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RUSSIAN HELICOPTERS OBORONPROM group june 2009 • Special edition for Paris AIr Show 2009












Russian Air Power on display at Kubinka and over the Red square advertising


[p.40, 46]

SaM146 undergoing certification [p.26]

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

Cutting-edge avionics from Ryazan

SUKHOI SUPERJET 100 debuts at Le Bourget [p.18]


Russia’s helicopter industry: results and prospects


june 2009 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 Alexey Mikheyev


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, 2009

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Dear reader, You are holding another issue of the Take-Off magazine, the special supplement to Russian monthly aerospace magazine Vzlet, timed to the air show in Le Bourget. This time, the show is to take place for the 48th time and celebrates its centenary. The event is considered the most authoritative and prestigious display of the latest achievements of the world’s aerospace industry, with virtually all aircraft manufacturers being eager to participate in the show. By tradition, the Le Bourget air show has been held in high esteem by Russian aerospace companies. It is here that advanced Russian planes and helicopters are usually shown abroad for the first time. This year there is another kind of jubilee of the Le Bourget air show in this regard – 20 years since Russia has begun displaying its combat aircraft here in 1989. The Le Bourget air show is regarded as an excellent place to bolster international aerospace cooperation. A graphic example of such cooperation is the Sukhoi SuperJet 100 prospective regional airliner programme pursued by a close-knot team of Russian, French, US and several other foreign companies. This year Sukhoi SuperJet 100 makes its international debut at Le Bourget and is going to become one of the main attractions of the show. One of the two SSJ100 flying prototypes now undergoing certification programme participates in the flight display at Le Bourget this year. Very soon two more prototypes will join the tests and by the end of the year the first production SuperJets are expected to be delivered to their launch customers. The whole Sukhoi SuperJet 100 programme and its components, particularly Snecma/Saturn SaM146 Russo-French programme for development of modern turbofan engine for SSJ100 are the best examples of growing mutually beneficial international cooperation with participation of Russian aerospace companies. That is why SuperJet and its engines will be in the centre of attention during this show, and therefore central topics in this issue are dedicated to them. As usual, Take-Off offers you also a brief review of the other recent most important events in the Russian aerospace industry, commercial and military aviation. I wish all the participants and visitors of this jubilee air show in Le Bourget interesting meetings, useful contacts and lucrative contracts and, of course, the pleasure of unforgettable demonstration flights of planes and helicopters from all over the world. Sincerely,

Andrey Fomin Editor-in-chief Take-Off magazine


INDUSTRY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Russian An-148 soon to come Tu-214 may fly farther now First Ulyanovsk-built Il-76 to be completed in 2010 Russian high-speed helicopter may fly in 2016

June 2009

Russian helicopter industry 2008 performance and new targets


According to the early-March news release by the Russian Helicopters JSC, the helicopter industry of Russia made 169 machines last year, having a 59% increase over 2007. Upwards of 85% falls on Mi-8 family machines (55 were made in Kazan and 59 in Ulan-Ude), with the remainder falling on the Mi-28N and Mi-35M combat helicopters as well as Ka-32 transport machines. As usual, most of these helicopters were exported, but the number of machines built for Russian customers has grown for the first time in recent years. In particular, 2008 witnessed Rostvertol produce the first seven production Mi-28Ns for the Russian Air Force and the Progress plant in Arsenyev kick-start the Ka-52 production programme, with the Mi-8MTV-5 and Mi-171 utility helicopter production for the Russian Armed Forces and commercial operators picking up as well.

CIVIL AVIATION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Customers taking delivery of new Tu-204s Two new Il-96s delivered

Sukhoi SuperJet 100 debuts in Le Bourget


A key, most interesting full-scale exhibit of the current air show in Le Bourget, probably, will be the prototype of the advanced Sukhoi SuperJet 100 regional airliner. Displaying the SuperJet in Paris is the international debut of the cutting-edge Russian airliner being developed in cooperation with numerous foreign major manufacturers of aircraft, engines, avionics and other components from Italy, France, the United States, Germany and other countries. SSJ100 prototypes are undergoing a certification tests programme planned to wrap up by the year-end when the early production SuperJets are to be shipped to the launch customers. Overall, the developer has landed 98 firm orders from Russian and foreign air carriers.

SaM146 undergoing certification


The tests of the advanced SaM146 turbofan engine under co-development by Russia’s NPO Saturn and French Snecma to fit the Sukhoi SuperJet 100 are under way. Overall, to complete the certification programme, 17 engines have to be made, of which 10 have been made and undergoing testing, including four on board two SSJ100 prototypes. Take-off’s correspondent visited NPO Saturn and made sure that the SaM146 construction and tests are on schedule and the company remains poised to obtain the type certificate in the fourth quarter of the year.

CONTRACTS AND DELIVERIES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 MMRCA tender: on the verge of competitive tests AL-55I kicks off flight tests on board HJT-36 India at fourth stage of Su-30MKI licence production Russian-Indian fifth generation First A-50EI delivered to India Vietnam to receive eight more Su-30MK2s Antonov offers patrol variant of An-74

Cutting-edge avionics made in Ryazan


Today, the Ryazan Instrument Plant is the Russian leader in production of avionics for up-to-date fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft. A scientific and technological centre and a video computer technology scientific and design centre have been set up by the plant to provide support to operation of its production equipment and development of units and assemblies for use in avionics systems and ground hardware.

MILITARY AVIATION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 MiG-29SMT already in service with RusAF Air Force receives Su-34s Debut of antitank airborne Hermes-A Su-35 to entry market in 2011 First production Yak-130 taking to the skies

Russia’s air power has been shown to president


Such an abundance of advanced aircraft has not been seen at Kubinka air force base in the Moscow Region for a long time. About 20 warplanes and around 10 helicopters – both those in service with the Air Force and those earmarked for service entry – assembled here late in March. The Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Armed Forces – President Dmitry Medvedev – was anticipated at the demonstration facility of the RusAF’s Aircraft Demonstration Centre on 28 March. Virtually all types of advanced and upgraded Russian fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft along with their weapons had been shown to the president at the ramp and in hangars.

Moscow, Red Square, 9 May 2009

46 2

take-off june 2009

The 64th anniversary of the Victory Day was celebrated this year with a grandiose military parade in Moscow’s Red Square and in the sky over it on 9 May. This time, 69 aircraft took part in the aviation segment of the parade – twice as many as last year. All types of fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft in service with the Russian Air Force flew in formation over Moscow, including the newest ones that had started entering service not long before that. Compared with last year’s parade, the number of helicopters participating in the event grew considerably – from three to 17, while the number of warplanes hiked from 29 to 52.



Russian Aircraft Corporation “MiG” Bld. 7, 1st Botkinsky proyezd, Moscow, 125284, Russia Tel.: +7 (499) 795 8010 Fax: +7 (495) 653 1447

industry | news

The first prototype of the advanced Ilyushin Il-112V light tactical airlifter is to be made by the VASO plant in Voronezh next year, according to Victor Livanov, Director General and Designer General, Ilyushin, and Director General, UAC – Transport Aircraft, who spoke with a Take-off correspondent. In the near future, the three-year governmental contract is to be awarded for R&D on the Il-112V, under which four prototypes of the type are to be manufactured. Two of them will undergo flight tests, the third one – static tests and the fourth one – endurance tests. The first Il-112V may fly for the first time in January or February 2011. According to Victor Livanov, the Il-112V programme has been made part of the governmental armament acquisition programme, with the Russian Defence Ministry planning to buy “more than a hundred” aircraft of the type until 2020. III

Alexander Inozemtsev, Designer General, Aviadvigatel, and Deputy Designer General, United Engine Corporation (UEC), was appointed director and chief designer of the Family of New-Generation Engines with the 9–18 tonne thrust programme (a.k.a. PD 9–18) on 19 March. “The business concept of the programme boils down to seeking commonised design and production technology solutions to develop a baseline engine with a wide range of power and thrust, which is to respond to the fluid market situation quickly and at minimal cost. UEC’s decision to vest the development of its new-generation engine in the Aviadvigatel company in Perm is a solid appraisal of the company’s capabilities”, Inozemtsev told Take-off. The engines of the PD 9–18 family are to power the Irkut/ Yakovlev MS-21 prospective short/medium-haul airliner, Ilyushin/HAL MTA prospective medium transport aircraft and other future planes.


take-off june 2009

Russian An-148 soon to come

Andrey Fomin


In the final assembly shop of the Voronezh-based VASO plant, the manufacture of the first production Antonov An-148-100B aircraft (c/n 40-03) is nearing the end and the work on the second aircraft (c/n 40-04) is in full swing. This summer, both planes are to start their factory tests and then be delivered to the customer, the Rossiya airline that is launching the replacement of its obsolete Tupolev Tu-134 fleet. By late April, the first Russian-built An-148 had been fitted with the engines, auxiliary power unit, most of the harness, tubes and systems. In May, the work on its hydraulic system was finalised, avionics connected, power supply tested, cabin completed, etc. If all goes to plan, aircraft 40-03 is to kick off its flight tests and may be delivered in July.

The estimated date for the second VASO-made An-148 to begin its tests is late July. Several more aircraft of the type are undergoing aggregate assembling now. In all, UAC’s production plan provides for four An-148s to be built by VASO this year. The output may increase to eight units in 2010; the plant will be able to make an aircraft a month in 2011 and 20 planes a year starting from 2012. So, under the recent UAC’s plan, VASO will produce 44 An-148s in 2009–2012. The first six production An-148-100Bs are designed for Rossiya airline under the firm order (plus six options) signed with the participation of the Ilyushin Finance Co. (IFC). Then, there will be deliveries of 10 An-148-100Es to the Polyot

airline and 10 An-148-100Bs to Moskovia, which are to be finalised during 2010–2013. Talks are under way with several other customers. All contracts on Russian-made An-148s are implemented via IFC leasing company. In the future, the An-148 is to become of VASO’s priorities, due to which UAC is investing heavily in the renovation of VASO’s production facilities. Over the past year and a half, UAC has invested in VASO a total of 6.9 billion rubles (around $230 million), of which 3.3 billion (about $110 million) have fallen on the An-148 construction programme. In 2009, the funding of VASO’s operations and An-148 full-rate production by UAC is to account for 7.5 billion rubles (about $230 million). A.F.

Andrey Fomin

in brief


MC-21 is a family of short/medium range airliners with passenger carrying capacity of 150-210. MC-21 is being developed by the Irkut Corporation jointly with Russia’s leading design bureaus and foreign suppliers. MC-21 surpasses all modern airliners featuring minimum cash operating cost, ultimate comfort and safety and meeting highest environmental requirements.

address: 68, Leningradsky prospect, Moscow, 125315, Russia phone / fax: (+7 495) 777-21-01 e-mail:

industry | news

On 4 March, the Tupolev joint stock company received the addendum to Type Certificate CT196-Tu-214/D11 for the standard design of the Tu-214 aircraft, reflecting several modifications to the baseline design. The modifications include additional fuel cells, extra AC power supply systems and alteration of the layout of the flight deck and cabin. Owing to the introduction of extra fuel cells below the floor of the cabin, the Tu-214 can now flight to a distance in excess of 10,000 km, while earlier the production Tu-214 had a maximal range of 7,200 km or less. The improvements have been implemented to Tu-214SR (RA-64515) made last year by the Kazan Aircraft Production Association (KAPO) on order from the executive office of the Russian president. The aircraft conducted its first flight on 27 April 2008 and had completed its certification test programme by April 2009, which was confirmed by the addendum to its type certificate, issued to the developer.

Andrey Fomin

Tu-214 may fly farther now

According to Nazir Kireyev, an advisor to the Tatarstan prime minister, speaking with the media on 16 March, the aircraft may be handed off to the Russian presidential air detachment for service, once the trials have been complete. “Its flight performance is unrivalled”, Nazir Kireyev said. “The aircraft in

the class will be able to operate out to more than 10,000 km for the first time”. He explained that the plane’s unrefuelled range allowed it to fly non-stop from Moscow to New York or Tokyo. Earlier this year, KAPO assembled and submitted for tests the second aircraft of the type

(RA-64516). Both Tu-214SR aircraft were officially handed over to the Russian presidential air detachment on 1 June. The assembly of two next aircraft – Tu-214PU VIP variants (RA-64517 and RA-64520) ordered by the presidential executive office – is underway. A.F.

First Ulyanovsk-built Il-76 to be completed in 2010

Russian high-speed helicopter may fly in 2016

At the news conference on 31 March, Aviastar-SP Director General Mikhail Shushpanov said the productionising of the upgraded Ilyushin Il-76 transport aircraft (Project 476) was in full swing. The first aircraft designed for static and endurance tests is to be assembled by Aviastar-SP next year. The first flying prototype of the upgraded Il-76 could be completed by mid-2010 also. The Russian-made aircraft will differ from the production Il-76TD/ MD made by the Tashkent Aircraft Production Corp. (TAPC) in the redesigned wing, up-to-date avionics suite and PS-90A-76 engines already powering some of the Il-76 versions. The Il-76 production in Ulyanovsk will rely on the paperless technology lock, stock and barrel. All Project 476 technical

Given the market demand, the Russian Helicopters joint stock company runs a research under the future high-speed helicopter development programme. The news was voiced at the HeliRussia 2009 airshow held in Moscow late in May. “For the first time, the future high-speed helicopter programme was outlined at HeliRussia 2008”, Russian Helicopters Director General Andrey Shibitov said. “The work continues. This year, we have determined the requirements to the project and the issues to be tackled in the run-up to the R&D phase. With the sufficient governmental support, the high-speed helicopter is to take to the sky in seven to ten year”. At present, two high-speed helicopters – the Mil Mi-X1 and Kamov Ka-92 – are under development in Russia. The former,


take-off june 2009

documentation is digitised to this end. Therefore, the Il-76’s productionising by Aviastar-SP does not provide for moving the rigging from TAPC, rather a new aircraft is to be manufactured instead. According to Mikhail Shushpanov, the contract on the first six production-standard upgraded aircraft under the Project 476 to be made by Aviastar-SP is slated for the signing this year. The order may be awarded by India, with the deliveries being bale to commence in 2011, according to Shushpanov. The Russian Defence Ministry is to become a major customer for the Aviastar-SP-built aircraft. According to Ilyushin Director General Victor Livanov, about 38 aircraft are to be manufactured for the Russian Air Force until 2020. A.F.

designed to have the single-rotor and pusher propeller configuration, is to have a maximum takeoff weight of 11 t and a payload of 4 t or 22–25 passengers. Its maximum speed may be 520 km/h, cruising speed – 475 km/h and range – up to 1,500 km. The Kamov company’s machine, which is to have the rigid-blade coaxial main rotor and pusher propeller too, will be somewhat larger with the 16 tonne takeoff weight, up to 30 seats, 460 km/h maximal speed, 420 km/h cruising speed and 1,400 km range. Russian Helicopters is supposed to have analysed the strengths and weaknesses of both programmes by late 2009 or early 2010 and select a single future high-speed helicopter configuration subject to implementation under the Russian helicopter-making programme. A.F.

