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december 2011 • Special edition for LIMA 2011

SSJ100 half-year in operation [p.42]

MC-21 Irkut gearing up for production launch [p.16]

Mi-34C1 & Mi-382 enter trials [p.12]


more fighters for RMAF?

Almaz-Antey air defence systems hit the market [p.22]

[p.48] T-50: what we learnt of it at MAKS 2011 [p.24, 30, 32]

December 2011 Editor-in-Chief Andrey Fomin

Deputy Editor-in-Chief Vladimir Shcherbakov

Editor Yevgeny Yerokhin

Columnists Alexander Velovich Artyom Korenyako

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

Design and pre-press Grigory Butrin

Translation Yevgeny Ozhogin

Cover picture Andrey Fomin


Director General Andrey Fomin

Deputy Director General Nadezhda Kashirina

Marketing Director George Smirnov

Business Development Director Mikhail Fomin

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, 2011

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

Dear reader, You are holding in your hands another issue of the Take-off magazine, a supplement to Russian aerospace monthly VZLET. This issue is timed to the LIMA 2011 international aerospace and maritime exhibition. The show on the Malaysian island of Langkawi dates back 20 years and is the 11th one this time around. Over the two decades since LIMA’s inception, the show has grown much in terms of scale and participation, having turned into a major regional aerospace and naval business forum in Southeast Asia. Russia has been a regular major participant in LIMA shows owing, to a large degree, to the increasing scale of aerospace cooperation between the two nations. In the mid-1990s, the Royal Malaysian Air Force commissioned into service the MiG-29N fighter developed in line with its order. A bit later, Malaysian fire-fighting service Bomba received Russian-made Mi-17-1V and then Mi-171 helicopters. Today, the most advanced and perfect multirole combat aircraft in service with RMAF is the Russian-built Su-30MKM fighters delivered by the Irkut Corporation in an 18-ship batch during 2007–09. Last year, Malaysia became the launch customer for the advanced new-generation MC-21 short/ medium-haul airliner under development by Irkut in Russia. In November this year, the Irkutsk Aviation Plant (a subsidiary of Irkut Corp.) was visited by Malaysian Defence Minister Dato Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who familiarised himself with the production of Su-30MK and Yak-130 aircraft and the productionising of the MC-21 and was pleased very much with what he had seen. “What I have seen here is impressive and mind-boggling”, said Dato Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi. “We are discussing the feasibility of further programmes, and Malaysian companies are always willing to cooperate with Irkut in this sphere”. “Malaysia is not only a customer to us; rather, it is a key partner. We would like to consolidate our good partnership with the Malaysian aerospace industry”, Irkut President Alexey Fyodorov said in turn. In addition to the Su-30MKM programme, the parties have discussed the cooperation under the MC-21 advanced airliner family programme, with the delivery to Malaysia slated for 2017. In addition, the Malaysian defence minister displayed interest in the Yak-130 programme and indicated the feasibility of cooperation in this field as well. The Malaysian defence minister’s visit has become an important milestone towards the stepping up Russian-Malaysian cooperation in the aerospace sphere, with the LIMA 2011 show to become an excellent venue to pursue the cooperation further. Sincerely, Andrey Fomin, Editor-in-Chief, Take-off magazine


INDUSTRY Two Tu-204SMs already in trials . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 New aircraft for presidential air detachment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Ilyushin 476 first flying prototype nearing completion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Another Be-200 delivered to Russian Emergencies Ministry. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Who will bank on the Little Trotter? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Mi-34C1 has taken to the sky!. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 MiG unveils 3D simulator. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

December 2011


Mil helicopters: From light to versatile ones . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Irkut gearing up for MC-21 production . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 PD-14 New-generation engine for MC-21 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

12 AIR DEFENCE Almaz-Antey on global market . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

16 MILITARY AVIATION T-50 What we learnt of it at MAKS 2011 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Yuri Bely: “PAK FA’s AESA radar development is right on schedule” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

24 30


Forging arms for T-50 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 RusAF Training Centre got 10 Yak-130s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Russian-made An-140s earmarked for military use? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Tu-214ON: Open Skies without secrets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . RusAF to receive supermanoeuvrable fighters of Su-30MKI family. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Six more Mi-28Ns delivered to RusAF. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Rostvertol resumes Mi-26 deliveries to Russian Defence Ministry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Arbalet-fitted Ka-52 wraps up its trials . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

36 36 37 37 38 38 39

COMMERCIAL AVIATION Polyot and UIA launch An-148 services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 Another Il-114-100 kicks off commercial operation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40

Sukhoi Superjet 100 Half a year in operation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42


42 2

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Jordan takes delivery of two Il-76MFs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Algerian pilots learning Yak-130 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Construction of new MiG-29K batch kicks off . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . RMAF mulling over beefing up its Su-30MKM fleet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

46 46 47 48

industry | news

The second flying prototype of the upgraded Tupolev Tu-204SM medium-haul airliner conducted its first flight from the factory airfield of the Aviastar-SP corporation in Ulyanovsk on 3 August 2011. The prototype was given number 64151. It spent 52 min. in flight, controlled by the crew made up of pilot Alexander Zhuravlyov (honoured test pilot of Russia), co-pilot Victor Minashkin (Tupolev chief pilot and honoured test pilot of Russia), flight engineer V. Salatov and programme test engineer N. Fanurin. The flight was a success, with all systems functioning well and the plane’s stability and controllability praised by the crew. In mid-August, the aircraft was ferried to Zhukovsky, Moscow Region, and used as a static display in the MAKS 2011 air show. There, one could see the interior of the cabin and flightdeck of the upgraded airliner. Aviastar having constructed the second flying prototype allows speeding up the Tu-204SM certification tests kicked off by the first flying prototype (No.

Alexey Mikheyev

Two Tu-204SMs already in trials

64150) in April. As is known, it first flew in Ulyanovsk on 29 December 2010 and was ferried to Tupolev’s Zhukovsky Flight Test and Development Facility at Gromov LII’s airfield. Aviastar is manufacturing the third Tu-204SM (No. 64152) now. The certification tests are to be wrapped up in 2012, when deliveries of the first production aircraft may be launched. The Tu-204SM differs from the production Tu-204 and Tu-214 in improved flight and operating characteristics, with the operating experience of its predecessors taken into account during its devel-

opment. The Tu-204SM’s features include the advanced PS-90A2 engines from Aviadvigatel JSC in Perm, developed in cooperation with Pratt&Whitney and productionised by the Perm Engine Company, and an advanced avionics suite that has allowed a crew reduction down to two members. Close attention is paid during the Tu-204SM’s development to the introduction of an after-sales maintenance system meeting international standards. The aircraft with the 108-tonne maximum takeoff weight takes 215 passengers in the single-class lay-

out out to 4,800 km or 166 in the two-class layout to a distance of 6,100 km. The design life of the Tu-204SM is 60,000 flying hours, 45,000 flights or 25 years in service. At present, UAC and Tupolev are in talks with potential launch customers for the Tu-204SM, particularly, VIM-Avia and some other Russian carriers. In addition, Tupolev late in September reported the signature of the memorandum of understanding with Syrian carrier Syrianair on delivery of three Tu-204SMs starting from 2013 and then setting up a maintenance centre for aircraft of the type on the premises of Syrianair.


