital’ camouflage pattern was given to the second MiG-29AS, No. 0619, whose fins were decorated with the stylised Slovak national tricolour in the same ‘pixelised’ manner due to the 15th anniversary of the Slovak Air Force.

New simulator for new MiG pilots The upgrade programme for the 12 Slovak MiG-29s is wide-ranging and, in addition to improving the aircraft proper, provides for uprating the MiG-29 Full Mission Simulator operated by the Slovak Air Force. The upgraded simulator, intended for training the pilots of the Slovak MiG-29AS planes, was dubbed LTV-29M. Until recently, Slovakia has used the KTS-21/LTV-29 derived by the Trencin-based Virtual Reality Media company (VRM) from Russian simulator KTS-21 in 1996. The Slovak KTS-21/LTV-29 entered service with the Slovak Air Force in March 1997. VRM launched the upgrade of the simulator in 2004. Its visualisation system was replaced with the indigenous IMMAX 2005 graphics system from VRM. The IMMAX 2005 comprises six 3D Perception SX25i projectors displaying the airspace in a hemisphere with a radius of 3.6 m and with a field of view measuring 180x90 deg. A key

part of the simulator upgrade programme was its database beefed up with very realistic digital maps of actual terrain of Slovakia. This gives the pilot in the simulator the sensation of flying over the familiar Slovak terrain. The second phase of the simulator modernisation began in 2006, consisting in bringing it up to date with the advanced systems introduced in the MiG-29AS. This included transition from the metric system into the imperial one. The simulator’s data display system followed in the footsteps of the one in the fighter’s cockpit, receiving the advanced MFI-54 multifunction display, PU-29 control console, PUS-29 I/O module and console of the AN/ARC-210(V) radio. VRM modified the software package of the MFI-54 and PU-29

in cooperation with their developer, the Russian Avionics company. The simulator’s software also was modified to reflect the change to the fighter’s navigation suite beefed up with the TACAN, VOR/ILS and GPS/Navstar systems. In the course of the upgrade, the simulator’s electronic and electric systems were improved or replaced as well, which gave a considerable boost to its reliability. Its feel-spring mechanisms were replaced with an induction servomotor electronic system, which made the pilot’s sensation on the control column and pedals more realistic. The instructor station was altered, too, with him now able to configure and adjust the simulator to a particular trainee depending on the latter’s skills.

The MiG-29AS/UBS pilots who flew the group demonstration on 10 upgraded fighters during the acceptance ceremony at the Sliac air base on 29 February 2008

LTV-29M simulator


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contracts and deliveries | report The current simulator variant simulates up 14 types of aircraft and 22 types of ground equipment, with its integrated database fit for use on group simulated missions, e.g. in conjunction with a pilot ‘flying’ the TL-39 simulator. The latter is designed for L-39 pilots and is available at the Sliac air base, too. The prime contractor, VRM, and Slovak Defence Ministry made the simulator manufacture contract in 2006, the work was done in three phases and was completed last year. The LTV-29M simulator has been set up at Sliac, the home station of the upgraded Slovak MiG-29AS/UBS fighters. The simulator was formally accepted by the Slovak Air Force concurrently with the ceremony of fielding the upgraded fighters on 29 February 2008.

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military aviation | report


As was reported by Take-off in its May 2008 issue (p.18), a naval task force of the Russian Navy’s Northern Fleet, led by the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier, completed a successful cruise through the Atlantic and Mediterranean early in February this year. The cruise kicked off on 5 December 2007 and was completed two months later. The Russian Navy had conducted no such large-scale exercises for over a decade. The aircraft carrier battle group (CVBG) cruising under command of the Vice-Admiral Nikolay Maximov, CINC, Northern Fleet, was given a task of showing the Russian Navy’s flag in key areas of the ocean. During the cruise, the Admiral Kuznetsov’s carrier air group (CAG), comprising a dozen or so Su-33 fighters and Su-25UTG trainers and several Ka-27PS and Ka-29 helicopters, logged 20 flying shifts, i.e. about 400 sorties, of which more than a hundred were flown by the fighters. Throughout the cruise, Take-off’s stringer Sergey Vassilyev was on board the Admiral Kuznetsov, with his report on the exercise following below.