Alexey Mikheyev

industry | rewiew

Andrey FOMIN

RUSSIAN HELICOPTER INDUSTRY 2008 performance and new targets According to the early-March news release by the Russian Helicopters JSC, the helicopter industry of Russia made 169 machines last year, having exceeded the target output by 3 per cent – a 59-per cent increase over 2007. The number includes, however, 24 previously built Mil Mi-2s overhauled in 2008, but the news release’s authors believe that “given the nature and amount of work done by the Rostvertol JSC to upgrade 24 Mi-2 light helicopters as well as the restored service life of the structural components, the machines may well be referred to as newly-built”. To all appearances, about two dozen


take-off june 2009

other overhauled helicopters were included into the final report in this manner. On the other hand, the official stats do not include the five prototype, preproduction and production Kamov Ka-50 and Ka-52 helicopters manufactured last year, which have not been fielded with combat units, as well as two Mil Mi-26T heavy-lifters delivered in early 2008. Thus, the total 2008 output of new-built helicopters by the plants of Russian Helicopters JSC is, actually, a tad more than 130 units, of which upwards of 85 per cent falls on Mi-8 family machines (55 were made in Kazan and 59 in Ulan-Ude), with

the remainder falling on the Mi-28N and Mi-35M combat helicopters as well as Ka-32 transport machines. As usual, most of these helicopters were exported, but the number of machines built for Russian customers has grown for the first time in recent years. In particular, 2008 witnessed Rostvertol produce the first seven production Mi-28Ns for the Russian Air Force (RusAF) and the Progress plant in Arsenyev kick-start the Ka-52 production programme, with the Mi-8MTV-5 and Mi-171 utility helicopter production for the Russian Armed Forces and commercial operators picking up as well.

industry | rewiew regiment of the 4th Air Force and Air Defence Army stationed in Budyonnovsk in the North Caucasus Military District. By the way, it is the production Mi-28Ns serialled 01 and 02 that has taken part in the recent aircraft demonstration to the Russian president at Kubinka AFB and then flew together with the machine serialled 03 over Red Square at the Victory Day parade on 9 May. According to the Kommersant, RusAF has ordered 47 production Mi-28Ns that could be fielded with the line units of the North Caucasus Military District in a few year. The total Russian Armed Forces requirement for the Mi-28N is estimated at about 300 aircraft. In addition, talks on export deliveries of helicopters of the type are underway with several countries. The most probable foreign launch customers for the Mi-28NE include Venezuela and Algeria, the Kommersant reported. According to Arsenyev-based Progress company Director General Yuri Denisenko, the plant assembled in 2008 three last production Ka-50 single-seat helicopters out of the remaining backlog, with one of them delivered to CCTC in Torzhok and the delivery of the remaining two put off until 2009. In

addition, the manufacturer built the second Ka-52 two-seat helicopter prototype serialled 062 (it made its maiden flight on 27 June 2008) and, in October, the next one with side number 063. During 2009, plans provide for making three LRIP Ka-52s and launching their official joint test programme. The trials are to be completed and the launching of the full-scale production is to be given the nod before the year-end. So far, the Russian Defence Ministry is said to have planned to order 12 production-standard Ka-52s (the Red Star daily reported that on 31 December 2008, quoting RusAF commander Col-Gen. Alexander Zelin as speaking to this effect), while the Kommersant on 30 October 2008 wrote about a contract between Progress and the Defence Ministry for “up to 30 Ka-52s�,

Alexey Mikheyev

Combat helicopters Last year, the Russian combat helicopter production milestones were the completion of the official trials of the Mil Mi-28N attack helicopter and wrapping-up of another phase of the official test programme of the Kamov Ka-52. The results produced by the milestones served the ground for taking the decision on launching the full-rate production of the Mi-28N by Rostvertol and fielding the resultant machines as well as on making a low-rate initial production (LRIP) batch of Ka-52 by the Progress plant in Arsenyev. In earlier 2008, Rostvertol delivered the first four production-standard Mi-28Ns serialled 41, 42, 43 and 44 to the Army Aviation Combat and Conversion Training Centre (CCTC) in the town of Torzhok. Then, the manufacturer started making the machines of the type for combat units. The first three of the latter helicopters (side numbers 01, 02 and 03) had been complete by the end of 2008, but left the factory airfield as late as March this year. The Kommersant daily reported on 21 April that Rostvertol had completed the delivery of the whole of the first six-ship batch of Mi-28Ns to RusAF, with the machines to be headed for an independent helicopter

Alexey Mikheyev

One of the last production Kamov Ka-50 single-seat combat helicopters assembled at Progress plant last year (seen here flying) and the first pre-production Ka-52 built here in the Autumn (on the ground). The second Ka-52 prototype (side number 062) build by Progress plant in summer 2008 is shown flying at the right

Left: a pair of Mil Mi-28N combat helicopters from the first production batch built at Rostvertol in 2008 for the RusAF delivery

take-off june 2009


industry | rewiew


Venezuelan Army Aviation’s Mil Mi-35M. Early last year Rostvertol delivered the final two of ten Mi-35M helicopters ordered by Venezuela in 2006

Russian helicopter output in 2007–2008 (official data provided by Russian Helicopters JSC)* Manufacturer



Kazan Helicopters

Mi-8MTV, Mi-17V-5, Mi-172



Mi-8AMT, Mi-171

2008 55 59

The first Mi-26TC in China. Last year this helicopter delivered by Rostvertol in September 2007 became Chinese property


referring to Progress Director General Yuri Denisenko as its source. In addition, the RIA Novosti news agency reports that three foreign countries, among them Libya, showed their interest in acquiring the Ka-52. According to the official statistics of Russian Helicopters JSC, Rostvertol manufactured 20 Mi-28Ns and Mi-24s (Mi-35s) in 2008. If seven of them are brand-new Mi-28Ns, the remaining 13 must be the machines of the Mi-24 family. The two last Mi-35s are known to have been shipped to Venezuela in the January of last year under the current contract for 10 aircraft, with the first eight delivered in two batches in July and December 2006). In addition, the Arms Export magazine reports that Rostvertol upgraded four Mi-24Vs of the Kazakh Defence Ministry in 2008. Last summer, many Russian news agencies reported the then upcoming shipping of six Mi-35Ms to Indonesia, but judging by the lack of the fact of delivery, an error was made, probably, and the news agencies meant the six Mi-17V-5 utility helicopters delivered to Indonesia in summer 2008. Just like in case with the Mi-2, it is possible that the earlier-built Mi-24s (Mi-35s), which Rostvertol

was overhauling and upgrading during 2008, were included into the overall statistics. Most probably, the company will continue this work in future. At the same time, the construction of new Mi-35Ms under export contracts will carry on in Rostov. In November last year, the news came of a contract on 12 Mi-35M helicopters signed with Brazil. This will be the pioneer deal on Russian military aircraft export to Brazil. The first Mi-35 shipment is slated for late 2009.



Mi-24, Mi-35




Heavy-lift helicopters


Ka-27, Ka-32





The 2008 official statistics of Russian Helicopters JSC offers no data on Mi-26T heavylifters in production by Rostvertol. However, the two last machines under the



* The data include both brand-new production helicopters and overhauled/upgraded ones.


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2006 contract for three Mi-26Ts are known to have been shipped to Venezuela in the February of last year, with the first aircraft made in February 2006 and delivered late in December same year. Most likely, both of the last two machines were completed in 2007. In May last year, China assumed the ownership of the Mi-26TC delivered in September 2007 under a 2006 leasing deal. Inspired with the successful employment of the Mi-26TC as part of the disaster relief operation in Sichuan province in the wake of the earthquake, the Chinese authorities signed on 26 May 2008 a contract on buying the machine, and a contract for another Mi-26TC was made on 4 November with the option for seven more machines.

industry | rewiew

Medium transports of Mi-8 family According to the official statistics of Russian Helicopters, 114 Mil Mi-8 (Mi-17, Mi-171, Mi-172) family machines were delivered in 2008, of which 55 were made by Kazan Helicopters and 59 by the Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant (UUAP).

The largest order handled by Kazan Helicopters in 2008 was the delivery of 14 Mi-17V-5s to Venezuela under a contract concluded in 2006 (11 of the aircraft entered service with the Venezuelan Army Aviation and three with the Venezuelan Navy) as well as two VIP-version Mi-172s for the Venezuelan president. The initial Mi-17 delivery to Venezuela took place in 2006 when six military Mi-17V-5s and three civilian Mi-172s for natural disaster and emergency relief service arrived to the country. Another last year’s key order was crowned by the delivery of six Mi-17V-5s to Indonesia in July 2008 under the deal struck in 2005 with Indonesia’s Army Aviation adopted the machines for service in August 2008. Moreover, according to the Arms Export magazine, five Mi-17V-5 helicopters were delivered to the Colombian Army Aviation in 2008. Several helicopters were sold to the United States, with two Mi-172s registered with FAA in May 2008 and a Mi-17V-5 in July that year. LLH Services, which took delivery of five Mi-17V-5s from Kazan Helicopters in 2007–2008, was indicated as the owner.

In 2008, Kazan Helicopters delivered several helicopters to domestic customers as well. For instance, several new-built Mi-8MTV-5s were received by RusAF and the air branch of the Russian Ministry of Interior, two Mi-8MTV-1s by the air arm of the Russian Emergencies Ministry and two Mi-8MTV-1S VIP machines by the Rossiya air carrier’s presidential air detachment. Probably, the largest export contract fulfilled by UUAP in 2008 was the delivery of Mi-171Sh utility choppers to the Croatian Air Force under the 2007 contract for 10 aircraft. The first two Mi-171Sh machines were shipped to the customer in December 2007. Last year, UUAP wrapped up the contract by delivering the eight remaining helicopters to Croatia. Mongolia became a new customer of UUAP in 2008, with its air carrier Mongolyn Alt taking delivery of a Mi-171S VIP helicopter in March and its Air Force getting a Mi-171 utility helicopter in August. In addition, two Mi-171s were received by the Pakistani Counternarcotics Service in October 2008.

Alexey Mikheyev

At the same time, Rostvertol carries on with overhauling previously built Mi-26s and Mi-26Ts and developing the upgraded version designated Mi-26T2 expected to be crewed by two and fitted with an advanced avionics suite.

Kazan Helicopters

Mil M-8MTV-5 utility helicopter from the batch delivered by Kazan Helicopters to Russian Air Force in 2008

Venezuelan Army Aviation’s Mi-17V-5. Delivery of 14 such machines to Venezuela became the biggest export order of Kazan Helicopters in 2008

UUAP’s major domestic order last year was the contract it signed with the UTair airline. Under the contract announced on 21 February 2008, UUAP shall deliver 40 Mi-171s, with 20 of them under initial firm order. The deliveries began in the October of last year with four Mi-171s came to the carrier by the year end and five more in early 2009. A similar big-ticket order is planned to be awarded to UUAP by the Gazpromavia carrier that expects it will have bought up to 46 Mi-171s until 2012. Another Russian buyer of UUAP-built helicopters is the Alrosa company that took delivery of two Mi-171S helicopters in March and April 2008. Some more Ulan-Ude-built Mi-8AMT and Mi-171 helicopters were sold last year to other domestic companies and organisations last year as well. take-off june 2009


industry | rewiew



Mongolia became a new customer for Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant last year. This is the first Mi-171 delivered by UUAP to Mongolyn Alt company in 2008

Top: Korea is still the biggest foreign customer of Kamov Ka-32 coaxial transport helicopters. This Ka-32A11BC was delivered to HeliKorea company

UUAP continues production of Mi-171 helicopters for Russian customers. This Mi-171 was delivered in 2008 to Alrosa company


Alexey Mikheyev

Bottom: Russian paramilitary forces are now the main customers of Kamov Ka-226 light transports. A helicopter delivered to Russia’s Federal Security Service air arm is shown here

The delivery to India of 80 Mi-17V-5s worth a total of about $1.2 billion is to become the most lucrative helicopter export deal clinched last year. The contract was made in December 2008 and the deliveries shall be from 2010 to 2014. In addition, a huge number of Mi-17s may be acquired by the Afghan Armed Forces in future, according to the foreign media. For instance, according to the Jane’s Defence Weekly report dated 18 December 2008, nine Mi-17V-5s are to be shipped to Afghanistan already this year, with their Afghan fleet able to have grown to 37 by 2013 and to 59 by 2016. The deal will be fulfilled with the United States as a middleman, and the participation of other intermediaries is a possibility too. Moreover, the RBC news agency reports that Egypt has ordered 14 Mi-17s. The implementation of the order awarded to UUAP by the


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aviation department of Iran’s Red Crescent organisation late in 2007 has started. Of the five Mi-171s ordered, the first two machines have been shipped from Ulan-Ude to Iran in February this year, with the remainder slated for delivery this spring. Thailand is expected to present a new market for UUAP. According to Arms Export magazine, a contract on three Mi-171s was awarded by the country last year.