On 27 October 2011, the airfield of the Kazan Aviation Production Association named after S.P. Gorbunov (KAPO) witnessed the maiden flight of the new Tupolev Tu-204SUS special-purpose aircraft (RA-64522) built on order by the Russian Presidential Property Management Department. The aircraft was piloted by a crew led by KAPO test-pilot Alexey Ryabov. The aircraft carrying a “special communications centre” (SUS in Russian), is the fifth airliner out of the six special Tu-214 derivatives ordered by the


take-off december 2011

Presidential Property Management Department. The first two aircraft the department ordered from the Kazan-based aircraft manufacturer – Tu-214SR relay aircraft (RA-64515 and RA-64516) – were built in 2008 and handed over to the Rossiya special air detachment in a ceremony on 1 June 2009. Last year, KAPO assembled two more aircraft under the Presidential Property Management Department order. They were Tu-214PU VIP airborne command posts. The former of the two (RA-64517) was received by

Ildar Valeyev

New aircraft for presidential air detachment

Rossiya in October 2010 and the latter (RA-64520) in January this year. The government-awarded order for two Tu-214SUS aircraft is to be fulfilled before year-end. The second aircraft of the type (RA-64524) was rolled out right on the heels of the first Tu-214SUS. Once it is delivered, the Kazan-based aircraft maker will have fulfilled the order from the Presidential Property Management Department for six special aircraft derived from the Tu-214. The aircraft fleet of the presidential air detachment is to be beefed up with

other new domestically-built types as well. In October, the Aviastar-SP close corporation in Ulyanovsk rolled out two Tupolev Tu-204-300A airliners (RA-64057 and RA-64059) at once. RA-64057 first flew on 29 October, controlled by a crew led by Tupolev JSC test-pilot Victor Minashkin. According to Tupolev, the Tu-204-300As slated for the presidential air detachment are equipped with “a VIP cabin that has been soundproofed effectively, furnished with up-to-date telephone communications systems and provided with Internet access”.

Aircraft family with expanded operational capabilities and a new level of economic efďŹ ciency 12–15% operational cost reduction in comparison with existing analogues. Innovative design solutions for airframe. Optimal fuselage cross-section to increase the comfort level or to reduce the turnaround time. Cooperation with the world leading suppliers of systems and equipment. Matching future environmental requirements. Expanded operational capabilities.

industry | news

Take-off's archive


take-off december 2011

2011 in August. The mockup displayed is a stand for testing and debugging avionics and airborne equipment and for training test pilots in flying the upgraded plane. Assembly of the fuselage sections of the first two Il-76TD-90As began in Aviastar’s assembly shop in 2009. A year later, manufacture of new-design wing panels commenced there. To speed up the construction, some of the airframe’s assemblies for the first two planes (empennage and wingtips) have been ordered from TAPC in Tashkent. The prototype of the upgraded Il-76 is expected to fly for the first time in Ulyanovsk early in 2012. Aviastar plans to launch production of the upgraded aircraft once the prototypes have completed their test programme. Manufacture of parts

Yuri Ponomarev

The Aviastar-SP close corporation in Ulyanovsk is to complete and roll out the first flying prototype of the Il-76TD-90A (Project 476) transport aircraft before year-end. The flying prototype’s (c/n 01-02) airframe joining and general assembly was over in August, after which installation of aircraft systems began. At the same time, the plant was making an example for endurance tests (c/n 01-01), and its fuselage central section with the wing centre section and wing panels was sent to Zhukovsky, Moscow Region, in late September for testing by TsAGI. The upgraded Il-76 productionising programme is under way at Aviastar-SP under the governmental resolution dated 20 December 2006. The feature setting Aircraft 476 radically apart from the Il-76 previously built in Tashkent is to be a redesigned wing with wing panels that are singlepiece throughout their wingspan. The wing panels lack the middle spar in the wing box and with the stringer set riveted to the wing panels. The designers expect the solutions to slash the structural weight by far. The planes to be made in Ulyanovsk will be powered by PS-90A-76 engines as some of the last versions of the Tashkent-made Il-76 are. Ulyanovsk-manufactured transports will carry an up-to-date avionics suite that will show information on six 6x8-inch multifunction displays (MFD). All technical documentation relevant to the plane is issued in the digital form. The ‘all-glass’ flight-deck of the upgraded Il-76 was unveiled at MAKS

Take-off's archive

Ilyushin 476 first flying prototype nearing completion

for the first three production planes started as far back as July of last year. The plant is going to make three production aircraft a year at first, with the subsequent output rate to grow up to seven planes per annum. Not only the Il-76MD-90A airlifter and Il-76TD-90A commercial transport versions are planned to be made in Ulyanovsk under the Ilyushin 476 programme, but a number of special variants as well. For instance, Ilyushin 476 is to be used as the platform for a new tanker plane intended to replace the Il-78 and Il-78M built in Tashkent previously. A model of the future AEW&C aircraft based on the Ilyushin 476 airframe was shown during the International Air Transport Forum in Ulyanovsk in April this year, with the aircraft featuring a redesigned wing, PS-90A-76 engines and other design features of future Aviastar-made Il-76s. The plane has all of the accoutrements of the A-50 AEW&C aircraft and its latest versions and upgrades, e.g. a radar

in the spine-mounted rotodome, other extra antenna systems and equipment, cooling air intakes set in various parts of the airframe, metal fuselage nose section instead of the characteristic Il-76 airlifter’s navigator’s ‘glass bubble’, in-flight refuelling system, etc. That the advanced AEW&C system will be based on the Ulyanovskupgraded Il-76 was told to the media in August by Russian Air Force chief Col.-Gen. Alexandr Zelin: “There is full backing by the chief of the General staff, there is financial support. The aircraft is to be developed by 2016, and the platform itself is to be ready about 2013–14”. The Russian Defence Ministry is expected to be the launch customer for the Ulyanovsk-made Ilyushin 476, after which domestic and foreign commercial operators may apply too. Aviastar Director General Sergei Dementyev estimates the overall volume of the 476 programme throughout 2020 at about a hundred aircraft.


industry | news


Another Be-200 delivered to Russian Emergencies Ministry

4 October 2011 saw a new Beriev Be-200ChS amphibian named Pyotr Streletsky (registered as RF-31121, c/n 301) take off from the TaganrogYuzhny airfield for its maiden flight. The aircraft is built for the Russian Emergencies Ministry. The crew of

Beriev test pilots Yevgeny Yurasov (commander) and Nikolai Kuleshov (co-pilot) flew the amphibian. According to the pilot, all systems operated normally on a three-hour flight, with the crew pronouncing the stability and controllability of

the version higher than those of the earlier ones were. Due to the shifting of Be-200 amphibian production from the Irkutsk Aircraft Plant (an affiliate of the Irkut corporation) to Taganrog, the Irkutsk-built

Be-200ChS (c/n 301) was handed over to the Beriev company in mid-2010 for finalising the production cycle at Beriev’s manufacturing facilities. The new-series amphibian embodies the solutions prompted by the critique stemming from the opeval by the Russian Emergencies Ministry and the validation process as part of the EU certification. The new Be-200ChS performed successful takeoffs, splashdowns and water scoops out in the Azov and Black seas on 7 and 9 October. In all, six sorties were flown between 4 and 9 October 2011, and a total of 20 h 12 min were logged, including over 20 water scoops and drops. The handover ceremony to Russian Emergencies Ministry took place on 21 October, with the aircraft departing to its new station, the Emergencies Ministry Siberian Regional Centre in Krasnoyarsk.