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Nitka as a pass on board the carrier 2007 proved to be a rather successful year for the carrierborne fighter pilots in Severomorsk: they honed their flying skills at the Nitka ground-based carrier deck simulator in the Crimea in May and June and then, following their return to the Far North, did 30 flying shifts on board the Admiral Kuznetsov in the Barents Sea in July through August and October through November 2007. The officer commanding the 279th Independent Carrierborne Fighter Air Regiment is certain that the flying shifts

military aviation | report “In 2007, for the first time in two years, we have trained on the simulator two Su-33 pilots (Lt.-Col. Sergey Saushkin and Lt.-Col. Boris Kalmutsky) and two Su-25UTG ones (Maj. Oleg Kostyanoi and Lt.-Col. Oleg Kodzasov)”, continues Col. Matkovsky. “Last June, they landed on the Nitka on their own and then did the same on deck of the Kuznetsov. Lieutenant-colonels Vladimir Kokurin and Andrey Chursin on their Su-33s made their first deck landings as well”.

Skimming the North Sea

Sergey VASSILYEV Photos by Alexander Dundin

completed by his crews during the cruise owed their success to the Nitka simulator, in the first place. Having assumed command of the regiment, Igor Matkovsky – like his predecessors – vowed he would do his best to have his regiment train at the Nitka – a ground-based carrier deck simulator. Carrier air group pilots have to go a longer training way flying than their land-based mates. They take their preliminary training at a land-based airfield, as any other pilots do. Having qualified as combat-ready and passed tough selection, candidates begin their carrier

operations training, with the Nitka being the first stage. “The simulator is very forgiving to trainees”, says Col. Igor Matkovsky, “because the pilot can correct the errors he makes. The main thing is that the simulator gives you self-reliance and readiness to land on deck. However, before the first carrier landing, the pilot is jittery and loses sleep on the night before his first landing. Imagine how he would feel if he had had to land on the Kuznetsov without having training on the Nitka first. In short, the road to the carrier begins on land”.

As usual, the seasoned pilots flew the first two shifts from the carrier during the cruise. They were Lt.-Col. Yuri Korneyev, deputy officer commanding, Lt.-Col. Pavel Podguzov, regimental chief of staff, Lt-Col. Sergey Ustyukhin, D/OC, operations, Lt.-Col. Yevgeny Kuznetsov, D/OC, flight safety, Lt.-Col. Yuri Denisov, D/OC, personnel education, and squadron leaders Lt.-Col. Nikolay Deriglazov and Lt.-Col. Pavel Pryadko. First, they did several patterns, then elementary and advanced flying, flying in pairs and mock battles. Three to four aircraft were airborne at the same time. About 20 takeoffs and landings were performed in the North Sea. “The weather was foul”, says the regimental commander, “but the first group of pilots flew well. Therefore, it was important to move to the Mediterranean as soon as possible because weather was good there. The resumption of regular flights and, which is more, rookies flying side by side with old hands is the wave of the future, because you don’t get tough overnight”. Two-thirds of the pilots with the 279th Reg’t have had cruised on the Kuznetsov. However, time flies, and combat-ready naval pilots are still fewer than Russian cosmonauts are. Aircrews average 43 years old. The eldest pilot is Col. Igor Matkovsky who is 46. The youngest one is 30-year-old Maj. Sergey Luchnikov, but he is rather an exception to the rule. Therefore, Col. Matkvosky did his best to enable the younger pilots to fly more during the cruise. At the time fighter jocks were honing their skills, the crews of the Ka-27PL antisubmarine warfare and Ka-27PS combat search and rescue helicopters, led by lieutenant-colonels Vladimir Dolgov, Vladislav Tronding and Yuri Andreyev and Maj. Andrey Vrublevsky, were practicing ASW operations and were on alert to provide SAR support to the fast jets’ aircrew. In addition, the helicopter crews were refining their skills of taking off and landing on the Admiral Levchenko and Admiral Chabanenko ASW ships. take-off july 2008