Coaxial medium-class helicopters According to Russian Helicopters JSC, the output of Kamov Ka-27/28/32 family accounted for 11 units in 2008. The Kumertau Aviation Production Enterprise (KumAPE) runs production of these helicopters, but no new-built machines of the type were delivered to domestic users in 2008. At the same time, at

least four Ka-32A11BC transport helicopters are known to have been built and exported. Two of them went to South Korea in the spring and the other two to Spanish company HeliSurEste in the autumn. Conceivably, the remaining seven helicopters in the official 2008 statistics were Ka-27, Ka-28 and Ka-32s overhauled by KumAPE concurrently with manufacturing the new aircraft. The Kamov company is offering the upgrade of the Ka-27 and Ka-27PS operated by the Russian Navy. Talks also are under way on upgrading the Ka-28 shipborne helicopters exported to India and China in the past. If relevant contracts are signed, these efforts may become an important component of the future production programmes of KumAPE and Kamov itself. In addition, it is possible that the Indian or some other navy could

industry | rewiew of 3–3.5 t now in production in the country, the Ka-226 and Ansat. At the same time, there were several events last year, which were important to both programmes. The Ka-226 has been in production since 2000 by two manufacturers – Orenburg-based Strela plant and KumAPE, the latter being a Russian Helicopters JSC subsidiary. Strela plant makes Allison-powered Ka-226AG for the Gazpromavia air carrier (22 machines were ordered initially, and a contract is to be modified for 40 units under the revised specifications in the near future) and Ka-226A for the Russian Emergencies Ministry that ordered five aircraft. KumAPE has been supplying machines powered by the same powerplants to the air arm of the Russian Federal Security Service since 2006 and Russian Internal Affairs Ministry since 2007. In September last year, Strela plant delivered two new helicopters to the Orenburg Regional Clinical Hospital for

Kazan Helicopters

Ansat-U trainer helicopter prototype. Kazan Helicopters is to deliver six such machines to RusAF in 2009

buy extra Ka-31 airborne early warning helicopters. Such machines have been ordered by the Russian military as well, with the official Russian Web site for making orders reported in November 2008 that KumAPE had come on top in the competition for delivering two Ka-252RLD radar picket helicopters to the Russian Defence Ministry in 2009–2010.

The delivery of new-built Ka-32 transports to South Korea and European and other countries is certain to continue in the near future.

Multipurpose transport helicopters up to 4 t The 2008 statistics of Russian Helicopters JSC did not include both light multipurpose helicopters with a takeoff weight

use in the medical evacuation role in remote districts and one machine, while in November KumAPE handed over one Ka-226 to the air detachment operating in support of the police departments of St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region. The recent decision by Russian Helicopters JSC on developing the Ka-226T version fitted by more powerful engines from French comtake-off june 2009


industry | rewiew pany Turbomeca could give the future of the helicopter a new twist. Russian Helicopters and Turbomeca clinched the deal on the development of the modified Arrius 2G1 turboshaft engine to power the Ka-226T on 22 January 2009. The Ka-226T is to compete in the Indian Defence Ministry tender for acquisition and licence production of 197 light multipurpose helicopters for its Army Aviation and Air Force. KumAPE is going to launch the Ka-226T production in 2010 or 2011. The Ansat has been in production by Kazan Helicopters since 2004. The first six production aircraft were exported to South Korea, two delivered to the air arm of the Russian Federal Security Service, one more to Radar-MMS company and one in medevac version – to Kazan air carrier. Some more Ansats were built on order form Laos and Kazakhstan but remaining at the factory so far. November 2008 saw the successful completion of the official test programme of the Ansat-U trainer version with the double set of controls, which development had been ordered by the Russian Air Force. The variant was cleared for full-rate production and service entry on 26 December 2008. The Russian Defence Ministry has ordered as many as 12 Ansat-Us, of which six are to be delivered to Air Force flying schools in 2009.

Advanced programmes We have reviewed the key Russian helicopter-making programmes that were at the production stage in 2008. At the same time, Russian Helicopters is running several other programmes that are in different life-cycle phases – from R&D to productionising. In the medium transport helicopter class, the Mil design bureau continues to pursue the Mi-8M deep upgrade programme and develop the heavier Mi-38 with the 16 tonne takeoff weight. The first Mi-38 prototype powered by Canadian-made PW127/5 engines has been flight-tested since December 2003, with Kazan Helicopters completing the second flying prototype and manufacturing the third one. “The programme has been dragging its feet due to the Pratt & Whitney Canada company that had not launched on time the work stipulated by the agreement on furnishing the helicopters with PW127T/S turboshaft engines”, Russian Helicopters stated on 13 April. For this reason, a decision has been taken fall back on “plan providing for fitting the Mi-38 with Russian-made TV7-117V engines”. Kazan Helicopters can launch the full-rate production of the Mi-38 in 2014. The product range of Russian Helicopters in the class of multipurpose transport

helicopter with the 4.5–6.5 tonne takeoff weight includes the Kamov Ka-62 and Mil Mi-54 programmes. The Ka-62 transport/passenger helicopter designed to seat 12–14 passengers or 2–2.7 tonnes of cargo is being derived by Kamov from the Ka-60 military prototype helicopter, which has been in the flight trials since 1998, and its trainer variant Ka-60U that completed its maiden flight in 2007. The production Ka-62s that could appear after 2012 may be powered by both domestic-made RD-600V engines or Turbomeca Ardiden 3G turboshafts from France. The first Ka-62 prototype can be built by the Progress plant in Arsenyev in 2010. The Mi-54 transport/passenger helicopter designed to carry 12 passengers or 1.5–1.7 tonnes of cargo has been under development by the Mil design bureau since the early 1990s. The machine is expected to be equipped with a pair of VK-800 engines. Rostvertol may launch the production of the Mi-54 after 2012. In the light helicopter class, the strategy of Russian Helicopters makes provision for resuming the production of the Mi-34 helicopter with the 1.45 tonnes takeoff weight, which was suspended in 2002. The upgraded piston-engine and new gas-turbine versions are slated to be built by Progress plant since 2011.

Russian Helicopters to take up UAVs



взлёт 5/2009 май

the problem has come to a head: such UAVs are in high demand with both commercial users and the military. There are premises for financing as well. Several important steps have been taken under the programme. Under the current classification, a model range has been devised to include four basic unmanned helicopter classes – the close-in, short-range, medium-range and long-range ones. The programme is aimed at developing a single configuration of aircraft and systems with heavily commonised characteristics for the

whole of the family – the design (units, assemblies, transport bays), system (navigation, control) and payload (surveillance or reconnaissance equipment) commonality. The commonality will be sought along two lines – civil applications (fuel and energy industry, pipelines) and military applications (Air Force, Navy, Army, Airborne Force). Then, customers will specify the commonised models’ payload tailored for specific missions, be it radio relay, jamming, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, transportation, strike missions, etc.

The smallest of the Russian helicopter-type UAVs is to be the super-lightweight close-in unmanned helicopter being developed by the Russian Helicopters’ Engineering Innovation Centre. The UAV’s takeoff weight will be less than 4 kg. The aircraft will feature an unusual layout with four constant-pitch two-blade main rotors and cross-shaped fuselage. Its payload will weight 0.3 kg and range will be 5 km. The unmanned mini-chopper will be powered by an electric engine.


Yevgeny Yerokhin

Russian Helicopters

Late last year, the Russian Helicopters joint stock company launched a very topical programme dubbed Unmanned Helicopter Systems and designed to focus and regulate this segment of helicopter making. Programme Director Gennady Bebeshko, who had headed the Unmanned Aircraft Combat Employment Centre in Yegoryevsk, outlined at Take-off’s request the near prospects of Russian helicopter-type unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). As is known, there has been virtually no systemic work in the field of unmanned helicopters in Russia. Now,

industry | rewiew

Andrey Zhirnov

Mil Mi-38 prospective transport helicopter first flying prototype in demo flight


The close-in UAV will be developed for the military only as the basis of a drastically innovative light mobile helicopter system. It will weigh 50– 80 kg and have a combat radius of up to 50 km. Its 10–15 kg payload may include a day/night optronic system. As far as the short-range unmanned helicopter is concerned, a new aircraft will be developed in this class as well, with the development to pursue and rely upon the design backlog accumulated under the Ka-37 programme of the Kamov company. This line is being explored by the Ka-135 programme on developing a light, 300 kg UAV with the 100 km combat radius and 50 kg payload. The medium-range unmanned helicopter class will be the most populous one. In this class, the Ka-115

weighing up to 1,500 kg will be derived from the light manned coaxial-rotor helicopter of the same name. The medium helicopter UAV class will also include the Korshun coaxial-rotor UAV derived by the Kumertau-based Rotor design bureau from the manned baseline model. The helicopter weighs 495 kg and has a combat radius of up to 400 km. To date, the KumAPE joint stock company has made an experimental example and is launching its trials now. In addition, a proposal was made to use the Aktay manned helicopter’s rotor system, powertrain and engines for deriving an unmanned version by Kazan Helicopters. The long-range multirole helicopter UAV class will comprise the Mi-34BP1, Mi-34BP2 and Mi-34BP3 (V-34BP) with a weight of about 1,450 kg and

Mi-28N and Ka-52 helicopters and the development of future combat helicopters for the Army Aviation and Navy as well as helicopter-type unmanned aerial vehicles.


a combat radius of 500 km, and Ka-126BV weighing 3,500 kg and having a combat radius of 1,000– 1,500 km depending on the payload and mission at hand. This class of unmanned helicopters will handle firing or transporting a payload of up to 1,000 kg. Both the Mi-34BP and Ka-126BV are being developed with the maximum use of units, powerplants and powertrains of the baseline machines, the Mi-34 and

Ka-226. The Ka-126BV is supposed to use the detachable mission-specific payload module with the commonised set of electro-optical, infrared and radio-frequency wavebands, relay hear or cargo transport devices. The ‘big’ unmanned helicopter class has another concept from the Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant, which has been dubbed Multirole Robotic Helicopter System (Russian acronym MRVK). The aircraft is said to be fitted with the rotor blade control system similar to that of the future Mi-X1 high-speed helicopter. The MRVK’s takeoff weight is said to be about 3 t. So far, the baseline helicopter-type UAV programmes are in the preliminary design phase, and the R&D on specific aircraft will be launched after orders have been landed and funds obtained. MRVK

Yevgeny Yerokhin

Experimental prototypes of these machines could be developed by approximately 2015–2016. Work is also under way on the further modernisation of the production

Yevgeny Yerokhin

Russian Helicopters

The Mi-X1 and Ka-92 high-speed transport helicopter development programmes, which are at the research stage now, could meet longer-term requirements.

take-off june 2009


civil aviation | news

Andrey Fomin

On 31 March, the flight test facility of the Ulyanovsk-based Aviastar-SP plant hosted the ceremony of delivering the 50th Tupolev Tu-204 aircraft. The Red Wings airline accepted its second 214-seat Tu-204-100B airliner this year, serialled RA-64050. Red Wings Deputy Director General Victor Kononenko was given the symbolic key to the plane by Ilyushin Finance Co. (IFC) head Alexander Rubtsov who, in his turn, was presented it by Mikhail Shushpanov, Director General of Aviastar-SP that had built the plane. The importance of the ceremony was highlighted by the presence of Russian Industry and Commerce Minister Victor Khristenko, his deputy Denis Manturov and UAC President Alexey Fyodorov. The aircraft handed off to Red Wings became the fifth new Tu-204-100B built for the carrier by Aviastar-SP on order from IFC. Apart from them, the carrier has been operating three Tu-204-100s (RA-64048, RA-64019 and RA-64020) leased from IFC as well. Another aircraft of the type (RA-64017), which had been flown by Red Wings since 2007, was returned to the Aviastar-Tu carrier in March. However, Red Wings is poised to receive another new Tu-204-100B (RA-64048) soon – the sixth and final aircraft under the current contract with IFC. The airliner first flew on 8 May. The previous Tu-204-100B (RA-64049) was delivered to the carrier on 16 February. Meanwhile, the parties are going to make another contract for nine


take-off june 2009

Andrey Fomin

Customers taking delivery of new Tu-204s

more new Tu-204s. However, while initial plans provided for buying Tu-204-100Bs, two of which were slated for the airline this autumn and the remaining seven throughout 2010, upgraded Tu-204SMs are likely to be bought, with their delivery set to start in 2011. Thus, in several years, the airline will operate the 18 Tu-204 aircraft fleet – the largest fleet of the kind among Russian and foreign users. According to IFC Director General Alexander Rubtsov, the advanced narrow-body airliners of the Tu-204 family enjoy several advantages over the Airbus and Boeing airliners popular in Russia from the carrier economic efficiency point of view (due to a certain slump in passenger traffic on some of the

operations). The reason is their leases are paid in rubles, while their prices in ruble terms remained virtually unchanged, having sagged in dollar terms. According to Mikhail Shushpanov, this year’s target output of Aviastar-SP provides for delivery of at least nine Tu-204 family aircraft. In addition to the airliners for Red Wings these include two Tu-204C freighters for Air Bridge Cargo (subsidiary of the Volga-Dnepr group), Tu-204CE (RA-64037) (CU-C1703) handed over to Cubana Aviation in February and ferried to Cuba in April, and Tu-204 (RA-64010) being converted to the Tu-204-300A VIP version for the VTB-Leasing company on order from Tupolev JSC. The