The MAKS 2011 air show held in Zhukovsky in August was where a new light twin-engined turboprop plane dubbed Rysachok (Russian for Little Trotter) made its debut. The aircraft was developed by the Technoavia scientific and design company in Moscow and made by the TsKB-Progress rocket and spacecraft centre in Samara under the contract on an advanced trainer aircraft for civilian flying schools, signed with the Russian Ministry of Transport in June 2007. As many as two flying prototypes of the Rysachok are undergoing tests at the Gromov Flight Test Institute (Gromov LII). Prototype c/n 00-01 took to the air on its maiden flight from the Bezymyanka airfield in Samara on 3 December last year. The debugging and factory test phase in Samara was completed six months later, after which the plane was handed over to the developer, Technoavia, for certification tests at Gromov LII. The first Rysachok (side number 777) was ferried from Samara to Gromov LII’s airfield in Zhukovsky on 3 June.


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Also in June, TsKB-Progress assembled the second flying prototype (c/n 00-03). Following its initial flight tests in Samara and its painting by the Ulyanovsk-based company Spektr-avia, the aircraft with side number 778 came to Gromov LII’s airfield on 23 July. Both prototypes were shown during MAKS 2011, with the first one performing demo flights almost every day and the second one shown as static display. Following the completion of the certification trials that will involve another flying prototype (c/n 00-05), the decision to launch the Rysachok’s production at TsKB-Progress’s facilities may be taken. A total of five prototypes are to be built under the current contract with the Russian Ministry of Transport. The static tests prototype (c/n 00-02) was the first to be made in 2010. It has been undergoing structural tests in TsAGI, with aircraft c/n 00-04 to be used for endurance tests. The current contract stipulates the manufacture of at least 30 production aircraft for Russian civilian flying schools, the Ulyanovsk Higher

Alexey Mikheyev

Who will bank on the Little Trotter?

Aviation School of Civil Aviation in the first place. However, that the order will be placed is no longer for sure, because the Federal Air Transport Agency complains of the development slipping behind schedule and of the economic terms of the possible deal and subsequent operation. It is an open secret that the flying school in Ulyanovsk has had Austrian-made Diamond DA42 twin-diesel planes bought, with the Diamond DA42’s fuel consumption being even less than that of the main ‘flying desk’ of Russian airline pilots – the Yak-18T single-pistonengine primary trainer.

In addition to its primary purpose, the Rysachok powered by two M-601F turboprops rated at 750 hp each can carry 10 passengers or 1,570 kg of cargo on commuter lines, or 15 parachutists, or six casualties on stretchers, accompanied by a medic. It also can conduct patrol, search and rescue (SAR) and air surveillance operations, etc. It will be clear pretty soon whether the plane will be needed in any of these capacities or the programme, which is rather attractive, albeit loosing the support of the Ministry of Transport, will have to be discontinued.


A bi-turbine helicopter with a dual rotor system. Highly efficient in fire fighting operations, due to large water discharge capacity, manoeuvrability and fast cruising speed. Used in different application versions: firefighting, SAR, HEMS, land and sea surveillance, ecological monitoring, transportation of fire brigade, external lift, heliborne operations and transport. more at


29 bld. 141, Vereyskaya st., Moscow,121357, Russian Federation Tel: +7 (495) 627-5545 • Fax: +7 (495) 981-6395 E-mail:

industry | news

Mi-34C1 has taken to the sky! Arsenyev in a more powerful engine, the nine-cylinder piston M9FV with forced air cooling and a takeoff power of 365 hp; introduction of hydraulic actuators to the helicopter control system; modified nose section, and a number of other features aimed at enhancing its efficiency, reliability and service life. At the customer’s request, the traditional ‘steam-gauge’ instruments can be replaced with the ‘all-glass’ cockpit, with all data shown on colour multifunction LCDs. The Mi-34C1 can be used for training of military and commercial pilots,

for sports and for handling a wide range of tasks inherent in all light helicopters. It seats three passengers and a pilot or carries 400 kg of cargo and flies at a maximum speed of 220 km/h (cruising speed of 180 km/h) to a distance of 450 km (910 km with additional tanks) with a maximum takeoff weight of 1,450 kg. The completion of the trials and issuance of the type certificate supplement are slated for late this year. Then, the Mi-34C1 will enter production at the Progress joint stock company (Russian Helicopters

subsidiary). Deliveries are to commence in September 2012. The UTair company has already ordered 10 machines for its training centre. Keen interest in the Mi-34C1 also has been displayed in Europe, where the new aircraft is far less expensive than its Western rivals are, but is similar or even better in terms of performance. Russian Helicopters also expect deliveries to Russian Air Force fluing schools. “We count on a market of 1,000 helicopters in various versions”, Mil Designer General Alexei Samusenko stressed.

is the complete illusion of real flight, and even a rookie pilot can easily guess the range to and the size of the objects he sees. The advanced 3D simulator from the MiG corporation comprises the cabin imitating the combat station of the pilot of the up-to-date fighter of the MiG-29 type with real aircraft, engine and basic system controls, a projection system with a display, and digital computers with relevant software, controlling the operation of the simulator. A graphic example of the implementation of 3D effects in MiG’s advanced simulator is the imitation of mid-air refuelling, during which the contact between the virtual image of a tanker plane’s refuelling drogue and the real refuelling probe fitting the 3D simulator cabin is rendered. The advantages offered by the 3D simulator’s 3D surrounding environment imagery has been appreciated

by not only MiG’s test pilots, but pilots from other Russian aircraft developers and the Air Force. Foreign pilots sat in MiG’s 3D simulator when it was unveiled in Zhukovsky during MAKS 2011 in August this year. Many of them gave it raving reports, for there are no systems in Russia, Europe and the United States to rival the simulator.

Alexey Mikheyev

Not long before the MAKS 2011 air show this summer, the Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant (a subsidiary of the Russian Helicopters holding company) completed two prototypes of the upgraded Mi-34C1 light helicopter – the OP-1 (side number 343) trainer version for Russian Air Force flying schools and the OP-2 (side number 342) for commercial operators. The prototype of the commercial version of the Mi-34C1 made its first hover on the premises of Mil in Tomilino, Moscow Region, early in August. Honoured Test Pilot Sergei Barkov took it for its maiden mission on a circuit flight on 4 August and practiced a demonstration set of manoeuvres for display during MAKS 2011. During the show in Zhukovsky, the black-painted Mi-34C1 (OP-2) was shown at the Russian Helicopters display area and flew demo flights virtually every day, while the military version prototype, the OP-1, wearing the new grey paintjob of the Russian Air Force, could be seen at static display near Oboronprom’s pavilion. The upgraded machine differs from the Mi-34C built by Progress in

At Dubai air show in November 2011, the MiG corporation has unveiled its latest product – the unique 3D simulator allowing simulated piloting of up-to-date fighters of the MiG-29 type throughout their flight envelope with 3D visualisation. There are many simulators of advanced warplanes, used for training of aircrews. As a rule, they have a projection system, whose projectors generate lookup and lookdown imagery on a flat or spherical display. The current display visualisation techniques simulate the surrounding environment but lack the 3D visual effect. This hampers the pilot’s accurate ranging of the objects seen and estimation of their dimensions, which is very important for fulfilling several specific piloting tasks, e.g. formation flying, mid-air refuelling and traditional landing approach. Imitation of remote objects in the surrounding environment is ensured


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by collimator visual systems. Owing to the system of projectors, prisms and mirrors, such simulators generate lookup and lookdown imagery going to infinity. The shortcomings of collimator visual system simulators are their being cumbersome, lack of the 3D visual effect, limited field of view and ability to see the surrounding environment from the pilot’s station only. The MiG corporation has developed a drastically novel type of advanced fighter simulator, which lacks these shortcomings and allows a high degree of accuracy in simulating the 3D surrounding environment the pilot sees from the cockpit. The simulator is based on the concept of generating 3D lookup and lookdown imagery with the use of special spectacles similar to those used in 3D cinemas. Just don the spectacles and the double flat image on the screen goes 3D. Owing to this, there