military aviation | report

In the skies over the Mediterranean Having passed the Straits of Gibraltar, the Northern Fleet’s Admiral Kuznetsov-led CVBG entered the Mediterranean on 21 December 2007, and soon afterwards, pilots of the 279th Reg’t conducted two flying shifts. At long last (for the first time in 11 years!), they took off to the skies of the long-awaited Med. The sun was shining in the blue of the December sky, ambient temperature stood at about +18°C, and there were no long oceanic waves the regiment’s pilots were fed up with in the Atlantic in 2004-2005. The first flying shift in the Mediterranean, which was the third one during the cruise, was launched by the Su-25UTGs followed by the Su-33s doing a half-shift. On the next day, only the Su-25UTGs flew, logging seven sorties.

Col. Igor Matkovsky and lieutenant-colonels Yuri Korneyev, Pavel Podguzov, Sergey Ustyukhin, Yevgeny Kuznetsov, Pavel Pryadko, Yuri Denisov, Nikolay Deriglazov and Yuri Suslov flew training missions in the Med for two days. The missions were mostly low-level flying in the vicinity of the aircraft carrier, because there were numerous 50-km exclusion areas adjacent to coastal states and islands in that portion of the Mediterranean. Moreover, the general course of the CVBG ran along many commercial air routes, which limited flight altitude to 12,000 m. Portside of the Russian carrier, an old acquaintance of the Kuznetsov’s – the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS San Jacinto with the US 6th Fleet resident in the Mediterranean – was keeping an eye on the flight operations. According to the participants 279th carrier-borne fighter regiment commander Col. Igor Matkovsky


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military aviation | report

in the cruise, the San Jacinto would approach the Russian Navy’s flagship at a distance of 500 m 11 years ago. This time, she stood off at about 38 cable’s lengths, i.e. about 7 km. By the way, it is in the Mediterranean where Col. Igor Matkovsky made his 100th landing on the carrier. As the regimental commander, he ‘uncorked’ the Med by being the first to take off from and land on the Admiral Kuznetsov. However, those two days were just the beginning. As late December 2007 and January 2008 proved, the blue sky of the Mediterranean favoured the Kuznetsov’s fighters, and, for this reason, flying shifts were planned one after another based on the cruise’s objectives.

Like in battle The month in the Mediterranean was quick to pass – a dozen flying shifts, over a hundred of takeoffs and landings in total. Here is Gib being passed by the CVBG on its way to the ocean. During the large-scale tactical exercise in the Bay of Biscay, 279th Reg’t fighters flying air patrols in the vicinity of the carrier escorted a pair of Tu-160 strategic bombers. “And the mission was accomplished”, says Col. Matkovsky, OC, 279th Reg’t. “Three pairs of Su-33s went to the designated areas and escorted the ‘strategists’ that simulated a missile attack of a notional target in the Atlantic in conjunction with the CVBG. This done, the fighters returned to the carrier”.

The first pair of Su-33s was flown by Lt.-Col. Sergey Ustyukhin and Lt.-Col. Nikolay Deriglazov, the second one by Lt.-Col. Yevgeny Kuznetsov and Lt.-Col. Yuri Suslov and the third one by Lt.-Col. Pavel Podguzov and Lt.-Col. Pavel Pryadko. They were assigned areas where they escorted the strategic bombers, covering them on the most dangerous interceptor approaches. The pilots acted in the most realistic manner without any allowance for the mission being part of the exercise. The main difficulty facing the pilots when escorting the Tu-160s was almost the dead calm in the Atlantic, with the wind force being mere 2-3 m/s. However, going at take-off july 2008


military aviation | report 18 kt, the carrier provided the pilots with the conditions required for taking off and landing. In addition, the cloud base was only 400 m. Hence, on takeoff, two pairs of fighters would perform the manoeuvre known as ‘assembly and split over the clouds’, i.e. rise through the clouds one by one and join up into a formation there, with the a pair of the best trained pilots – lieutenant-colonels Sergey Ustyukhin and Nikolay Deriglazov – would pass through the clouds in tight formation. “We attached importance to the exercise from the outset”, says Igor Matkovsky, “and the pilots, therefore, were in a fighting mood. Although the escort mission was routine to us and posed no problem, weather did, especially on landing. Still, the pilots, who