Tu-204-300A can start its trials in June. The first freighter for Air Bridge Cargo (RA-64051) is slated to commence its tests at about the same time, too. According to the Aviastar-SP Director General, the company is going to roll out at least 12 Tu-204s a year during 2010–2012, but “everything will depend on the demand and orders available”. This is why it is so important to the company to productionise the more competitive upgraded Tu-204SM. Alexander Rubtsov said a decision had been taken “to optimise the Tu-204SM test programme”, under which two aircraft are to be used. They are to be manufactured by Aviastar-SP in February or March 2010. The certification tests of the two new Tu-204SMs are supposed to be complete by late next year, after which they will be delivered to the customer, Iranian airline Iran Airtour. According to Rubtsov, up to 75% of Tu-204SMs will be built for export to the Middle East and Latin America. As far as domestic Tu-204SM buyers are concerned, Alexander Rubtsov mentioned the companies that might join Rosavia carrier. Under UAC’s updated production plan published in late April, the two plants are to make a total of 58 Tu-204 and Tu-214 aircraft during 2009–2012. A.F.

civil aviation | news

seat 157 passengers in nine VIP, 24 business class and 124 economy class seats became the fourth aircraft of the model operated by the presidential air detachment that had taken delivery of two presidential Il-96-300PUs (RA-96012 and RA-96016) and then a similar Il-96-300 (RA-96018). The plane was completed by VASO this spring, and its factory flight tests were wrapped up with success on 16 April. In the wake of the handover

Victor Khristenko, UAC President and Chairman of the Board Alexey Fyodorov and Voronezh Region Governor Alexey Gordeyev. The acceptance reports were signed by Vitaly Zubarev, VASO Director General, Alexander Rubtsov, IFC Director General, Alexander Kucherov, deputy chief engineer, aircraft maintenance depot, Moscow affiliate of the Rossiya airline (for the Il-96-300), and Anatoly Karpov, Polyot Director General (for the Il-96-400T). The Il-96-300 (RA-96019) delivered to Rossiya and designed to

ceremony, Il-96-300 (RA-96019) was ferried from VASO’s airfield to Vnukovo-2 airport near Moscow. Ilyushin Director General and Designer General Victor Livanov told Take-off that he expected the presidential executive office to order two to four Il-96s more. The delivery of the first Il-96-400T (RA-96101) to the Polyot carrier has finally crowned the protracted handover of the new cargo version of the airliner to the end customer by the manufacturer and leasing company (as is known, the first Il-96-400Ts were earmarked for

Andrey Fomin

Andrey Fomin

In Voronezh on 23 April, UAC’s subsidiaries Ilyushin Finance Co. (IFС) and VASO plant handed off two new Ilyushin Il-96 family aircraft to the customers, with an Il-96-300 airliner, serialled RA-96019, accepted by the Special Air Detachment of the Russian president’s executive office and an Il-96-400T (RA-96101) long-haul freighter accepted by the Voronezh-based Polyot airline. The ceremony was attended by Industry and Commerce Minister

Vladimir Karnozov/UAK

Two new Il-96s delivered

Atlant-Soyuz at first and then for Aeroflot-Cargo, but both operators rejected them for a number of reasons). Polyot and IFC signed the contract on leasing the three aircraft on 25 February 2009, and on 4 March the first Il-96-400T (RA-96101) sporting the corporate colour scheme of the Polyot carrier and named after Vyacheslav Salikov in honour of the late IFC Deputy Director General and previously the long-term Director General of VASO, the manufacturer of aircraft of the type, was rolled out of the paint shop of the Spektr-Avia company in Ulyanovsk. On the next day, the aircraft was brought to VASO for Polyot’s engineers to accept it. Polyot’s acquisition of the Il-96-400Ts has paved the way for its launching of a new air cargo operation. Using the Il-96-400Ts will be key to the company’s exploration of the scheduled cargo transport market in the north and east of Russia and scheduled international cargo services among Russia, China, South Korea and CIS and EU countries.

Polyot’s first Il-96-400T is to start hauling cargo as early as June this year, with the carrier’s flying and ground crews converting the new type concurrently. In the summer, the airline is to take delivery of the next two Il-96-400Ts, since RA-96102 had passed its factory tests by this May and RA-96103 is gearing up for its maiden flight. Thus, this summer, Polyot is to have all three Il-96-400Ts acquired under a firm order. In the future, the company will be able to exercise its three options as well. An UAC news release reads, “The delivery of each new Il-96 is an important event for the Russian aircraft industry and the country as a whole. The production of the aircraft of the type enables Russia to retain its expertise in the wide-body airliner field and remain among the three major makers of the aircraft in this class along with the United States and European Union”. UAC’s updated target output provides for building nine wide-body long-haul aircraft of the Il-96 family during 2009–2012. A.F.

take-off june 2009


Alexey Mikheyev

civil aviation | project

SUKHOI SUPERJET 100 DEBUTS IN LE BOURGET Andrey FOMIN A key, most interesting full-scale exhibit of the current air show in Le Bourget, probably, will be the prototype of the advanced Sukhoi SuperJet 100 regional airliner. Displaying the SuperJet 100 in Paris is the international debut of the cutting-edge Russian airliner being developed in cooperation with numerous foreign major manufacturers of aircraft, engines, avionics and other components form Italy, France, the United States, Germany and other countries. SSJ100 prototypes are undergoing a certification tests programme planned to wrap up by the year-end when the early production SuperJets are to be shipped to the launch customers. Overall, the developer has landed 98 firm orders from Russian and foreign air carriers.


take-off june 2009

civil aviation | project The SuperJets were flown from Komsomolsk-on-Amur to Zhukovsky by SCAC test pilots. Aircraft 95001 (serial 97001) was flown by SCAC chief test pilot Alexander Yablontsev and test pilot Nikolay Pushenko and SSJ100 c/n 95003 (serial 97003) by Leonid Chikunov and Sergey Korostiyev. Commenting on the flight, Alexander Yablontsev said, “The route we have covered was, essentially, a flight of two regional-distance ‘legs’ 3,500 km each. It enabled us to run the first evaluation of the aircraft’s capabilities under the conditions to the maximum degree simulating the routine flight of a regional passenger aircraft. Both aircraft performed well, and their engines and systems operated as expected. The aircraft is easy to control and can well be flown by a medium-skills pilot”. Just a couple of days after getting to Zhukovsky, both SSJ100 prototypes carried on with flight tests under the certification programme. In addition to the tests in the Moscow Region, series of special flights in other regions of the country were planned. For instance, on 11 April, SSJ100 c/n 95001 was headed for Arkhangelsk for natural icing tests, for which purpose it had been equipped with special instruments to control the icing of the air intakes, wings and empennage. Before coming back to Zhukovsky on 27 April, the aircraft completed five flights over the White Sea coast in the vicinity of Arkhangelsk and Murmansk where the probability of the icingconducive conditions is always high. “The aircraft and all of its systems, including the anti-icing one, have displayed failsafe performance in the ordinary and critical modes. The aircraft has performed superbly, and all five flights have been a success as far as the SuperJet 100 certification is concerned”, said Igor Vinogradov, first vice-president,

SCAC. “The tests have proven all design characteristics and rig test results. In addition, SCAC engineers and IAC Aircraft Registry experts have gotten the proof of the preliminary calculation of the form and size of the ice forming on the surface, which is necessary for the next stage of the trials with the use of ice simulators”. Another milestone of the Sukhoi SuperJet 100 certification test programme were the early familiarisation flights of European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in April, with the aircraft to be certificated under the EASA standards early next year. SSJ100 c/n 95001 was flown by EASA test pilot Philippe Castaigns and SCAC test pilots Leonid Chirkunov and Sergey Korostiyev as well as EASA flight test engineer Fabrice Butin. The crew made up of EASA test pilot Francois Fabre and flight test engineer Jean-Pierre Marre as well SCAC test pilots Alexander Yablontsev and Vadim Shirokikh flew SSJ100 c/n 95003. The EU test pilots’ familiarisation flights on board the SuperJet were part of the work being done by the EASA certification task force responsible for aircraft flight-testing under the EASA certification programme. The flights were designed to ensure initial familiarisation with the aircraft and preliminary evaluation of its controllability. “The first flights precede EASA’s certification flight campaign, and these two flights on SuperJets were, no doubt, a huge step in our familiarisation with the SSJ100 and the team of the Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company”, said Francois Fabre. “We have accomplished all of the objectives, including flying on a single engine”, said Fabrice Butin. “The first impression is that the aircraft is very comfortable and easy to control. As far as

Alexey Mikheyev

The most important recent event under the programme of certification tests of the advanced Sukhoi SuperJet 100 took place on 1 April this year when two flying prototypes were ferried from the factory airfield in Komsomolsk-on-Amur to the Moscow Region. Having completed their first longhaul flights from the Russian Far East, they landed at the Gromov LII Flight Research Institute airfield in Zhukovsky where their certification programme continued at the Flight Test Complex of the Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company (SCAC) outfitted with the full set of flight data processing gear. The prototypes departed the Dzemgi factory airfield in Komsomolsk-on-Amur on the morning of 30 March. On the same day, they landed at Tolmachovo airport in Novosibirsk where they were shown to the personnel of the airport, air carriers and Novosibirsk Aircraft Production Association (NAPO) deeply involved in the airliner’s production programme. The prototypes left for Moscow on 1 April in the morning, and about 13.00 hrs the first of the two SuperJets (c/n 95001) showed up in the skies over Zhukovsky where it was met by a pair of other latest Sukhoi aircraft, Su-35s. Having made a flypast escorted by the fighters, the airliner touched down smoothly. An hour later, the other SuperJet (c/n 95003) appeared in the skies over Zhukovsky, touching down at LII airfield. The planes taxied to SCAC’s Flight Test Complex where they were met by the management of the company. Sukhoi Director General Mikhail Pogosyan told the media that the SSJ100 certification trials had been on a rather tight schedule. Over a rather short period, the two prototypes had ensured excellent dynamics of the flight test programme, having logged more than 400 flight hours on over 130 missions.

take-off june 2009


civil aviation | project


take-off june 2009

Alexey Mikheyev


SSJ100 first flying prototype (c/n 95001)

Alexey Mikheyev

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. 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. 13 June 2005. Thales was selected as the avionics integrator. 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.



civil aviation | project


SSJ100 second flying prototype (c/n 95003)

February 2006. KnAAPO and NAPO launched aggregate assembly of the first prototypes. In all, six prototypes were laid down. 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. 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. 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. 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. 15 July 2008. The MoU was signed with Perm-based company Avialeasing on 40 SSJ100s for the catalogue price of a total of more than $630 million, including 24 firm orders and 16 options. 16 July 2008. During the Farnborough air show, it was announced that the SuperJet International joint venture and Swiss leasing company AMO had singed an agreement for five SSJ100s with a catalogue price of a total of $150 million and another deal had been struck with an unnamed “European customer” for 20 aircraft worth in a neighbourhood of $600 million and slated for delivery from 2011. 24 October 2008. The first SSJ100 prototype (c/n 95001, side number 97001) was officially submitted for the certification tests. The news was announced in Khabarovsk where the aircraft flew for the first time from the factory airfield in Komsomolsk-on-Amur. 19 November 2008. SSJ100 prototype c/n 95006 designed for endurance tests was flown by an An-124 Ruslan transport to SibNIA institute in Novosibirsk. 5 December 2008. A contract was signed on the key terms of the delivery of 15 SSJ100/95 aircraft with a catalogue price of a total of $448 million to Indonesian airline Kartika, with the delivery starting from 2011 and with 15 options. 19 December 2008. The second phase of the SaM146 engine’s trials on board the Il-76LL flying testbed started in Gromov LII. The second phase is designed for 150 flight hours. 24 December 2008. The second SSJ100 flying prototype (c/n 95003, serial 97003) conducted its first flight in Komsomolsk-on-Amur, crewed by test pilots Leonid Chirkunov and Nikolay Pushenko. The flight lasted 2 h 30 min. 30 March 2009. SSJ100 c/n 95001 and 95003 departed on a Komsomolsk-on-Amur – Novosibirsk – Moscow flight. The aircraft were shown in Novosibirsk’s Tolmachovo airport. 1 April 2009. Prototypes c/n 95001 and 95003 came for the first time to Gromov LII’s airfield in Zhukovsky (Moscow Region) to continue their certification tests at the Flight Test Complex of the SCAC. 11 April 2009. The first SSJ100 prototype (c/n 95001) flew from Zhukovsky to Arkhangelsk for natural icing tests. Five test missions had been flown in the vicinity of Arkhangelsk and Murmansk, after which the aircraft returned to Zhukovsky on 27 April. 11 May 2009. During Russian Premier Vladimir Putin’s visit to Komsomolsk-on-Amur, it was announced that the government would support the programme with additional 6.8 billion rubles (about $210 million) and Vnesheconombank would issue a $250 million loan to airlines buying Sukhoi SuperJet 100 airliners. 19 May 2009. For one year passed from the beginning of the SuperJet flight tests 180 missions were accomplished, including 131 sorties by SSJ100 c/n 95001 and 49 by c/n 95003. take-off june 2009


civil aviation | project Orders for Sukhoi SuperJet 100 (as of 19 May 2009) Date




Price, million USD*

17 Aug 2005




7 Dec 2005




9 Dec 2006





19 Dec 2006





19 Jun 2007





14 Sept 2007





16 July 2008




16 July 2008

undisclosed carrier







* list prices ** order thought to be resigned with Rosavia carrier

controllability is concerned, the SSJ100 is very similar to the aircraft we are accustomed to”. Following the demonstration at the air show in Le Bourget, the SuperJet is to pass another important stage of the certification trials. In July, it will fly to Armenia where it will conduct a series of flights in mountainous terrain and then to Central Asia for high-temperature tests.