Sergey Krivchikov

MiG unveils 3D simulator

United Engine Corporation Bldg. 141, 29 Vereyskaya str., Moscow, 121357, Russia Tel./fax: +7 (495) 232-91-63

Alexey Mikheyev

industry | interview

MIL HELICOPTERS FROM LIGHT TO VERSATILE ONES Russian international air show MAKS 2011 became a venue of numerous helicopter debuts, e.g. the Russian Helicopters holding company unveiled several helicopter types in the form of full-scale examples, with experts noting the Mil Mi-38 medium helicopter’s version powered by Russian engines TV7-117V and the upgraded Mi-34C1 light helicopter from the Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant. Take-off’s Deputy Editor-in-Chief Vladimir Shcherbakov asked Mil Designer General Alexei Samusenko for comment on these and other programmes. A top priority among Russian helicopter development programmes is that of the Mi-38 multirole helicopter. We saw its new version, the Mi-382, at MAKS 2011. What has been done under the programme and when will the market be able to get its production-standard variant? The Mi-38 development programme is important not only to our company, but also to Russia as a whole. Moreover, I am certain that the Mi-38 will be in demand on the global market as well. The programme has been given high priority and support by the government. Having met some of potential buyers, we have seen their positive response. Representatives of air carriers have familiarised themselves with a ‘live’ machine and the advanced technical solutions embodied in it to make it easier for flying and ground crews to operate it. Mention also should be made that according to our estimates, the innovation introduced as part of the programme can influence the advanced helicopter’s flight hour cost heavily. This is a considerable


take-off december 2011

competitive factor under the current economic conditions. The Mi-38 is in trials now. It is the second prototype, the OP-2, that virtually reflects the configuration sought. We plan that the OP-2 will have completed the factory flight tests in 2011, and we will launch the certification check trials. At the same time, the OP-1 powered by TV7-117Vs (it was designated as Mi-382) is going to complete the developmental tests and, in 2012, will begin its certification trials. In addition, the Kazan Helicopters is completing the construction of the third prototype (OP-3) powered by Russian engines and fitted with a Russian avionics suite; the OP-4, the fourth prototype, will follow it during 2012–13 to become the standard for Mi-38 production. Overall, we plan to complete the whole of flight test programme during 2012–13 and switch to full-scale production of the helicopter in 2014. What might be the Mi-38’s flight hour cost as planned by Mil? How superior of the in-service Mi-8 and Mi-17 will the advanced

helicopter have to be to prompt keen interest of potential buyers? The issue of flight hour cost is not as simple as it may seem on the face of it. The flight hour cost is generated mostly by the cost of the remuneration of flying and ground crews and the cost of fuel. The influence of the share of the aircraft maintenance cost on the flight hour cost is insignificant. As for the second part of your question, the Mi-38 should be similar to the Mi-8 in terms of flight hour cost, which will prompt potential customers opt for the Mi-38, considering the strengths of the advanced helicopter. Strictly speaking, the Mi-38’s service entry with operators may result in a drastic change in their approach to operation. While present-day Mi-8s have to have their main rotor blades replaced every seven to eight years, this will have to be done far less

industry | interview will, possibly, have no service life limits, but will be operated on condition instead. In addition, we have equipped it with the Aerosila TA-14 auxiliary power unit (APU), which allowed easier engine start-up and enhanced the quality of ground maintenance. The reason is that the APU will feed power to the heating or air conditioning system and cargo handling equipment on the ground when ambient temperature is too high or too low. The need for an APU like that has been proven by practice; hence, operators require it, especially in case of operations from austere helipads. The helicopter also has been furnished with the third auxiliary hydraulic system enhancing the ease of cargo handling in terms of ground clearance alteration and variation of the ramp position for rolling hardware on and off. Thus, the onboard cargo handling mechanisation system got a generation system of its own and can operate round the clock without excessive noise and emissions. Special mention should be made of the advanced flight navigation system from the Transas company, which we have mounted on the Mi-38. The system is state-of-the-art in terms of automation of helicopter navigation, flight and route modes. The flight navigation system makes it much easier for the pilot to fly, especially in limited weather minimum, in atmospheric precipitations and stiff wind. In addition, Transas has been vested with developing a Mi-38 simulator. Probably, it is the first time in this country when a simulator is being developed at the same time with the development of a helicopter. The simulator we plan to offer to potential customers will imitate the cockpit and agility of the helicopter, responding to the controls and simulating surrounding environment.

Transas and we are looking into the feasibility of developing of a separate Mi-38 simulator centre. What is the prospect for the Mi-8/17 family? The Mi-8/17 family has undergone several modernisations, but we believe that its upgradeability has not been exhausted yet and, which is more, they are still in demand throughout the world. Therefore, we are running the so-called reverse upgrade of the family, i.e. use some of the solutions featured by the advanced Mi-38 in older machines. In the near future, most modifications can be applied to the main rotor that we are going to ‘borrow’ from the Mi-38. We expect it to enable the Mi-38 to fly faster and higher and ensure a new approach to the service life of the rotor system, though no substantial modernisation of the airframe is planned. The Russian Helicopters holding company is running a heavy upgrade programme for the helicopters of the family, with the upgraded machine dubbed Mi-171A2. The Mi-171A1 version, which holds an up-todate airworthiness certificate and international recognition, is to be upgraded. A key objective of the upgrade is to retain the current slice of the market in the niche and enhance the machine’s safety. The latest model will have a main rotor with allcomposite blades, with the tail rotor to be made of composites too. The main and tail rotors are to feature advanced aerodynamic configurations based on the latest scientific advances and TsAGI’s wealth of experience. All the above will facilitate long-term calendar-time operation a considerable increase in service life. At the modelling stage, we managed to produce a speed of 280 km/h with power and control margins remaining. The advanced aircraft also will feature extended range – 800 km in Andrey Fomin

often, if all goes to plan. Under the Mi-38 programme, a new service life policy is being implemented along with introduction of other up-to-date engineering and technological solutions. Will the twin-powerplant Mi-38 concept persist and how can this influence its demand by Russian and foreign customers? The Mi-38 programme is double-track, using a Pratt& Whitney Canada engine and the Russian-made Klimov TV7-117V. This is the philosophy of the programme. In the outcome, the Mi-38 will have two variants of powerplant. We believe this can influence the price of the production machine and cause the interest of foreign operators, on the one hand, and woo Russian customers (both civilian and uniformed one), on the other. I would like to stress that Russian uniformed services have been keen on the Mi-38 due to their need in aircraft like that. Foreign companies have shown interest too. The advanced helicopter is among the best in terms of carrying capacity. Unlike the Mi-8, it hauls 6 t of internal cargo, rather than 4 t, and up to 7 t slung under belly. In addition, the Mi-38 features low vibration and reduced noise and can be flown by a reduced crew of two. What other features, do you think, will attract potential customers? I believe the Mi-38 is a 21st-century helicopter, because we have succeeded in implementing cutting-edge design solutions in it, including up-to-date electronics and materials. By the way, composites make up over 30% of the total volume of materials used in the machine. Such key structural elements as the main and tail rotor blades and fuselage parts are made of composites. We plan that the helicopter will have an extended service life. We assume the Mi-38

Mi-38 fist flying prototype re-engined by Klimov TV7-117V turboshafts got Mi-382 designation