Lt.-Col. Pavel Podguzov, regimental chief of staff

Lt.-Col. Yevgeny Kuznetsov, 279th regiment's deputy commander for flight safety, in the Su-33's cockpit

had remained airborne for about eight hours, took it in stride as well”. In addition to the fighters, on that day, helicopters flew from the Admiral Kuznetsov and the Admiral Chabanenko as well. They were two Ka-27PS CSAR machines flown by Lt.-Col. Yuri Lebedev and Lt.-Col. Victor Shelimov and a Ka-27PL ASW helicopter with the Vladislav Trondin at the controls. For almost three hours, they were carrying out consecutively such missions, as weather reconnaissance, Su-33 SAR support and close-in ASW screening along the CVBG’s deployment axis.

Preliminary results This cruise was the second one for Col. Igor Matkovsky, with the first one completed in the North Atlantic in 2004. Matkovsky’s deputies, lieutenant-colonels Yuri Korneyev, Sergei Ustyukhin and Pavel Podguzov, cruised through the Mediterranean in 1995–96, as did lieutenant-colonels Nikolay Deriglazov and Pavel Pryadko. Did the Med lure them again? “Certainly”, says Col. Matkovsky. “Firstly, the very aura of the Mediterranean


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military aviation | report

was the greatest attraction. In addition, we craved good weather to fly to our hearts’ content. Alas, we could fly in daytime only, since we have not been cleared for night flying yet. The only reason is the lack of continuous operations from the carrier, an all-season carrier! Throughout the history of our regiment, there has been only one case of night flying when Maj.-Gen. Timur Apakidze, colonels Igor Kozhin and Pavel Kretov and Lt.-Col. Victor Dubovoi landed on the Kuznetsov in 1998. That’s it, alas”. “Results of the cruise? The main thing is we learnt to operate far away from our station and traditional flying areas that we knew like the back of our hands”, continues Matkovsky, “This is important for our professional training, because every flying shift would give the pilots lots of new information. We were studying the area of the ocean we planned to use for training, two

or three unfamiliar foreign backup airfields and coastal relief. In addition, the relevant states continued with their military and commercial air operations, which involved unfamiliar service altitudes and air corridors we had to know”. Also, according to Col. Matkovsky, the language barrier had a serious psychological impact on the pilots, because if they had to abort the mission to a foreign backup airfield, they would have been vectored in to the runway by a foreign ATC controller and a misunderstanding would have been a possibility. “We did our utmost”, carries on the 279th Reg’t OC, “to maximise the number of pilots gaining the experience of flying while on the cruise so that our young pilots were inspired with being with the North Fleet’s CVBG representing the Russian Navy in the heart of Europe – the Mediterranean”. take-off july 2008


military aviation | report Back to the carrier Maj.-Gen. Nikolay Kuklev, deputy chief, air and air defence branch, Russian Navy, who was in charge of the aviation element on board the carrier, admitted that the Admiral Kuznetsov had been part of his life, probably, the larger part. He has spent 27 calendar years as helicopter pilot with the Northern Fleet, which the Admiral Kuznetsov joined in 1991. “I served with the ship ever since”, Maj.-Gen. Kuklev says. “I’ve taken part in all her cruises and Barents Sea operations. Even now, with me serving in Moscow, she does not let me go. This is how intertwined our lives have become. 17 years is no old age for an aircraft carrier, rather youth. The carrier gets better year by year. What do you mean ‘how’? In terms of its technical state, in the first place. Her technical state is now higher by an order of magnitude than it used to be”. According to Maj.-Gen. Kuklev, it must have been an unknown decease of the 1990s proliferating virtually on all levels of government, with the authorities wondering,