This summer, two more flying prototypes are to join the certification trials. SSJ100 c/n 95004 will become the third flying prototype. In April, it entered ground tests on the premises of the Komsomolsk-on-Amur affiliate of SCAC, and its maiden flight has been scheduled for later June or early July. After a short series of factory tests, it will be ferried to Zhukovsky too. It will be used for conducting part of the tests of the avionics on the premises of Sukhoi’s Italian partner under the SSJ programme. The fourth and final flying prototype (c/n 95005) is to join the certification tests in August. Now, the prototype is in the final assembly shop of SCAC in Komsomolsk-on-Amur where the first production aircraft (c/n 95007) found itself in February. In KnAAPO’s shops, the assembly of the airframe of the second production aircraft (c/n 95008) is under way too. Major assembly of other aircraft numbered 95009 to 95012 is going on at the same time. Under the current plan, the first two production Sujhoi SuperJet 100s are to be complete by year-end so that they can be delivered to the customer after completing the certifica-

Partners in Sukhoi SuperJet 100 development and production SCAC (Moscow; subsidiary – Komsomolsk-on-Amur)

Prime contractor. Aircraft development. Final assembly. Flight tests. Delivery

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


take-off june 2009

tion tests being performed on four flying prototypes and two ground static and endurance test prototypes (c/n 95002 and 95006 respectively) and after obtaining the type certificate from the Aircraft Registry of the Interstate Aviation Committee. The launch customers for the Sukhoi SuperJet 100 will be Russia’s Aeroflot and Armenian Armavia. The first two production SSJ100s (c/n 95007 and 95008) are to be delivered in December this year. Overall, the orderbook of the airliner’s developer includes 98 firm orders (see the table). UAC’s updated production plan published late in April provides for making a total of 74 production aircraft of the type during 2009–2012, with the annual output rate to be gradually driven up to 60–70 units a year. On 11 May, during Russia’s Premier Vladimir Putin’s visit to

civil aviation | project

Vladimir Lavrov

SSJ100 (95001) during natural icing tests in Arkhangelsk, April 2009

SSJ100 (95003) first landing at Gromov LII airfield in Zhukovsky, 1 April 2009

Andrey Fomin

Amur, new governmental measures to support the Sukhoi SuperJet 100 programme were announced. The government promised extra 3.2 billion rubles (about $100 million) to increase SCAC’s ownership stake in the Russo-Italian joint venture set up to develop and promote the SuperJet 100 on the global market and 3.6 billion rubles (about $110 million) to provide direct support to the efforts to complete the certification test programme and productionise the SSJ100 under the federal Russia civil aviation development programme. In addition, during the premier’s visit to Komsomolskon-Amur, Vnesheconombank announced issuing a loan worth $250 million designated for Russian carriers buying aircraft of the type, in the first place, Aeroflot that had ordered 30 SSJ100 airliners. The early Sukhoi SuperJet 100s are to be delivered in late 2009 or 2010.

take-off june 2009


civil aviation | project


Su-35 photo by Alexey Mikheyev


take-off june 2009

civil aviation | project

take-off june 2009


Ground tests The SaM146 development programme is entering the special test phase under the general certification programme. Overall, 17 engines are needed under the certification programme, including eight (i.e. about 26 assemblies*) for rig and flying testbed trials and nine for the tests of SSJ100 prototypes. As of April this year, six engines (14 assemblies) were built for rig and flying testbed tests (five and one respectively) and four for testing onboard the SSJ100 prototypes. NPO Saturn’s testing facility used for the SaM146 certification tests includes the open-air test rig in Poluyevo near the city of Rybinsk and three indoor test cells, No. 26, 27

Yevgeny Yerokhin

civil aviation | project



Yevgeny Yerokhin


and 28. In addition, 23 types of unit certification tests are being prepared or performed at 12 test rigs of NPO Saturn, with corresponding tests being prepared in the TsIAM and VIAM institutes. Assembled in 2006, the very first demonstration example of the engine, designated as FETT (First Engine To Test), a.k.a. SaM146 No.001, has been tested ever since. As part of Assembly 001/3, it has completed its ice-cube ingestion trials, which ensured the green light for launching the testing of SSJ100 prototype No. 95001 under natural icing conditions (the * The assembly is understood here as the engine set resultant from the overhaul, fault detection and replacement some of the units and parts for the next stage of the test programme.


take-off june 2009

trials took place in Arkhangelsk from 11 to 27 April 2009, with five missions flown). Late in April, the engine will kick off its certification tests at the rig in Poluyevo, involving ice slab ingestion. In addition, production of units for Assembly 001/3, which is to be used for testing the fan blades and LP compressor in later 2009, is to begin as well. The second SaM146 prototype, No.002, is designed for several stages of the trials. Its initial Assembly 002/1 has been tested as the max thrust demonstrator, and initial tests of its gas generator and software have been completed. Assembly 002/2 has demonstrated the ‘single-engine aircraft’ thrust intended for flying on a single engine, redesigned fan blades have been tested and a number of oil and fuel system tests have been

With the ferrying the first two Sukhoi SuperJet 100 flying prototypes to Zhukovsky in the Moscow Region, another phase of the new airliner’s certification programme commenced, with a third and fourth prototypes to join the trials in the near future. Concurrently, the tests of the advanced SaM146 turbofan engine under co-development by Russia’s NPO Saturn and French Snecma to fit the SuperJet are under way. Overall, to complete the certification programme, 17 engines have to be made, of which 10 have been made and undergoing testing, including four on board two SSJ100 prototypes. According to some experts, it is the SaM146 development and delivery delays that are among the reasons for more prototypes slipping behind schedule in joining the trials and, hence, for the whole of the SuperJet certification programme to drag its feet. To get a better grasp of the situation, Take-off’s correspondent Yevgeny Yerokhin visited NPO Saturn and made sure that the SaM146 construction and tests are on schedule and the company remains poised to obtain the type certificate in the fourth quarter of the year.

conducted. Once modified, Assembly 002/2 was temporarily mounted on the first SSJ100 c/n 95001, during its rollout in Komsomolsk-on-Amur in September 2007. Then, the next assembly, 002/3, was prepared for evaluation of NPO Saturn’s new indoor test rigs. Assembly 002/4 ensured an

civil aviation | project important phase of the tests in Poluyevo in support of the plane’s maiden flight – the cross-wind effect, flutter margin, runway effect simulation and joint engine/thrust reverser operation tests. Then, the engine was overhauled, and SaM146 No.002/5 is undergoing certification tests on TsIAM’s climatic test bench under the icing conditions, after which another assembly, 002/6, will be made for fan blade strip certification tests in Poluyevo. SaM146 No.004 was mounted on the first SSJ100 along with engine No.002/2 during the prototype’s rollout in September 2007. Then during 2007–2008, it underwent equivalent cyclic tests in the indoor test cell

SaM146 No.005 and 008. They are to be completed in June and July 2009 respectively. The former is intended for vibration tests in the indoor test cell and the latter for cyclic tests in maximum allowable regimes.

to prove its service life. The engine logged 1,010 cycles (475 hours). The examination of the state of its parts following the trials showed the lack of defects worth mentioning. In the future, the engine will be returned to cyclic tests in the form of considerably renovated Assembly 004/2. The second engine for the equivalent cyclic tests is SaM146 No.007/1 that has logged 750 cycles. It is being used for calibrating NPO Saturn’s test rigs. In addition to the rig test-intended engines being developed in Russia, SaM146 No.006, which final assembly was handled by Snecma, is undergoing core engine certification tests in France. An installation for fan blade strip vacuum rig tests (actually, a full-size SaM146 low-pressure compressor with the core engine and low-pressure turbine simulators) was sent to Snecma as well. These tests were slated for late May 2009. NPO Saturn is manufacturing two more engines designed for ground testing –

characteristics were tested and the whole set of software tests was performed too. Stage I of SaM146 No.003’s flight trials as part of the Il-76LL, which included 27 flights, was completed in Gromov LII Flight Research Institute late in January 2008. A new assembly, 003/11, kicked off Stage II of the test programme in the December of last year. Prior to that, during 2008, Assembly 003/10 completed outdoor rig tests in Poluyevo. As of 4 April, 23 missions were flown as part of Stage II of the flight trials to gauge the performance of the engine. The trials involving the flying testbed are to be complete in June or July 2009.

Onboard flying testbed

Andrey Fomin

The first SaM146 to take to the skies was engine No.003 mounted on the Il-76LL flying testbed No. 76454. The performance of initial Assembly 003/1 was tested on the rig in Poluyevo. The engine was unveiled as part of the flying testbed during the MAKS 2007 air show. Once the engine was installed into the engine nacelle (Assemblies 003/1 and 003/2), its basic

affiliate in Komsomolsk-on-Amur where the Aircelle company set up a jig set for simultaneous assembly of two powerplants. The first flight test-intended SaM146 engines, No.102 and 103, were mounted on the first SSJ100 flying prototype c/n 95001. The second flying prototype (c/n 95003) powered by the SaM146 No.101 and 104 engines entered the flight trials in December last year. As of 4 April, the two aircraft logged 136 sorties (104 by aircraft No.95001 and 32 by No.95003). In April NPO Saturn was assembling several more engines now – SaM146 No.005/1, 008, 001/2 and 004/2 – designed for completing the engine certification test programme as well as two next SaM146s

Powering the SuperJet At the same time with the rig and flying-testbed tests, the SaM146 has been undergoing its flight trials onboard Sukhoi SuperJet 100 prototypes since May 2008. The powerplants for the flight tests are assembled and mounted by the Sukhoi Civil Aircraft

(No.105 and 106) for use onboard the third flying SSJ100 c/n 95004. The manufacture of engines No.107 and 108 to fit the fourth flying prototype (c/n 95005) has begun. Work also is under way on making the early production-standard engines planned for installation on production aircraft earmarked for the launch customers – the Aeroflot and Armavia air carriers. Parallel with the engine certification tests, the production facilities of NPO Saturn are being certificated. Under an agreement with Sukhoi Civil Aircraft, production facilities designed for an annual output of 150 SaM146s are being built. In conclusion, a few numbers characterising the amount of tests completed are due. As of 14 April this year, all SaM146 examples designed for rig and flight tests totalled 3,060 hours, including 1,616 h on the rigs and on TsIAM’s climatic test bench, 316 h on board the Il-76LL flying testbed and 1,128 h on board two Sukhoi SuperJet 100 prototypes. take-off june 2009


contracts and deliveries | news

The competition for 126 Medium MultiRole Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) held by the Indian Air Force (IAF) is entering a key phase – the competitive testing of the rival aircraft. The $11 billion – the estimated value of the aircraft to be selected by IAF – have pitted the world’s top six light and medium fighter makers in a tooth-and-nail contest. The competition was announced officially on 28 August 2007 when the RfPs were released to the contenders. Therefore, the companies contesting the lucrative order acted as real competitors during the recent Aero India 2009 air show in Bangalore in February. Earlier this year, the tender committee was examining the documents submitted by the six contenders, with the competitive tests slated for summer. IAF pilots will evaluate two aircraft provided by each of the rivals – a singleseater and a twinseater. The trials will take place in Bangalore as well as Jaisalmer and Leh in mountainous terrain conditions. As is known, MiG Corp. has had only one MIG-35 demonstrator in the two-seat variant fitted with the full set of equipment stipulated by the tender requirements,

Piotr Butowski

MMRCA tender: on the verge of competitive tests

including the operational Zhuk-AE AESA radar from Phazotron-NIIR. This spring, MiG Corp. completed the second MiG-35 demonstrator, the singleseater, whose airframe design is quite similar to that of the MiG-29K/KUB carrierborne fighters produced on order from the Indian Navy. Nikolay Buntin, chief designer of the MiG-35 and MiG-29K/KUB, told a Take-off correspondent that the second MiG-35 was slated for

its maiden flight in May or June this year, smack on the verge of the competitive tests in India. Another phase – the testing of the avionics, AESA radar, weapons, ECM gear, etc. – is to begin in autumn in the contenders’ home countries. The trials will result in the so-called short list, and the short-listed rivals will be scrutinised in terms of the strengths and deficiencies of the financial aspect

AL-55I kicks off flight tests on board HJT-36 9 May witnessed the maiden flight of Indian trainer HAL HJT-36 powered by the NPO Saturn AL-55I for the first time. On the 40 min flight from the Bangalore airfield the aircraft climbed 3,000 m, attaining an instrument speed of 300 km/h. Its powerplant operated smoothly. According to Indian test pilot Baldev Singh, “the powerplant performed greatly”. The flight kicked off the certification flight test stage of the AL-55I-powered HJT-36, after which completion Russia, under the contract, will provide India with the design documentation in support of launching the AL-55I licence production by HAL. The first three AL-55I engines, which had completed the whole


take-off june 2009

of rig test cycle at the Lytkarino Engineering Plant (a subsidiary of NPO Saturn), were shipped to India late in December 2008 for installation on HJT-36 advanced Indian trainers. By then, the AL-55I prototype had passed the first flight test milestone in Russia on board the MiG-AT flying testbed (side number 823) whose maiden flight with this engine had taken place on 28 July 2008. In addition, the AL-55I was integrated with the HJT-36 in Bangalore last July, its operation as part of the powerplant was tested and first high-speed taxi tests were conducted. In August 2008, the AL-55I also passed special rig tests in TsIAM’s heat and altitude chamber, designed to gauge its altitude, speed and

operating characteristics. The engine’s reliable start-up range also was checked and the operation of all of its systems was evaluated. In September 2008, the AL-55I passed its special rig trials at TsIAM’s Research and Test Centre. Under the contract signed with HAL, a batch of six AL-55I prototypes designed to fit HJT-36s is being manufactured in Russia. As is known, the AL-55I twin-shaft turbofan with the 1,760 kgf thrust is under development on order from Indian corporation HAL under NPO Saturn’s international contract that came into effect on 1 August 2005. The work on productionising the prototype batch, certificating the engine and ensuring its licence production have been shared by

of the deal, offsets offered and, obviously, political aspects of the cooperation. The winner in the tender will supply IAF with 18 fighters, with the remaining 108 to be licence-produced by HAL. According to IAF commander Chief Air Marshal Fali Homi Major, “if all goes to plan, the first MMRCA painted in the Indian colours will fly in about four years”, i.e. some time in 2012. A.F. NPO Saturn and Ufa-based UMPO plant on the parity basis. As far as the HJT-36 itself is concerned, it has been dogged by bad luck. During the previous Bangalore air show on 8 February 2007, the first prototype, PT-1 (S-3466), running after a demonstration flight, rolled off the runway due to a disintegration of a wheel and sustained a rather serious damage to the airframe. The second prototype, PT-2 (S-3474), was damaged in a belly landing in Bangalore on 5 February 2009, during the preparations for this year’s air show. The designers of the aircraft intended to replace IAF’s obsolete HJT-16 Kiran trainer, took heart, nonetheless. IAF has ordered a low-rate initial production batch of 12 HJT-36s, with plans providing for acquisition of 200–250 aircraft. A.F.