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Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant

industry | interview

Mi-34C1 prototype entered flight tests in early August 2011

the baseline configuration. The upgraded helicopter also is to carry a flight navigation system handling the same functions its counterpart on the Mi-38 does. During MAKS 2011, we demonstrated the upgraded Mi-17-1V, for which development we paid out of pocket. It is fitted with the IBKV-17 flight navigation system from Transas. Once the machine’s test programme had been complete, we offered the aircraft to the Russian Defence Ministry and foreign customers. Not long ago, Russian Vice-Premier Sergei Ivanov said 800 light helicopters would be needed throughout 2020 to renovate the civil aviation aircraft fleet. Light helicopters have been in special demand abroad of late owing to their ability to shoulder some of the functions handled by medium helicopters at


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far lower unit and operating costs. In this connection, could you tell us of the work Mil is doing in the light helicopter field and what has been emphasised in this segment of the Russian helicopter industry? Right, light helicopters are an important thing Mil has been dealing with for quite a while. Today, the Mi-34 is our priority in this class, it was developed from the outset to ensure basic training of helicopter pilots and participation of Russian helicopter sports teams in competitions. The development of the Mi-34 was launched as far back as the Soviet times with the use of the specifications requirement from the Soviet Defence Ministry. The machine cleared its official trials milestone in 1986, its compliance with the specifications requirement was confirmed and a

report recommending its full-scale production was issued. Actually, the helicopter proved to be a success, with a takeoff weight of 1,450 kg. Its design enabled its crew to pull of aerobatics more inherent in fixed-wing aircraft than in helicopters, e.g. the loop and roll. On the other hand, the Mi-34, which later found itself in a different country under different economic conditions in fact, could not always rival some of the foreign helicopters in the class, e.g. those from Robinson or Schweitzer. Given request from civilian customers, however, we have had the helicopter certificated and we have dubbed it Mi-34C. The next phase of the Mi-34 programme kicked off several years ago. As part of working out an advanced helicopter family by Russian Helicopters holding, we took due account of the high demand of up-to-date light helicopters, and the Mi-34 then got its second wind, in fact. The latest helicopter has been designated as Mi-34C1. It has retained all of the advantages of the baseline sports version, but has gained commercial traits that are so important to operators. In particular, we have managed to extended its range out to 450 km, its engine has been replaced with a more powerful one, the degree of comfort has grown and the appearance of the machine has improved, i.e. we have implemented what normally stems from successful sales of any advanced aircraft. This summer, we made two prototypes dubbed OP-1 and OP-2 – a trainer variant for Russian Defence Ministry flight schools and a commercial version respectively. Early in August, the OP-2 conducted its maiden flight on the premises of the Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant in Tomilino, Moscow Region. The advanced machine was demonstrated as part of MAKS 2011’s flight programme, evoking keen interest on the part of civilian and military potential customers. To date, tentative agreement has been achieved or orders for dozens of machines have been awarded by a number of Russian and foreign helicopter users, particularly, the UTair company. Foreign customers have shown interest in the Mi-34C1 too. We expect the Mi-34C1 to meet the requirements of most exacting consumers. The Mi-34C1 certification programme is slated for completion by year-end 2011. This will allow the machine to enter fullscale production at the Progress plant in Arsenyev and kick off its deliveries in 2012. In our opinion, the Mi-34C1 will be in high demand as an initial training helicopter. Now, it will be more comfortable to both the instructor-pilot and the rookie. What are the features of the latest Mi-34 version?

Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant

industry | interview Mi-34C1 second flying prototype (OP-2) in commercial version

terms of components. It has provided the hydraulic actuators it has developed and made. Now, the machine will surpass the popular Robinson R44 in terms of performance, in particular, the Mi-34C1 will have a higher static ceiling. The helicopter seats three passengers and a pilot or 400 kg of cargo. With the 1,450-kg maximal takeoff weight, it flies at a maximum speed of 220 km/h out to 450 km (as far as 910 km on extra tanks). Special mention should be made that the traditional ‘steam-gauge’ type instruments can be replaced at the customer’s request with the

Andrey Fomin

The Mi-34C1 features a modified configuration, the upgraded M9FV engine and improved flight performance, as well as an advanced control system. As is known, the simplicity and cost of the first version of the Mi-34 were maximised; in particular, its control system was mechanical and required that the pilot should make a lot of physical effort in certain operating modes. The helicopter has been furnished with the hydraulic system, so even a woman will be able to control it without too much effort. We have used foreign-made components. The Goodrich company is our partner in

Mi-34C1 first flying prototype (OP-1) in a trainer version for Russian Air Force

‘glass cockpit’, where all data are shown on colour multifunction liquid-crystal displays. We have scrutinised the major foreignbuilt helicopters in the class, introduced modifications and got a well-designed machine with high design flight and operating characteristics that, hopefully, will be fully proven during the trials. Throw a rather attractive price in for good measure. Could you give us more detail on the Mi-34C1’s advantages over the R44? As is known, full-fledged competition requires the best or comparable economic efficiency and flight hour cost in addition to top-rate flight performance and streamlined maintenance. Probably, UTair has preferred the Mi-34C1 to the R44 for a reason, hasn’t it? Under the Mi-34 modernisation specifications requirement, we needed a considerable service life extension – we intend to achieve a helicopter service life of 15,000 flight hours and the 5,000-flight-hour service life of the assemblies as well as ensure a 1,000–1,500-h increase in the time between overhauls at first and then extend it even further up to 1,700 flight hours. It will be a helicopter on a par with Western analogues or even better in terms of service life. As far as the Mi-34C1’s service life and flight hour cost are concerned, the machine will be rather competitive. To my mind, its flight hour cost will be at least 1.5 times lower than that of its foreign rivals. Therefore, we are optimistic about the future of our machine – both in Russia and abroad. take-off december 2011


Alexey Mikheyev

industry | report

Andrey FOMIN

IRKUT GEARING UP FOR MC-21 PRODUCTION The development and production of the MC-21 short/medium-haul airliners designed to seat from 150 to 210 passengers is to become the key advanced commercial aircraft programme of the Russian aircraft industry. At the MAKS 2011 air show in August, experts and the public were shown a full-size MC-21’s cabin and flightdeck mockup and full-scale components of the future airliner’s wing that will be all-composite. The Irkut corporation was appointed prime contractor for the MC-21 development and production under the Russian president’s directive dated 6 June 2010. The Irkutsk Aviation Plant, a subsidiary of Irkut Corp., will make prototypes and then all production-standard aircraft of the MC-21 family. The Take-off editor has had an opportunity to see the company gearing up for the MC-21 production during his recent visit to the plant. At present, the Irkutsk Aviation Plant is a major player of the Russian aircraft industry and, probably, its branch’s leader in terms of output. Sukhoi Su-30MKI multirole supermanoeuvrable fighters and Yakovlev Yak-130 combat trainers are built in Irkutsk now. According to Irkutsk Aviation Plant Director General Alexander Veprev, the company manufactured 38 Su-30MKI fighters, including knockdown kits for licence production in India, and nine Yak-130s in 2010 – overall, 47 aircraft that make up more than half of the planes built in Russia last year.