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why do we need aircraft carriers? Even Navy leaders used to say, “That’s it, we are leaving the ocean, and the navy is going to operate in the littorals”. A corvette-type navy, so to say. “Why do we need the ocean? Do we have any national interests there to pursue? What missions are carriers going to accomplish?” Fortunately, the situation has changed. Now, it is clear to everybody that Russia as a naval power needs its navy. What is an up-to-date navy at present? Exactly, the one operating aircraft carrier. The legendary naval pilot, Maj.-Gen. Timur Apakidze, a Hero of the Soviet Union [the title was the top military award bestowed along the Golden Medal and Order of Lenin – transl.], once said, “The nation has come along thorny long path of developing its own aircraft carriers, without which the navy would have been useless”. The principal enemy of surface ships and nuclear submarines is aircraft and, hence, “we will be unable to ensure full-fledged combat stability of both strategic and multirole nuclear-powered submarines without fighter aircraft coverage”. If we want

to remain a nation, a peoples, rather than a country with a population, as some folks overseas would like us to be, then, Apakidze believed, Russia is bound to have aircraft carriers. Therefore, today’s principal goal is to preserve the Kuznetsov as a stepping-stone ship and maximise the retention of her flying and technical crews and complement who can operate her, because they will be indispensable in a few years. The Kuznetsov will enable this country to build a formidable aircraft carrier fleet to “pursue our national interests anywhere throughout the ocean”. It is for a reason that commenting on the Kuznetsov’s CVBG’s cruise to the Mediterranean, western military experts in an interview with the US newspaper Navy Times called it “an event in a series of measures being taken by Russia’s authorities to expand its military presence on the international scale, the one reflecting the growing economic and military power of the country”. Severomorsk – the North Atlantic – the Mediterranean

cosmonautics | news

in brief III

On 21 May, Russia’s Federal Space Agency (FSA) announced the cause of the ballistic descent of the Soyuz TMA-11 spacecraft on 19 April this year. The cause was the ill-timed separation of the instrumentation/propulsion compartment from the lander due to delayed activation of an explosive bolt between the two compartments. This was confirmed by FSA chief Anatoly Perminov, who said, “Indeed, one of the five powder-charge explosive bolts did not kick in on time and the Soyuz spacecraft’s split-up into compartments during the descent happened later than planned”. Anatoly Perminov specified that very high temperature of plasma – in the neighbourhood of 2,000 deg. Celsius – “would have set off the explosive bolt anyway, separation would have taken place and safe, albeit less comfortable, return of the crew to the Earth would have happened”. NASA has been pleased with the tempo and extent of Russia’s investigation into the second consecutive ballistic descent of cosmonauts and astronauts from the ISS. Bill Gerstenmaier, NASA associate administrator for space operations, has visited the RKK Energia that has the Soyuz TMA-11’s lander used by NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson, Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko and the first South Korean to outer space, So-yeon Yi, on 19 April to return to the Earth. According to Perminov, Gerstenmaier was pleased with the preliminary results produced by the investigation commission and said, “If I headed such a commission, I would work in the same manner”. In particular, NASA’s deputy administrator made certain that contrary to media reports, the bottom of the spacecraft had not burnt through, but instead retained enough heat-resistant coating for safe landing.


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Another Rockot blasts off At 19.20 h Moscow time on 23 May, a Rockot launch vehicle blasted off Launch Pad 3 of Launch Site 133 operated by Space Force personnel at the Plesetsk space launch centre in the Arkhangelsk Region. Fitted with the Breeze-KM upper stage, the Rockot inserted the Yubileiny scientific satellite and a cluster of three military satellites – Cosmos-2437, -2438 and -2439. All four satellites had assumed their slots in the target circumpolar orbit about 1,400 km above the Earth by 21.05 h Moscow time. The Rockot’s mission is the first launch in 2008 performed at Russia’s northern space centre in support of the Russian Defence Ministry. In addition, this is, apparently, the first time the LV has been used to orbit a military satellite. Earlier, the LV of the type had lofted into orbit only commercial scientific and remote sensing satellites. The three military birds constituted the main payload of the Rockot, with Yubileiny piggybacking. The military has released neither characteristics, nor designation of its satellites. According to the Interfax-AVN news agency, they may be communications satellites of the Gonets-M type. Yubileiny was built by a team of companies led by the Information Satellite Systems JSC named after M.F. Reshetnyov (ISS-Reshetnyov) in the city of Krasnoyarsk. The 45-kg satellite is the first small-sized non-pressurised platform spacecraft from ISS-Reshetnyov. The company’s young personnel as well as researchers and students of the Siberian Reshetnyov Aerospace University took part in developing Yubileiny. The satellite is designed to transmit audio, video and photographic messages telling about the 50th anniversary of launching the world’s first satellite, Sputnik, and the space industry as a whole. Yubileiny will repeat the data every 4 min. by radio in the 435MHz international ham