contracts and deliveries | news

Andrey Fomin

Today, the Sukhoi Su-30MKI super-agile multirole two-seat fighter is the joy and pride of the Indian Air Force and its most sophisticated warplane, which was demonstrated at the latest air show in Bangalore in February. To date, the Irkut corporation has delivered 50 aircraft of the type to IAF, while the licence production by Indian corporation HAL, coupled with the Russian deliveries, will enable IAF by the mid-2010s to operate as many as 230 aircraft like that, most of which will have remained in service until 2030–2040 or even later as a factor heavily influencing the balance of power in the region. The contract on the handover to India of the rights for the licence production of the Su-30MKI, its AL-31FP thrust-vector controlled engine and avionics was made on 28 December 2000, having become the ‘biggest-ticket’ deal in the Russian-Indian cooperation history – it is worth more than $3 billion. The first Su-30MKI licence-produced by HAL was accepted by IAF on 28 November 2004. According to Sukhoi, 34 aircraft were made in India as of September 2008. HAL has launched the fourth and the final licence production stage providing for manufacture of parts, units and

Piotr Butowski

India at fourth stage of Su-30MKI licence production

components by local factories out of the materials supplied by Russia. The Su-30MKI programme is not sitting idle, and the fighters entering service with IAF now are different from the early Su-30MKIs, delivered early in the decade, in greater capabilities of their fire control sys-

tem owing to advanced operating modes and avionics improvements. Since the Su-30MKI production and delivery will have been under way for a minimum of five years and its service at least a quarter of the century, a further enhancement of the aircraft by means of even more effective avionics and advanced weaponry comes into the foreground. One of the current priorities in this field is to beef up the weapons suite of the IAF Su-30MKIs with the cutting-edge BrahMos-A precision-guided long-range multirole air-to-surface missile being developed by the Russian-Indian joint venture. BrahMos Aerospace joint venture has already delivered its shipborne and shore-based variants to the Indian Navy and Army. The air-launched BrahMos-A entered the development several years ago. The thrust of the modification is aimed at equipping the weapon with a new booster and a different nosecone, adapting the missile to fit the carrier’s hardpoints and modifying the missile control system’s software package to fit the carrier’s avionics suite.

The air-launched BrahMos-A launch weight has been reduced to 2,500 kg with the warhead weight and maximal range remaining unchanged, 300 kg and 290 km respectively. Initially, the Su-30MKI will be able to carry a single BrahMos-A missile. A preliminary agreement has been reached for two IAF Su-30MKI fighters to be ferried to the Sukhoi design bureau for modification to carry the BrahMos. A Take-off correspondent was told by a BrahMos Aerospace spokesperson that the early BrahMos-A drop tests involving the Su-30MKI could be launched in India in 2010. Down the road, the adaptation of the BrahMos-A cruise missile to the IAF Su-30MKI fighter will allow the weapon’s use by other IAF and Indian Navy aircraft with minimal modifications. It also opens bright vistas for fitting the weapon to other Su-30 family aircraft being exported to several countries. IAF expects the service entry of the air-launched BrahMos-A prior to 2012, BrahMos Aerospace CEO A. Sivathanu Pillai said in the October of last year. A.F.

take-off june 2009


contracts and deliveries | news

Russian-Indian fifth generation The Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighter development and licence production programme has become a breakthrough endeavour laying the groundwork for the equal cooperation between Russia and India in the field of combat aircraft development. “From the technological point of view, the Su-30MKI programme is unprecedented for the defence cooperation between Russia and India. It is bringing together the technological capabilities of the Indian and Russian aircraft industries starting from design schools of thought to manufacturing technologies”, Sukhoi Director General Mikhail Pogosyan said early in 2007. In his opinion, the Russian participants in the Su-30MKI programme “have gained a unique experience in integrating the best foreign military aircraft solutions – the experience that can be used under any other cooperative Russian-Indian programme, including, possibly, the development of a fifth-generation

fighter. This would require enormous financial and technological resources. It is such an ambitious programme that meets the interests of our strategic partnership”. Thus, the Sukhoi Director General made it clear as far as two years ago that Russia and India might jointly develop and produce cutting-edge new-generation warplanes. In this respect, the 18 October 2007 signing of the Russian-Indian intergovernmental agreement on joint development and production of the advanced 5th generation multirole fighter was a momentous event. The Sukhoi company and Indian corporation Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) were earmarked as the contractors. Afterwards, Indian delegations have repeatedly visited both the Sukhoi design bureau and KnAAPO, with the latter manufacturing the first Russian fifth-generation fighter prototypes since December 2007. In turn,

Sukhoi personnel have paid several visits to HAL in India. The talks have resulted in coordination of the basic issues of the joint development and production of the advanced aircraft. The Russian-Indian next-generation combat aircraft programme stipulates both co-financing and co-production with the use of Sukhoi’s and HAL’s production facilities. Such aircraft are expected to be designed both for IAF and for export to third countries. Certain details of the programme dubbed FGFA (Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft) in India became known at the Aero India 2009 air show in Bangalore in February. According to the then HAL boss, Ashok Baveja, the parties had harmonised and, as far as it is possible, commonised the requirements to the future fighter, set forth by the air forces of the two countries. It was also reaffirmed that the programme would be on parity basis, which could not but raise an eyebrow or two since the pro-

totype of the Russian PAK FA is known to have been at a rather high degree of completion. For instance, Mikhail Pogosyan confirmed in Bangalore that the maiden flight of the Russian PAK FA first flying prototype “will take place this year”, explaining that 50% of India’s participation in the programme would be distributed throughout the aircraft life cycle, i.e. while Russia has borne all the expenses at the initial stage of the programme, a considerable part of the work may be given to India further down the line. For instance, Indian engineers will customise the aircraft to the IAF requirements (it is known to be a two-seater, unlike the Russian single-seat version), develop some export variants for potential foreign buyers, and take an active part in further modernisation, maintenance and overhaul. HAL pegs the FGFA’s service entry with IAF about 2017. A.F.

carrying the Israeli-made Phalcon radar kicked off in Tel Aviv on 5 June 2008. According to Vega’s chief Vladimir Verba speaking at Gidroaviasalon 2008 airshow last September, the remaining two aircraft under the contract will be delivered to the customer during the subsequent two years. The second A-50EI airframe made its maiden flight in Taganrog

on 11 January 2009 and is slated to be transferred to Israel for Phalcon system installation soon. Vladimir Verba stressed that “there may be more orders for the aircraft”. During the Gidroaviasalon 2008 show, Beriev, Rosoboronexport, Perm Motors and Vega clinched a deal on launching the establishing of the A50EI aftersales maintenance system for IAF. A.F.

Indian internet

The delivery flight of the first A-50EI airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft from Israel to India took place on 25 May. The plane landed safely at the airport of Indian city Mumbai. Take-off has already covered the status of the Russian-Israeli-Indian contract on three A-50EI aircraft for IAF, estimated at $1.1 billion. As is known, the first A-50EI derived by Beriev from a TAPC-built Ilyushin Il-76TD airlifter airframe and fitted with four PS-90A-76 engines from Perm Motors completed its maiden mission in Taganrog on 29 November 2007 and was ferried to Israel on 20 January 2008 for installation of the Elta Phalcon radar system and conduct of the full set of improvements and tests. The guidance and communications


take-off june 2009

Beriev company

First A-50EI delivered to India

equipment for the aircraft was supplied by Russian concern Vega. The flight trials of the first A-50EI



D AT E :

1 – 5 December 2009

The leading maritime and aerospace show in the region just got better!


Mahsuri International Exhibition Centre Langkawi, Malaysia

The Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition is now held at a single venue, the Mahsuri International Exhibition Centre. Taking you straight to the heart of Asia-Pacific's defense and civil growth markets. Network with over 250 delegations embodying key defence and civil decision makers and end users. LIMA ’09 – the essential platform to showcase best-in-breed emerging technologies and equipment. Don’t miss it.


Government of Malaysia

Ministry of Defence

Royal Malaysian Customs

Department of Civil Aviation

Malaysian Armed Forces

Malaysia Airports Berhad

Royal Malaysian Navy

Fire and Rescue Department, Malaysia

Royal Malaysian Air Force

Department of Fisheries Malaysia

Royal Malaysian Police

Malaysia Maritime Enforcement Agency

Malaysian Defence Industry Council

Maritime Institute of Malaysia

HW LIMA SDN BHD 35F-1-6 Jalan 2/27F, KLSC II, Section 5, Wangsa Maju 53300 Kuala Lumpur T : +603 4142 1699 F : +603 4142 2699 E : W :

contracts and deliveries | news

Vietnam to receive eight more Su-30MK2s the fourth quarter of 2010 and be completed in 2011. The advanced aircraft will beef up Vietnam’s fleet of four Su-30MK2s and 12 Su-27SK/UBKs, driving the total number of Sukhoi fighters in the VAF inventory up to 24. As is known, KnAAPO shipped the first four Su-30MK2s to Vietnam in November 2004 under the contract made in late 2003. The fighters, which are sometimes referred

to as Su-30MK2V, were a lightly-modified variant of the production Su-30MK2 delivered to the Chinese Naval Aviation in 2004, differing in only somewhat upgraded communications aids and improved ejection seats (at the photo). The first Sukhoi fighters were procured by Vietnam in May 1995 – five Su-27SK singleseaters from KnAAPO and a Su-27UBK from the Irkutsk Aircraft Production

Take-off archive

According to a report by the Interfax-AVN news agency on 15 May, the Vietnamese Air Force will have taken delivery of eight more Sukhoi Su-30MK2 multirole twin-seat fighters from the Komsomolsk-on-Amur Aircraft Production Association (KnAAPO), a subsidiary of the Sukhoi company. According to Interfax-AVN, the contract was awarded in January this year. The delivery will kick off in

Association (IAPO), now the Irkutsk Aircraft Plant of Irkut Corp. Under the second deal clinched in December 1996, the Vietnamese Air Force received two Su-27SKs from Komsomolsk-on-Amur and four Su-27UBKs from Irkutsk during 1997–1998. All Vietnamese Sukhoi fighters are stationed at Phan Rang Air Force Base and operated as part of an air regiment of the 370th Air Division. Apart from the Vietnamese Air Force and Chinese Navy air arm, the Su-30MK2 fighters are in service with the Venezuelan Air Force (24 aircraft were delivered during 2006–2008) and Indonesian Air Force (three aircraft were received in late 2008 through early 2009, with two more Su-30MKs shipped by KnAAPO in 2003). The PLAAF also has operated the Su-30MKK since 2000, with 76 aircraft delivered before 2003. In the coming years, KnAAPO is to manufacture Su-30M2 fighters similar to the Su-30MK2 for the Russian Air Force as well. A.F.

Antonov offers patrol variant of An-74


take-off june 2009

countering the enemy, conducting SAR, ELINT and SIGINT operations, detecting maritime pollution, transporting and airdropping cargo, etc. If necessary, the An-74T-200MP patrol aircraft can be quickly converted for carrying passengers or evacuating the sick and wounded. It can operate safely from austere airfields, including ground and shingle-, snow- and ice-covered airstrips, while carrying up to 6 tonnes of cargo in the short

take-off and landing (STOL) configuration. The An-74T-200MP differs from its older versions in several important improvements. It embodies the An-74 drastic modernisation concept devised by Antonov in cooperation with French, German and Swedish partners. The concept provides for the glass flight deck and latest flight, navigation and communications aids, with the powerplant, APU, aircraft and engine control systems,

fuel and hydraulic systems to be modified as well. Antonov’s foreign partners will supply mission specific equipment, including the surveillance radar, optronic system, SIGINT and ECM systems, etc. The weapons suite of the patrol version comprises a 23 mm cannon (the same GSh-23 weapon fits the An-72P patrol aircraft in service with Russian and Ukrainian Border Security forces) and antiship missiles on under-wing hardpoints. P.B.

Andrey Fomin

At the Aero India 2009 air show in Bangalore this February, Antonov company from Ukraine unveiled the design of its advanced An-74T-200MP multirole maritime patrol aircraft, which is being mulled over by Indian Defence Ministry experts as part of the tender for six aircraft in the class for the Indian Navy and Coast Guard under the MRMR (Medium Range Maritime Reconnaissance) programme. In addition to the An-74T-200MP, Franco-Italian patrol aircraft ATR72-500MP, Brazilian Embraer P-99 (an ERJ-145 derivative) and French Falcon 900MPA are competing in the tender. A preliminary decision on the winner in the tender is believed to be made by the middle of the year, with the delivery to take place in 2012–2013. The new version of the An-74 will be able to handle a wide range of missions, including patrolling, supporting naval ships while

industry | avionics

Irbis-E phased array assembly


Today, the Ryazan Instrument Plant (RPZ) is the Russian leader in production of avionics for up-to-date fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft. A scientific and technological centre and a video computer technology scientific and design centre have been set up by the plant to provide support to operation of its production equipment and development of units and assemblies for use in avionics systems and ground hardware.