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Irkut launched deliveries of A320 airliner components to Airbus under an international cooperation programme in 2007. The plant had productionised three assemblies for A320 family airliners – the nose wheel bay, keel beam (the basic load-bearing element of the lower fuselage in the wing centre section area) and flap rail. The volume of the deliveries to Airbus has been on the rise steadily. For instance, the two first nose wheel bays were delivered in 2007, as many as 21 in 2008, 82 in 2009 and 104 in 2010. The keel beam deliveries began in 2008 with

the first four units, as many as 34 keel beams went to Toulouse from Irkutsk in 2009 and 71 in 2010. Considering that Airbus sold about 400 A320 family airliners per annum in 2009–10, every fourth of them is fitted with an Irkutsk-made nose wheel bay and every sixth of them with an Irkutskmanufactured keel beam. Fulfilling the orders awarded by Airbus in its time kicked off a drastic modernisation of the production facilities and engineering processes of the Irkutsk Aviation Plant. Acquisition of advanced equipment, training of personnel in using it and introduction of stringent quality control systems began. According to Irkut President Alexey Fyodorov, the plant has invested 10.8 billion rubles (about $360 million) in the production facilities modernisation over the past six years, which became the first and rather impressive step towards the production of the advanced MC-21 airliner. At the first stage of the technical reequipment, the company has switched to

Alexey Fyodorov, Irkut Corp. President: “Airbus orders for A320 components manufacturing forced us to begin modernisation of Irkutsk Aviation Plant production facilities which became the first step to MC-21 production preparation” Alexey Mikheyev

the up-to-date regulatory framework by having introduced more than 200 standards, introduced digital design and productionising methods and updated over 280 units of equipment – machines, laboratories and testing facilities. An up-to-date quality management system has been adopted (EN9100 standard) and advanced global logistics schemes and lean manufacturing technologies have been implemented. This resulted in the output per worker totalling 4.2 million rubles (about $140,000) in 2010 – the best showing in Russia’s aircraft industry. A revolution has taken place in the informatisation of the production facilities through introduction of CAD/CAM/CAE/PDM technologies for mathematic modelling of the plane’s aerodynamic configuration, engineering and kinematic analysis of items, 3D design and manufacture of parts with subsequent automated quality control by means of measurement inspection machines, laser/optics-assisted final assembly, design and shop-floor documentation and data and their use in managing the company. To date, Irkut has had over 1,300 jobs for design and preproduction planning based on CAD/CAM/CAE/PDM technologies. A considerable upgrade has taken place at the blank punching and mechanical assembly shops, where technologies relevant to MC-21 production have been introduced. The Irkutsk Aviation Plant is especially proud of its electroplating facility – the

Alexey Mikheyev

industry | report

Alexey Mikheyev

A320’s keel beam manufacturing at Irkutsk Aviation Plant

Every fourth A320-family airliner now has Irkutsk-maid nose wheel bay

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shop applying coatings and performing chemical processing of parts. No other Russian aircraft manufacturer can rival it yet. To date, over 40 special processes have been introduced in Irkutsk both under the ongoing programmes and for the future production of the MC-21. They include aluminium and titanium alloy part anodising, aluminium part dimensional chemical etching, vacuum titanium alloy part thermal processing, luminescent control, etc. Modernisation of the assembly shop has begun. As part of the effort, the mechanical riveting process has been mastered, as it will be a key MC-21 manufacturing technology, advanced aggregate assembly technologies have been introduced and used in production of components for Airbus and an automated mating concept has been tested. This has resulted to the existing Irkutsk Aviation Plant facilities being even now fit for manufacture of MC-21 prototypes for static, endurance and flight tests. However, a radical revamp of the aggregate and final assembly shops will be needed for subsequent full-scale production with the output planned. Phase II of the plant’s technical update will mostly be focused on this in the coming year. Automatic aircraft assembly mating processes are to be introduced. Provision has been made for designing and manufacturing a specialised MC-21 aggregate and final assembly line. At the same time, there will be an increase in the blank punching and mechanical assembly shops’ capabilities, and the launch of advanced special processes, e.g. electroplating and painting, will have been completed. At the Le Bourget air show in June this year, Irkut and German company DURR Systems GmbH clinched a deal on setting up an MC-21 aircraft assembly production line on the premises of the Irkutsk Aviation Plant. A contract for delivery of the complete set of the MC-21 assembly line with the use of advanced digital technologies was awarded to DURR Systems GmbH at the MAKS 2011 air show in August. Under the contract, DURR System GmbH shall develop, manufacture and assemble MC-21 assembly systems, including programmable positioning and laser measurement systems, at the Irkutsk Aviation Plant. The equipment will be used for assembly of both future production-standard and all prototype examples of the advanced airliner, which will allow the productionising and certification process to speed up. In so doing, the shops to house the production line are planned to be re-sited, fully reconstructed and fitted with up-to-date equipment, the technol-


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industry | report MC-21 development and production cooperation

Developers cooperation Irkut Corp., the prime contractor Tupolev Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company Beriev company Hydromash/Liebherr

Manufacturers cooperation ORPE Tekhnologiya

Irkutsk Aviation Plant VASO

VASO/Aviastar/ ORPE Tekhnologiya

Purchased components

Purchased components Purchased components

ogy is to be developed and personnel is to be trained accordingly. The cutting-edge assembly lines will be installed on the current premises of the plant. Irkut President Alexey Fyodorov emphasised that their dimensions were quite enough for that, given the annual MC-21 full-scale production rate planned, and that no new capital development for that purpose was needed. The Irkut Aviation Plant’s final assembly shop was built in its day to churn out Antonov An-12 transports, which dimensions are comparable to those of the MC-21. At present, there are over 30 Su-30MKIs and Yak-130s at the shop at various degrees of fabrication. According to Alexey Fyodorov, the MC-21 assembly line will be set up on one side of the current assembly shop, where work on the Su-30MKI fighters is under way so far. Further down the road, however, in the second half of the decade, their production will diminish gradually, thus freeing up room for the MC-21 in the shop. The assembly

of Yak-130s initially will go on side by side with that of the MC-21 line without getting in its way, but can be moved to some other shop in case the airliner’s output rate picks up. Alexander Veprev says the issue has been given thought to. As of last year, the aggregate volume of investment in the MC-21 programme was estimated at 37 billion rubles (over $4.5 billion), of which 97 billion rubles (just over $3 billion) fell on development, while the technical modernisation of both the Irkutsk Aviation Plant and other plants involved in the programme claimed 40 billion rubles ($1.3 billion). Alexey Fyodorov said, however, that the figures had been and the costs would be reduced a little. In his opinion, about $600 million are to be invested in advanced assembly lines. Under the MC-21 cooperation programme, the Aviastar plant in Ulyanovsk, VASO, ORPE Tekhnologiya and a number of other companies will participate in the MC-21 production in addition to the

Alexey Mikheyev

industry | report


Alexander Veprev, Irkutsk Aviation Plant Director General: “Today’s area of production facilities is quite enough for annual assembly of up to 70 MC-21s”