band, with its broadcasting to be received in the line of sight to the satellite anywhere in the world. Under the Strategic Partnership Agreement made by ISS-Reshetnyov, the Krasnoyarsk Machinebuilding Plant, Krasnoyarsk Scientific Centre of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences and Siberian State Aerospace University, a series of small satellites are to be developed from 2007 to 2012 by students. Under the programme, each of the partners will pursue its own scientific, technical, technological and educational goals as well. In the future, Yubileiny’s non-pressurised platform will serve the basis for other small satellites weighing below 100 kg. During its launch and in-orbit operation, a number of instruments and systems from ISS-Reshetnyov and other Russian manufacturers will be flight-tested. In particular, plans provide for testing the inertioid propulsion unit without reaction mass discharge for the first time. The satellite is intended to be propelled by an engine, within which a liquid or solid working medium travels along a certain trajectory similar to tornado in terms of shape. The service life of such an engine is to be at least 15 years and the maximum number of its burns is about 300,000. Solar panels provide power supply. Initially, Yubileiny was slated for insertion in autumn 2007 and timed with the 50th anniversary of Sputnik, which is the reason for the satellite’s name (Yubileiny is Russian for jubilee, anniversary). However, the launch slipped to May 2008 for a number of reasons. Khrunichev derived the Rockot two-stage liquid-propelled lightweight booster from the RS-18 two-stage intercontinental ballistic missile (UR-100N, NATO reporting name – SS-19 Stiletto) by fitting it with the Breeze-KM upper stage. There are pre-launch preparation and launch facilities for the booster in both Baikonur and Plesetsk. The LV’s launch weight is 107 t, length measures

28.5 m and diameter equals 2.5 m. The maximum payload inserted in low orbit is about 2 t. The liquid-propellant motors of all stages burn a non-volatile self-igniting fuel – nitrogen tetraoxide (amyl) and asymmetric dimethylhydrazine (geptile). The flight tests of the Rockot started with three test launches from a silo at Baikonur in the early ‘90s. The Rockot orbited its first satellite, the Radio-ROSTO hamsat, in December 1994. Afterwards, its commercial launches have been taking place from a converted launch pad previously used by Cosmos LVs at Plesetsk. The Eurockot Launch Services joint venture established by Khrunichev (49 per cent of the stock) and EADS Astrium (51 per cent) handle the marketing of the Rockot on the international launch services market. The first Rockot launch at Plesetsk was on 16 May 2000, with the LV hauling the SimSat-1 and SimSat-2 satellite mock-ups. The first failure following a series of nine smooth insertions (five of them being commercial) took place on 8 October 2005 when the Breeze-KM upper stage failed to separate during the orbiting of ESA’s CryoSat and the second stage, upper stage and payload plunged into the Arctic Ocean between the North Pole and Canada’s coast. The cause was the a software glitch of the upper-stage’s control system that had not ordered the second stage to separate. The latest Rockot launch was attended by Space Force commander Col.-Gen. Vladimir Popovkin and Arkhangelsk Region governor Ilya Mikhalchuk. Following the blast-off, the interdepartmental coordination team on developing the Angara space rocket system under the Russian Space Launch Facility Development in 2006–2015 federal programme held a visiting session at the cosmodrome. Leaders of the major Russian participants in the Angara’s development attended the session.