RPZ is widely known for its production of the Bars phased-array radar to equip the Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighters. The company is finalising the productionising of the sophisticated Irbis-E phased-array radar designed by Tikhomirov-NIIP institute to fit the Su-35 warplane. Many of the radar’s units and assemblies have been developed by RPZ’s scientific and technological centre under Tikhomirov-NIIP technical requirements, including the wideband four-channel double frequency-conversion VHF receiver, analogue-digital return-processing unit and onboard computers. The units and assemblies have passed the preliminary tests, and their design documentation has been handed off to the manufacturer division. Under the Russian Defence Industry Development during 2007–2010 and through 2015 governmental programme, the RPZ plant is gearing up for launching production of radars to fit future aircraft. RPZ’s scientific and technological centre is developing also a radar designed for the Mi-28N helicopter. The radar is to perform terrain-mapping, aerial and ground target


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Phasing radiation lines assembly for Irbis-E radar

acquisition and gather information enhancing the safety of low-altitude flight. It features a mast-mounted antenna. The radar has completed the operational development tests, having proven its effectiveness. Another key priority of RPZ is the development and production of airborne radar digital data-processing computers. The first example of the SOLO digital data-processing

computer family is the SOLO-54 computer now in production for the Su-27SM fighters. Now, the SOLO-35.01 and SOLO-35.02 dedicated advanced-architecture single switched computing environment digital computers designed to fit the Su-35 fighter and SOLO-21 intended for the future aircraft are being productionised as a continued development of the computer family. RPZ has also

industry | avionics Radar for Mi-28N helicopter

developed an advanced onboard computer system featuring top-notch characteristics in terms of the composition, return dynamic range, speed and memory capacity to fit the radar designed for the Mi-28N helicopter. Since 1999, RPZ has been developing and making aircraft secondary radar gear, e.g. airborne air traffic control (ATC) and ICAO transponders. There are several foreign and Russian ATC and ICAO systems differing in characteristics. RPZ has resolved the problem of their integration and developed equipment capable of interacting with all of the existing systems in question. In particular, a transponder designed for the Yak-130 combat trainer has been developed and is in the final stages of flight trials now; a version of such a transponder is planned to fit the Tu-214. All Sukhoi SuperJet 100 airliners designed for domestic carriers will carry ICAO transponders from RPZ. Transponder variants have been developed to equip the export versions of the MiG-29 and Su-35 fighters and work is underway on similar gear for new Mil helicopters. Another key field RPZ operates in is development and production of new-generation avionics for combat helicopters, including the Mi-28N and Ka-52. Such avionics include the Okhotnik multifunctional video imagery processing system family designed for use as part of the Tor and GOES-451 optronic surveillance and sighting systems. The systems process television and thermal imagery in real time, while improving the vision and ensuring automatic target acquisition and tracking, electronic picture stabilisation, etc. To ensure precision targeting of guided weapons, RPZ is developing laser guidance systems for the Ataka guided missile, with the systems featuring high

ures immunity and a small size. A relative coordinates measuring system developed by RPZ is designed for gauging relative coordinates and speeds of moving objects in any weather, round the clock and with

high accuracy. It receives and processes GLONASS and GPS signals and is used in support of landing. RPZ’s integrated navigation data processing system enhances the reliability and accuracy of flight parameter generation and integrates the data fed by helicopter instruments and systems and the satellite navigation system. These helicopter systems have passed all kinds of tests, having proved their functional capabilities and performance. The helmet-mounted display and sighting system (HMDSS) under development by RPZ is designed for use as part of the cockpit management system of the Ka-52 helicopter with the subsequent adaptation to the Mi-28N. The system is intended for displaying current flight and navigation information and aiming. Relying on its wealth of production experience, the Ryazan Instrument Plant is exploring new spheres of the present-day market. New-generation avionics development is a priority objective, whose attainment offers steady effective development of the company in the future. Cases and modules of the SOLO-21 and SOLO-35.01 airborne digital computers

take-off june 2009


military aviation | news

MiG-29SMT already in service with RusAF As is known, Russia and Algeria in March 2006 made a contract for 34 upgraded MiG-29 fighters (28 MiG-29SMT single-seaters and six MiG-29UBT two-seaters) worth about $1.3 billion. The contract was signed as part of a major package of agreements on arms export for Algeria. The delivery started in December 2006 but by mid-2007 Algeria stopped receiving the MiGs and demanded Russia take back the 15 delivered aircraft on the grounds that some of the parts and systems of the fighters were allegedly ‘used’. Although most experts agree that the true reason for cancelling the MiG-29SMT deal is political, rather than technical, the fact is the manufacturer had to take its planes back, though the remainder of the fighters under the contact had been virtually complete. Thus, all 28 singleseaters and six twinseaters proved to be unclaimed. However, this was not for long: on the heels of the Algerian refusal to accept the MiGs, the Russian Defence Ministry stated it would buy the fighters from the manufacturers. Even a number of Western systems and components on board the planes did not pose any problem. The thing is the newest MiG-29s in RusAF’s stable were made very early in the 1990s, and here comes an opportunity

for the service to lay its hands on ready-made advanced fighters in the multirole variant including the sophisticated Phasotron-NIIR’s Zhuk-ME radar, glass cockpit and a widen range of guided weapons. Russian military pilots had flown the MiG-29SMT at GLITs State Flight Tests Center during the special flight tests and given raving report to its performance, especially compared with the production MiG-29s in service now. The only issue to iron out was to agree the price and obtain the money from the federal budget. This took the whole of 2008, though the decision had been taken as far back as 2007. Probably, the deal owed its successful outcome, inter alia, to the MiG-29 crash near Chita in December 2008, which caused the grounding of all RusAF fighters of the type and revealed cracks in the vertical stabilisers of the earlier-series fighters, caused by metal fatigue. According to RusAF spokesman Lt.-Col. Vladimir Drik, only about a hundred of almost three hundred in-service MiG-29s had been cleared by RusAF to fly by early spring this year. In addition, the contract on the former Algeria-bound MiG-29SMTs for the Russian Defence Ministry is regarded as a governmental measure aimed at bolstering

MiG Corp. that is now in a difficult financial situation. As a result, the MiG-29SMTs began to field with RusAF units, with two aircraft given to the RusAF Combat and Conversion Training Centre (CCTC) in Lipetsk and 10 to the Guards Leningradsky Fighter Air Regiment in Kursk. In all, CCTC is to take delivery of four MiG-29SMTs and the Kursk-based regiment – 20. The first MiG-29SMTs sporting their new paintjobs were delivered to the Air Force right from the MiG Corp. factory in the town of Lukhovitsy, because the Algerian deal had been scratched off before their delivery date. The fighters will be followed by the aircraft returned by Algeria. They have logged 100–200 flight hours, but after a spell in Africa, they will have to undergo fault detection and complete pre-delivery preparations at the plant. Again, these MiG-29SMTs are the first new MiGs entering the RusAF inventory in more than a decade and a half. Later this year, the Sokol plant in Nizhny Novgorod will have hand off the former ‘Algerian’ MiG-29UB (UBT) upgraded two-seat combat trainers. So far, of the RusAF pilots, the conversion to the MiG-29SMT has been completed by the pilots with the Lipetsk-based CCTC where the conversion of the combat pilots from the Kursk-based regiment is beginning. The new MiGs are to start flying in Kursk later this year. A.F.

Anton Pavlov

The Russian Defence Ministry bought from MiG Corp. 24 advanced MiG-29SMT multirole tactical fighters previously intended for Algeria, Russian Vice-Premier Sergey Ivanov said on 9 February. Two days later, MiG Corp. hosted a field session of the Council of General and Chief Designers and Leading Scientists and High-Tech Industry Experts, chaired by Russia’s Premier Vladimir Putin, as well as a conference with the corporation’s leaders, during which approaches to stabilising MiG Corp.’s financial standing were discussed. In his opening remarks, the Premier said the corporation’s debts resultant from a heavy loan burden had totalled 44.8 billion rubles (about $1.24 billion), but the government had taken steps to bring the MiG Corp.’s situation back in shape. According to Vladimir Putin, the government coughed up 15 billion rubles (about $400 million) from the federal coffers to increase the MiG Corp. authorised capital and awarded the corporation an order to the tune of 17.3 billion rubles (almost $500 million), of which 11 billion rubles (over $300 million) were received by the company as far back as the first quarter of 2009. The money is to be spent on the acquisition of advanced MIG-29SMT fighters by the Defence Ministry. The aircraft began to field combat units early this year.


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military aviation | news

Air Force receives Su-34s daily. “This is of principle to our defence industry and for the predictability of our military technical policy and for ensuring the stability in the face of the financial and economic crisis”. According to media, the five-year contract slated for 2009–2013 was made by the Defence Ministry and Sukhoi company late in December 2008. It provides for fielding more than 30 Su-34s with combat units. The first two aircraft are to be made by NAPO and delivered to RusAF this year, then the Su-34 annual output is to pick up gradually and reach about 10 aircraft a year by the end of the five-year term. As is known, in 2006, the then Russian defence minister Sergey Ivanov stated that the governmental rearmament programme designed through 2015 provided for 58 Su-34s to be delivered to RusAF. According to the then RusAF chief, Gen. Vladimir Mikhailov, the service’s total requirement for the Su-34, designed to oust the Su-24 tactical bomber, stands at about 200 units. Col.-Gen. Alexander Zelin spoke last July about the service’s intention to convert two air regiments to the Su-34 in the coming five years. “As far as the Su-34 is concerned, we are planning to sign a long-term agreement for delivery of the two-regiment worth of Su-34s”, Gen. Zelin said in his interview with the Interfax-AVN

news agency on 7 July 2008. Now, the five-year contract has come into effect. Experts believe that the first RusAF combat unit to receive

advanced Su-34s may be the bomber air regiment stationed in Voronezh and operating Su-24Ms so far. A.F.

Alexey Mikheyev

According to the Red Star daily report on 25 February, the sign of the actual renovation of the Russian Air Force (RusAF) inventory was the beginning of fielding the cutting-edge production standard Sukhoi Su-34 multirole tactical strike aircraft built by the Novosibirsk Aircraft Production Association (NAPO) named after Valery Chkalov, being a part of Sukhoi company. The third production aircraft of the type, serialled 03, was ferried to the RusAF Combat and Conversion Training Centre (CCTC) in the city of Lipetsk on 20 December 2008. There has been an aircraft like that, serialled 02, fielded with CCTC since August 2007, while the first production Su-34 (serial 01) and three LRIP aircraft serialled 46, 47 and 48 have been undergoing the final stage of the official trials at the Defence Ministry’s State Flight Test Centre (GLITs) in Akhtubinsk. The first two production Su-34s were handed off to RusAF in a ceremony at NAPO’s airfield on 15 December 2006. “It is important that the Su-34 production and fielding are underway under a five-year contract”, Andrey Kokoshin, first deputy chairman of the State Duma Committee on Science and High Technology and the former deputy defence minister and Russian Security Council chairman, said in his interview with the Red Star

Debut of antitank airborne Hermes-A

stage of the SAM used by the Pantsyr SAM system. The second stage has a calibre of 130 mm and a 28 kg blast/fragmentation warhead. The Hermes-A’s maximum supersonic speed equals 1,000 m/s and its maximum range accounts for 15–20 km. The missile is housed by the launch tube 3.5 m long. The sealed launch tube needs no maintenance throughout its service life. Two launch packs of six or eight launch tubes each are mounted on the carrier platform’s hardpoints.

The missile uses midcourse combined INS/RF-command guidance and terminal semi-active laser homing. Its gyro-stabilised control unit comprises the day and night TV sights and two-channel laser rangefinder/designator, thus ensuring automatic tracking of the target. According to Alexander Pavlov, deputy Director General, missile and artillery systems, KBP, who spoke with a Take-off correspondent, the Hermes-A system is at the flight test phase, with the 10 km range already proven. A.V.

Alexander Velovich

At the recent IDEX 2009 arms show in Abu Dhabi (UAE) in February, the Tula-based Instrument Design Bureau (KBP) unveiled an advanced air-to-surface guided missile system designated Hermes-A. The system is designed to fit combat helicopters, Kamov Ka-52 in the first place, but can also be carried by Mil Mi-35 and Mi-17 helicopters and even subsonic attack aircraft, e.g. Sukhoi Su-25TM (Su-39). The two-stage Germes-A missile has a booster 170 mm in calibre, which is commonised with the first

take-off june 2009


military aviation | news

test programme is to total 150–160 sorties until year-end. In particular, tests of the Su-35’s supermanoeuvrability mode are to begin in 2009 along with the tests of the advanced Irbis-E

Andrey Fomin

According to an official statement by a Sukhoi spokesman in late April two Sukhoi Su-35 advanced Generation 4++ fighter prototypes logged over 100 sorties by that time. “Given the successful testing of the existing two flying prototypes, the Su-35 programme will remain on schedule”, Sukhoi’s statement reads. The maiden flight of the first prototype, Su-35-1 (side number 901) took place at Gromov LII’s airfield in the town of Zhukovsky in the Moscow Region on 19 February 2008, and just about six months later, on 2 October, the second flying prototype, Su-35-2 (side number 902), took to the air at KnAAPO’s airfield. During the first year since the kickoff of the Su-35’s flight tests, the two flying prototypes had logged 87 missions by February 2009, having proven their stability and controllability characteristics and tested the integrated control system, powerplant, aircraft systems and navigation aids. The Su-35 flight

Victor Drushlyakov

Su-35 to entry market in 2011

phased-array radar developed by the Tikhomirov-NIIP research institute. The Irbis-E features the unique target acquisition range. The production-configuration Irbis-E prototype set has been mounted on the second Su-35 (side number 902) and ready for testing. At the same time, an experimental example of the advanced radar has been tested on board the Su-30MK2 flying testbed serialled 503 since 2007, having proven its key characteristics. According to a Sukhoi news release, the Su-35 test programme “is on schedule and will meet the earlier announced target date of

launching deliveries to Russian and foreign customers in 2011”. The fighter’s entry into service with the Russian Air Force “will facilitate bolstering national defence and enable Sukhoi to maintain its competitive edge on the global market until a fifth-generation fighter hits the market”. RusAF brass have said repeatedly that two RusAF air regiments were to convert to the Su-35 before 2015, i.e. about 48 aircraft of the type are to be fielded. “Export sales of the Su-35 are slated for Southeast Asian, African, Middle East and South American countries”, the news release reads. A.F.