MC-21 airliners assembly line project

Irkutsk Aviation Plant. All fuselage section, save for the tail section to be made by ORPE Tekhnologiya, will be made in Irkutsk, the composite wing in Ulyanovsk and the wing high-life devices, fairings and composite empennage in Voronezh. Hydromash in Nizhny Novgorod, which has a joint venture with Liebherr, will supply the landing gear. The final assembly of the airliner is the preserve of the Irkutsk Aviation Plant, but its further customising can be handled in Ulyanovsk. The designing of the MC-21 involves an even greater number of subcontractors. Irkut’s engineering centre, based on the Yakovlev design bureau, has designed the F1 and F3 fuselage sections and wing torsion boxes and performs overall project coordination. The Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company, the developer of the Sukhoi Superjet 100 aircraft, is responsible for the F2 and F4 fuselage sections, Tupolev JSC for the horizontal stabilisers, wing high-lift devices and fuselage tail section and Beriev

for the vertical stabiliser and fuselage tail section. To date, the general configuration of the plane and its basic systems has been complete, aerodynamic, strength and other calculations and experiments have been conducted, strength and engineering examples (including a black-reinforced plastic wing torsion box prototype) have been under testing, suppliers of all avionics systems have been selected and negotiations on long-term contracts with them have been launched. The composite wing is a feature of the advanced airliner. The 10.2-m-long, 2.9-m-wide composite wing torsion box was unveiled at the MAKS 2011 air show. It had been developed by Russian company Aerokompozit in cooperation with Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company and made cooperatively by Aerokompozit and Austrian company Fischer Advanced Composite Components (FACC). The production of composite wings to fit the MC-21 and then

other aircraft is planned to be launched in Ulyanovsk in 2014. According to Alexander Veprev, the manufacture of the first parts for MC-21 prototypes is to begin as soon as this year. In all, Irkut intends to build eight MC-21 prototypes for its certification trials – six flying prototypes in two versions (the MC-21-200 and MC-21-300), a static test one and an endurance test one. The maiden flight of the first flying prototype is slated for 2014 while the certification completion and delivery beginning for 2016. Irkut maintains that the MC-21 programme is on schedule. The total output of all MC-21 versions under its production programme devised to span through 2035 has been set at 1,180 units worth a total of almost $50 billion. The MC-21 programme will create 8,000– 10,000 jobs with the plants in Irkutsk, Ulyanovsk and Voronezh and 4,000–5,000 more with other Russian companies supplying components and materials. In this connection, Irkut attaches special importance to training new workforce. This is facilitated by the school – college – advanced training – refresher training personnel renewal programme launched in 2005. Under the aegis of the Irkutsk Aviation Plant, there is a cutting-edge training and production centre that trains about 5,000 personnel annually, including about 500 newly hired workers. As a result, the Irkutsk Aviation Plant is manned to the full, and the average age of its personnel is below 40 years old, which is the Russia’s aircraft industry’s record too. The MC-21 orderbook comprises as many as 220 orders and options. During MAKS 2011, the Russian Technologies state corporation represented by its subsidiary, leasing specialist Aviakapital-Servis LLC, and the Irkut corporation made a contract for 50 airliners, including 35 MC-21-300s and 15 MC-21-200s, worth a total of $3.8 billion in the list prices with 35 options, to be delivered from 2017 to 2022. Under the contract, the customer may have its MC-21s powered by engines of two types – the Russian-made PD-14 or Pratt & Whitney PW1400G. The planes will be delivered to the Russian carriers of the Aeroflot group, of which the Russian Technologies is a shareholder. Other MC-21 customers include Malaysian investment company Crecom Burj (a contract for 25 MC-21-300s and 25 MC-21-200s was awarded in July 2010), leasing company Ilyushin Finance Co. (a contract for 28 airliners with 22 options), VEB-Leasing (15 firm orders and 15 options) and the Nordwind carrier (three orders and two options). take-off december 2011


industry | programme Despite the Irkut corporation’s selection of the US-made PW1400G engine as the basic powerplant of the MC-21 advanced short/medium-haul airliner family in a tender, there is an option for equipping the aircraft with the Russian new-generation engine, the PD-14, that is under development now. The United Engine Corporation (UEC) has named the PD-14 engine family development a priority of the Russian aircraft engine industry. The MC-21 is supposed to become the launch user of the engine’s baseline model. In the future, however, the PD-14’s common core engine and modular design will allow the developer to create a whole family of turbofans with a thrust of 8–18 t for powering airliners with the 70–350-seat capacity and transport planes with a lifting capacity of 10–60 t. The baseline core engine also will ensure the development of the 10,000-hp PD-12V helicopter turboshaft engine and several industrial gas turbine installations ranging in power from 6MW to 16MW (gas transfer units, electric powerplants, etc.).

Andrey FOMIN


new-generation engine for MC-21

The Perm-based Aviadvigatel joint stock company and Central Institute of Aircraft Engines started the conceptual design of the future engine as far back as the early 2000s. There were several objectives, e.g. a 10–15% fuel burn reduction compared with the existing engines, a 15–20% life cycle cost drop and much lower noise and emission levels. The programme began to flesh out and receive sufficient funding after UEC had placed it on its list of promising models. A decision was taken to have almost all of the UEC subsidiaries involved in the programme, with the Perm-based companies – developer Aviadvigatel and manufacturer Perm Engine Company – to remain its leaders.


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Gate I, during which the PD-14 concept review took place, was cleared in July 2008. Since then, the full-scale work on designing the engine’s components and developing and productionising technologies necessary for the development of the new turbofan family has kicked off in Perm. The conceptual design review (Gate II) took place in March 2010. Analysis indicated that the approved thermodynamic parameters of the baseline engine as well as design and production solutions would ensure the new-generation turbofan’s development within the timeframe required, with the turbofan to leave the existing domestically built engines far behind and be able to rival similar advanced western engines.

Gate III implying a final engine configuration decision was cleared in July this year. A slightly more than a year between Gates II and III saw, in addition to the devising of the conceptual design, the manufacture of the core engine demonstrator and passing of the first stage of its tests, completion of the first stage of the trials by the high-pressure (HP) compressor, manufacture and installation of advanced-materials efficient-cooling HP turbine blades on the core engine and manufacture of unit demonstrators of composite high-load parts. In August, Igor Maximov, Aviadvigatel deputy Designer General and PD-14 family chief designer, said that the approval of the preliminary design allows Aviadvigatel and other companies participating in the programme to start the engineering design of the baseline PD-14. “The basic design documentation has been worked out, units and systems of the engine technology demonstrator slated for unveiling to the customers in 2012 has begun”, Igor Maximov said. A decision was taken to make the PD-14 a two-shaft turbofan engine with fan directdrive. All engines of the family have a common core engine with the eight-stage HP compressor, low-emission annular combustor and two-stage HP turbine. The PD-14’s baseline model will be fitted with a 1,

Andrey Fomin

industry | programme

diameter single-stage fan (its size the same as that of the PS-90A’s fan), three-stage low-pressure (LP) compressor and six-stage LP turbine. The PD-14’s baseline model with the 14,000 kgf takeoff thrust is designed to power the MC-21-300 aircraft. The airliner’s ‘shrunk’ version, the MC-21-200, is to be equipped with PD-14A with a thrust of 12,500 kgf, while the MC-21-400 ‘stretched’ variant is to be powered by the PD-14M version with the thrust increased to 15,600 kgf. According to the design data, the PD-14 is among its top foreign rivals (PW1400G, LEAP-X) in terms of cruising specific fuel burn, while having a somewhat lower bypass ratio. Compared with the production Russian-made PS-90A turbofan in the same thrust class, the PD-14 features a 13% cruising specific fuel burn reduction, an almost twofold bypass ratio increase and a dry weight drop by 6.5% (10% in the as-received condition). The bench tests of the PD-14’s core engine demonstrator began in Perm last autumn with the first bench burn on 26 November 2010. At present, the core engine demonstrator is ready for the second stage of its tests, including the one involving supercharged and heated air at the core engine’s inlet. The assembly and installation of the HP turbine for tests on the TS-2 test bench in the Baranov Central Institute of Aircraft Engines is nearing the end. At the same time, Aviadvigatel has been making and assembling an engine demonstrator since 2009. It is to be ready for tests by mid-2012 and for starting its flying testbed