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During the official visit of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to the Republic of Kazakhstan, Russian Space Agency chief Anatoly Perminov and National Space Agency of Kazakhstan chief Talgat Musabayev signed on 22 May agreements on bilateral cooperation in exploration and peaceful use of outer space and in using and expanding the GLONASS satellite navigation system. During the talks, presidents Dmitry Medvedev and Nursultan Nazarbayev agreed on joint operation of the Baikonur space launch centre. “We realise that this is a competitive sphere, and we have to find such spheres of cooperation, which will be interesting to both us and our potential partners”, Dmitry Medvedev said. “The world changes, high technology evolves and cooperation in such fields is of principle and very relevant to us. We have got a good potential to develop space technology, use Baikonur and pursue the Baiterek programme and we are going to do all of these in a priority manner”. The need to adjust the rules of using Baukonur is due to two reasons. Firstly, issues sometimes occur in case of lofting payloads to certain orbits when ascent courses have to be agreed upon, especially if a LV’s path is over urbanised areas or industrial facilities. A legal base should be introduced to handle such issues. Secondly, it looks like that the plan of building new Russian space launch centre Vostochny has caused some uneasiness on the part of the Kazakh authorities as far as the future of Baikonur is concerned. However, Moscow believes Vostochny’s construction will benefit the cooperation between the two countries because Vostochny will take over only military satellite insertions so far. In any case, streamlining Baikonur’s status and operational procedures should sooth Kazakhstan’s concerns. At the same time, the agreement governs the environmental damage compensation and launch notice procedures. The planned upgrade of


take-off july 2008

Russian-Kazakh space cooperation getting new impetus

Baikonur’s infrastructure will meet the safety and environment-friendliness requirements. Other fields of the Russian-Kazakh cooperation include the Baiterek and Kazsat programmes, training of Kazakh cosmonauts and space industry personnel and conducting joint research. Nanotechnology is becoming a promising sphere of collaboration as well.

The two countries are pondering cooperation in such a sphere as joint development of the World Space Observatory (WSO) to obtain new data on celestial objects, with FSA and NSA having signed a memorandum of understanding on that. A ground control facility to control the WSO and monitor satellite communications has entered service in the town of

Akkol. Feasibility studies into remote-sensing satellites and a special spacecraft design bureau have been conducted and results concerning the scientific segment of the national space programmes have been produced. Sometimes, Russian-Kazakh space programmes encounter problems, as any large-scale endeavour does from time to time. As is known, Kazakhstan decided against the joint development of the Ishim air-launched space rocket system, citing the insufficient marketing grounds of the programme. The Baiterek space launch development programme, whose financing was started by Kazakhstan as far back as 2005, has been lagging behind schedule considerably. Anatoly Perminov said in March that the programme had still been in the initial design and preplanning stages and the parties would have agreed on the construction cost and schedule not until late 2008. Kazakhstan’s recent space programmes have not been limited to Russia alone. In 2005, the country launched cooperation with Ukraine as well as leaders of the Indian, Israeli, German, Spanish, Italian, French, US, Canadian, Malaysian, Taiwanese, Cypriote and Japanese space industries that will be able to participate in Kazakhstan’s national space programmes on the competitive basis starting from 2008. However, Russia remains the main partner of Kazakhstan. The Kazakh authorities hope that joint programmes will enable the country to enter the global launch services market together with Russia and to develop domestic spacecraft design and manufacture capabilities. Another launch had taken place at Baikonur a week before the visit of the Russian president to Kazakhstan: Progress M-64 cargo spacecraft (in the picture) blasted off on a Soyuz-U LV towards the ISS. The cargo craft brought fuel, a new Sokol KV-2 spacesuit, experimental equipment, food, water and parcels for the crew to the orbiter.


Russian fighters Russian fighters over Mediterranean New weapons for new fighters [p.28] HeliRussia 2008 HeliRussia 2008 july 2008 [p.14] [p...


Russian fighters Russian fighters over Mediterranean New weapons for new fighters [p.28] HeliRussia 2008 HeliRussia 2008 july 2008 [p.14] [p...