First production Yak-130 taking to the skies 19 May saw the maiden flight of the first production Yakovlev Yak-130 combat trainer from the airfield of the Sokol aircraft plant in Nizhny Novgorod. It was built under the governmental contract for 12 aircraft ordered by the Russian Air Force. The combat trainer was flown by test pilots Roman Taskayev and Sergey Kara. On the 32-min. flight, its stability, controllability and takeoff/landing performance were checked. According to the pilots, all of


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the Yak-130’s systems operated smoothly. Upon completion of the acceptance tests to be conducted at Sokol’s airfield, the aircraft is to be delivered to the customer, with the plant to carry on with the construction of the rest of the combat trainers of the contract. Some of them are slated for delivery this year too. As is known, the Yak-130 was selected as the baseline aircraft for basic and advanced training of

Russian Air Force pilots in April 2002, after which Sokol was awarded the launch contract for the first 12 production-standard aircraft. Late last year, three prototypes (01, 02 and 04) passed another milestone of the official trials, dedicated to testing the Yak-130’s basic weapons suite (R-73 air-to-air missiles, 80 mm rockets, 50 to 500 kg air bombs with a total weight of 3,000 kg, and the 23 mm automatic canon). The Yak-130 is to complete its official test programme this year. The aircraft is

the main component of the future RusAF training complex also comprising the integral testing system, computerised classrooms and flight and specialised simulators. At the same time with Sokol making the first Yak-130s for RusAF, the Irkutsk Aircraft Plant of Irkut Corp. is productionising the same aircraft under an order from the Algerian Air Force. The first Algeria-destined Yak-130s are expected to be rolled out and delivered before year-end. A.F.

Viktor Drushlyakov

military aviation | report

Andrey FOMIN

RUSSIA’S AIR POWER HAS BEEN SHOWN TO PRESIDENT Report from Kubinka AFB Such an abundance of advanced aircraft has not been seen at Kubinka air force base in the Moscow Region for a long time. About 20 warplanes and around 10 helicopters – both those in service with the Air Force and those earmarked for service entry – assembled here late in March. The Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Armed Forces – President Dmitry Medvedev – was anticipated at the demonstration facility of the RusAF’s Aircraft Demonstration Centre on 28 March. The defence minister, Air Force chief and aircraft industry leaders were gearing up to report the kickoff of the service’s conversion to advanced aircraft to the head of state. It was Dmitry Medvedev’s first demonstration like that, unlike his predecessor, the current Premier Vladimir Putin who is familiar with up-to-date aircraft well enough and has even tried some of them personally (Putin used to be flown on board the Su-25UB, Su-27UB and Tu-160). A decision was made to give a warplane ride to the current Supreme Commander-in-Chief too. The Sukhoi Su-34 tactical fighter-bomber serialled 03, which had been fielded with the Lipetsk-based Combat and Conversion Training Centre (CCTC) not long before, was selected to that end. However, virtually all types of advanced and upgraded Russian fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft along with their weapons had been shown to the president at the ramp and in hangars first.


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The displays included such latest designs as the MiG-29SMT fighter, which first batch was delivered to RusAF in the February of this year, its two-seat combat trainer variant MiG-29UBT, upgraded MiG-31BM interceptor, which deliveries to RusAF began last year, cutting-edge Su-34 fighter-bombers (two of them had been ferried to Kubinka AFB from Lipetsk CCTC), upgraded Su-27SM and Su-25SM that had started fielding several years before, improved Su-24M bomber and Yak-130 combat trainer, which official trials are approaching completion. Naturally, the president was especially keen on long-range bombers – the Tu-160, Tu-95MS and Tu-22M3 – and their armament.

Sergey Kuznetsov

Alexey Mikheyev

military aviation | report

Alexey Mikheyev

Sergey Kuznetsov

Top left: The aerobatics by a composite team made up of four Russian Knights’ Su-27s and Swifts’ MiG-29s and a pair of Su-34 fighter-bombers from Lipetsk CCTC had been honed in Kubinka in the run-up to the president’s visit but had not been performed in front of him Top: The latest of the Su-34 multirole tactical strike aircraft (serial 03) received by the Russian Air Force is approaching for landing following the demonstration flight with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in the right seat of the cockpit Right: The Russian Armed Forces Supreme Commander-in-Chief accompanied by leaders of the Defence Ministry, Air Force and aircraft industry is being shown the ground displays at Kubinka AFB Down: The demonstration is over. The Tu-160 strategic bomber is taking off from Kubinka, heading for its home base in Engels

take-off june 2009


military aviation | report

Anton Pavlov

The latest acquisition of the Russian Air Force: a MiG-29SMT of the Air Force Combat and Conversion Training Centre in the city of Lipetsk. Such aircraft have been fielded since early this year. They are RusAF’s first MiG-29-family aircraft fitted with the ‘glass’ cockpit and Phazotron-NIIR Zhuk slotted-array radar

Viktor Drushlyakov

The MiG-31BM interceptor fitted with its Tikhomirov-NIIP-upgraded fire control system came to Kubinka from Savasleika AFB. The first four aircraft like that were fielded with Lipetsk CCTC’s affiliate at Savasleika AFB in spring 2008, and late 2008 saw the beginning of the deliveries of MiG-31BMs, upgraded by the Sokol plant in Nizhny Novgorod, to the combat units of the Air Force

Alexey Mikheyev

Viktor Drushlyakov

The Su-27SM upgraded fighter from Lipetsk CCTC features the characteristic camouflage pattern of CCTC’s Sukhoi planes – the cockpit canopy painted on the lower surface of the fuselage. Last year, Su-27SMs upgraded by KnAAPO in Komsomolsk-on-Amur were being fielded with a second RusAF combat air regiment


take-off june 2009

military aviation | report

Alexey Mikheyev

The upgraded Su-24M carrying Kh-25ML missile mock-ups was brought to Kubinka from Lipetsk

Viktor Drushlyakov

This is the Yak-130 combat trainer’s fourth flying prototype that entered the trials last summer. This year, the Yak-130 is to complete its official test programme and will be able to start fielding with RusAF units

The upgraded MiG-29UBT two-seat combat trainer sporting the RusAF paintjob has not been displayed anywhere yet. The Sokol-built and Algeria-rejected fighters will begin to field with RusAF this year

Severa ls CCTC’s econds before the tou Su-34 s c carryin g a larg ide number 0 hdown. Lipets 2 e drop k to mou tank an flew to Kubin nt vario ka d hardp us wea oint rac pons ks


er Otopk ov

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military aviation | report

Viktor Drushlyakov

The newest of the 16 Engels-based Tu-160 strategic bombers, dubbed Vitaly Kopylov, was shown in Kubinka. The aircraft was made by KAPO late in 2007 and entered the inventory in last April

The helicopter command was on a par with their fixed-wing brethren, having displayed two advanced Mi-28N combat helicopters (RusAF combat units began to take delivery of such machines in March), the Ka-50 (the type already had come in service) and a pair of Ka-52 prototypes undergoing their official trials, the upgraded Mi-24PN attack helicopter, latest Ansat-U trainer, production Mi-8MTV-5 utility helicopter and Mi-26 heavylifter. There were support aircraft displayed as well – an Il-78M tanker plane, Viktor Drushlyakov

The president was shown the main armament of this Tu-95MS – long-range cruise missiles housed by its bomb bay

Viktor Drushlyakov

The Tu-22M3 long-range bomber, which had been ferried to Kubinka AFB from Shaikovka AFB, was displayed with Kh-22-family missiles on its external stations and an impressive arsenal of air bombs

A-50 airborne early warning and control aircraft, An-22 Antaeus and An-124 Ruslan heavylifters, etc. A separate display ground was allocated to air defence systems. In a word, the Supreme Commander-in-Chief was shown virtually all types of materiel in RusAF’s inventory and some of the examples slated for service entry in the near future. The latter included two newest fighters – the MiG-35 and Su-35 – that had been conceived for foreign customers. However, a decision has been taken that the Russian Defence Ministry, too, shall start buying them early in the next decade.


take-off june 2009

After taking a look at the ground displays, Dmitry Medvedev donned a g-suite and a helmet and climbed aboard Su-34 side number 03. The left seat in the cockpit was occupied by Col. Yuri Gritsayenko, a seasoned test pilot with CCTC in Lipetsk. Start-up, warm-up, and the Su-34 is taxiing to the runway of Kubinka AFB. After a short takeoff run, the aircraft carrying the president is airborne. Dmitry Medvedev’s first flight aboard a combat aircraft had lasted about half an hour. In the meantime, he not only experienced the g-load while the pilot was

pulling off some aerobatics, but also tried himself in the capacity of a crewmember of a fighter-bomber simulating a bombing run. The president liked his first experience very much. “Fantastic feelings that are wordless!”, said Dmitry Medvedev, sharing his impressions with pilots and commanders surrounding him after he had deplaned. “I’ve been really impressed. The aircraft is superb, easily controllable and powerful”. Speaking with the military, the president opined that the Russian pilots flying advanced aircraft should log more flight hours and that overhaul of legacy aircraft

Alexey Mikheyev

military aviation | report

On the eve of the demonstration, the An-22 from Migalovo AFB had been given a new camouflage scheme. When the president was shown the huge cargo compartment of the Antaeus, he was told that such aircraft had been used for airlifting Russian troops to last year’s Georgian-South Ossetian war zone

should be replaced with acquisition of sophisticated designs. He promised he would facilitate the Defence Ministry’s increasing the procurement of cutting-edge warplanes and helicopters. “In spite of the tough ‘90s, we have preserved our technological capabilities and people willing to serve their nation. We have to do a lot. Certainly, updating our aircraft fleet is important. Already this year, we will be able to pay for additional 24 aircraft with the money we have saved”, the president said. Hopefully, Dmitry Medvedev’s visit to Kubinka will produce results and what he told the pilots will come true. Anyway, the familiarising the president with aviation is a very useful thing to do. Suffice it to mention that soon after Vladimir Putin’s flying on board a Tu-160, the Air Force managed to complete the years-long trials of the strategic bomber and field it officially.

Viktor Drushlyakov

The second Ka-52 prototype. When examining its cockpit, Dmitry Medvedev was told by Kamov Designer General Sergey Mikheyev that it was the world’s only up-to-date combat helicopter equipped with the ejection seats, which is vital when operating in mountainous terrain

Viktor Drushlyakov




Right: During the presidential visit, such tricolour stars were painted on the sides of the new Mi-28N helicopters. In all probability, they were supposed to become new insignia of the Russian Air Force, with their introduction causing such a heated debate in the military and society as a whole and then being cancelled (these Mi-28Ns were sporting the customary red stars during the Victory Day parade on 9 May 2009). Down: The pair of newly delivered Mi-28N combat helicopters with side numbers 01 and 02. The Rostvertol plant launched deliveries of production machines to combat units in March of this year.

take-off june 2009


military aviation | report

Moscow, Red Square, 9 May 2009 The 64th anniversary of the Victory Day was celebrated this year with a grandiose military parade in Moscow’s Red Square and in the sky over it on 9 May. This time, 69 aircraft took part in the aviation segment of the parade – twice as many as last year. All types of fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft in service with the Russian Air Force flew in formation over Moscow, including the newest ones that had started entering service not long before that. Compared with last year’s parade, the number of helicopters participating in the event grew considerably – from three to 17, while the number of warplanes hiked from 29 to 52. Traditionally, the flypast was opened by three Mi-8 helicopters carrying flags of Russia, Russian Armed Forces and Russian Air Force. They were followed by five helicopter formation including a Mi-26 heavylifter, two Ka-50 combat helicopters and two latest Ka-52s, and then by three recently fielded Mi-28Ns and six Mi-24Ps. After the helicopters, fixed-wing aircraft entered the sky over Moscow, including five Su-25 attack aircraft, an An-124-100 Ruslan heavy airlifter escorted by four Su-27 fighters, and A-50 airborne early warning and control aircraft escorted by four Su-27s too. The next three groups of aircraft were led by Il-78 tanker planes. The first of them simulated mid-air refuelling of two Su-24M tactical bombers, the second that of a Tu-95MS strategic bomber escorted by four MiG-29 fighters, and the third that of a Tu-160 strategic missile-carrying bomber escorted by four upgraded MiG-31BM interceptors. The aircraft of the Long-Range Aviation was represented also by three Tu-22M3 supersonic bombers followed by a mixed group of 10 tactical aircraft, including a cutting-edge Su-34 tactical bomber, three Su-24Ms, four Su-27(SM) fighters and two MiG-29s. The rear of the Air Force parade formation was brought up traditionally by a nine-fighter formation made up by five Su-27s of the Russian Knights display team and four MiG-29s of the Swifts display team, all saluting the crowd in Red Square with the fireworks of their flares.


take-off june 2009

Two Kamov Ka-52 combat helicopters over the Red square. The picture was made from board of Mil Mi-26 heavylifter leading a group of five helicopters

take-off june 2009


Alexey Mikheyev / Kamov

military aviation | report

Sergey Krivchikov

military aviation | report

Tupolev Tu-160 strategic bomber escorted by a group of MiG-31 interceptors. The picture was made from board of Ilyushin Il-78 tanker during the Victory Day Parade repetitions in the skies of Moscow region

Tupolev Tu-160’s in-flight refuelling imitation over the Red square

Sukhoi Su-25SM upgraded attack aircraft just landed at Kubinka airbase after another training flight during preparations for the Victory Day Parade

Alexey Mikheyev

Sergey Krivchikov

Sergey Krivchikov

Beriev A-50 AEW&C aircraft escorted by four Sukhoi Su-27 fighters over the Red square

Alexey Mikheyev

One of the MiG-31BM upgraded interceptors from the Tu-160’s escort participated in the Victory Day Parade for the first time this year


take-off june 2009


debuts at Le Bourget debuts at Le Bourget SaM146 undergoing certification Russia’s helicopter industry: results and prospects [p.8] [p.18] [...