tests in 2013. The certification of the baseline PD-14 is planned for 2014, which is to enable it to hit the market in 2015–16, right by the time the MC-21 is certificated. The PD-14’s certification tests will use both the test benches of Aviadvigatel and CIAM and the open test bench of NPO Saturn JSC in Poluyevo near Rybinsk – the only one of the kind in Russia and one of a few in the world. The Perm Engine Company has launched the productionising of the advanced engine. A laser cutting, perforation installation and a vacuum furnace have been bought while a new heat-resistant coating shop has been built and is being furnished with the unique robotised electron-bean evaporation system from German firm ALD. In addition to the two prime contractors, the PD-14 development programme involves other UEC companies as subcontractors, as well as aircraft engine maker MMPP Salut that is not a subsidiary of the corporation yet. Perm Engine Company Managing Director Sergey Mikhalyov says: “Our plant is the prime contractor for manufacture of the PD-14. This means that the key units of the advanced engine will be made by Perm Engine Company, with the rest to be supplied by the subcontractors. For instance, fan blades will be made by out partners in Ufa. For this purpose, UMPO JSC has acquired a cutting-edge complex of imported equipment – presses, furnaces, etc. – and is learning operation of the complex now. The LP compressor module is the preserve of NPO Saturn, with the compressor’s booster stage module being co-designed by Aviadvigatel and NPO Saturn. The Ufa-based Motor scientific production association and Aviadvigatel have been tasked with designing the LP turbine for the PD-14, with UMPO to be its manufacturer. Mention also should be made that MMPP Salut has been asked to develop and manufacture the compressor intermediate casing and accessory gearbox, the Mashinostroitel plant – the engine nacelle, reverser and composite mufflers and Metallist-Samara – metal-alloy mufflers. STAR JSC will supply the FADEC-type control system, fuel-metering and measurement equipment. In addition to final assembly, Perm Engine Company itself will manufacture the combustor, HP compressor and HP turbine, i.e. the basic components of the core engine. “A rather important task for the Perm engine makers to

Takeoff thrust, kgf Specific fuel burn in cruising flight, kg/(kgf*h) Bypass ratio Compression ratio Fan diameter, mm Weight, kg Weight, engine nacelle included, kg Number of stages

fulfil is HP turbine production. Provision has been made that all turbine blades – both rotor and stator ones – will be cast single-crystal. The advanced casting technique was introduced into the production of turbine blades for the PS-90A engine, and the experience has come in handy”. The PD-14 development programme’s worth is estimated at 70 billion rubles (about $2.3 billion), of which 35 billion rubles fall on the federal budget investments and 35 billion rubles more on the developer’s extrabudgetary resources. The governmental financing is supposed to cover the basic costs of developing the key technologies under the programme and design, manufacture and testing of prototype engines. The extrabudgetary funds are earmarked for spending on the engine’s productionising and debugging. The programme for 9–18 t thrust advanced civil aircraft engine development was included into the revised version of the Russian Aircraft Development in 2002–10 and throughout 2015 Federal Programme, and the funding to the tune of 3.88 billion rubles (including 2.71 billion budgetary and 1.17 billion extrabudgetary rubles), of which 2 billion government-allocated rubles were slated for the core engine concept definition and designing. According to the programmes’ director, Aviadvigatel Designer General Alexander Inozemtsev, the 2009–11 governmental investments in the PD-14 development programme stand at 15 billion rubles being spent on developing the commonised core engine as well as updating the equipment and technologies. On 3 May 2011, an open auction resulted in the Russian Industry and Trade Ministry and UEC signing a governmental contract on the ‘Development of the Engine Demonstrator and Detail Design of the Future Baseline Turbofan Engine for Commercial Aviation (PD-14)’ development work in 2011–12, worth a total of 7.53 billion rubles, of which 5.29 billion rubles are invested by the government and 2.24 billion rubles are extrabudgetary resources. Will the PD-14’s developers manage to remain on schedule and, which is more, meet the technical requirements and ensure operational reliability promised? Time will tell. So far, the programme is under way in a rather dynamic manner, does not lack the funds and, hence, may well start producing early concrete results.

Comparative data of PD-14 and its foreign rivals PD14A PD-14 PD-14M 12,500 14,000 15,600 0.526 8.6 38 2,770 3,780

8.5 41 1,900 2,770 3,780 1+3+8–2+6

7.2 46 2,850 3,860

PW1431G 14,000

LEAP-X1C 13,600



12 42 2,050 n/a 3,800 1+G+3+8–2+3

10 50 1,830 n/a n/a 1+4+10–2+6

take-off december 2011


Dmitry Pichugin

air defence | company 100 rating by US weekly Defense News, the corporation’s gains from selling goods, products, work and services accounted for more than $4.4 billion in 2010, of which $3.9 billion were generated by selling weapons. The corporation’s exports are performed through the Rosoboronexport company. At the same time, Almaz-Antey is entitled to export spare parts, instruments, components, special, training and auxiliary equipment and technical documentation and to provide maintenance independently. The export of air defence systems remains the mainstay of Almaz-Antey’s operations, though the number of orders awarded by the Russian Defence Ministry has been growing continuously.

The Almaz-Antey Corp. is the largest integrated entity of the Russian defence industry, established to date. The corporation is the parent company for most of the Russian developers and manufacturers of Russian air defence, naval and army air defence surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems and ground-based radar systems as well. The corporation’s products claim a considerable portion of the total Russian combat gear exports.

On the world market

S-400 surfasce-to-air missile launch

ALMAZ-ANTEY ON GLOBAL MARKET Uniting Russian air defence system developers Almaz-Antey emerged as a result of the merger of the two competing SAM system development schools – the Almaz scientific and production association, which was a long-term developer of air defence weapons for the Air Defence Force and is famous for its S-300P SAM system, and the Antey corporation, a traditional developer of the SAM systems for the Army’s Air Defence units, known for its S-300V SAM system. The Almaz-Antey corporation’s establishment in 2002 as a joint stock company was decreed by then Russian President Vladimir Putin on the basis of the Antey industrial company, Almaz scientific and production association and almost all other branch research institutes, design bureaux and other relevant companies


take-off december 2011

in Russia. Thus, the new entity became the exclusive parent organisation for all Russian air defence system manufacturers, except some of short-range and man-portable air defence systems. The government owns 100% of the Almaz-Antey Corp. which became one of the first integrated holding companies that sprung up because of the reform of the Russian defence industry. Currently, the Almaz-Antey corporation consists of upwards of 50 Russian companies, research institutes and design bureaux in 17 regions of the country, and its workforce totals 93,000 personnel. Based on the export results produced in 2007–10, the corporation is among the world’s major arms suppliers and is the Russian leader in terms of the arms production and export sales. According to the annual Top

Almaz-Antey’s position on the international market of air defence weapons is peculiar because the company can offer virtually the full range of SAM systems covering all applicable ranges. The corporation is the developer and manufacturer of antimissile systems and the S-400 Triumph, S-300PMU2 Favorit and S-300V long-range SAM systems as well as the Buk medium-range and Tor short-range SAM systems. Its subsidiaries also make the Tunguska family of self-propelled SAM/AA gun systems developed by the Tulabased KBP design bureau. In addition, AlmazAntey is developing the advanced long-range, medium-range and short-range SAM systems. The corporation offers upgrade solutions for the venerable Soviet-made SAM systems and facilitates indigenous AD weapon development by a number of nations on a commercial basis, to boot. Almaz-Antey also develops and manufactures the backbone of the Russian Navy’s air defence gear, including the Fort (Rif) longrange, Shtil medium-range as well as Klinok and Kolchan short range SAM systems and the Gibka very short-range air defence system. The Redut medium-range and Poliment-Redut short-range missile systems are being developed to equip the Russian corvettes and frigates being built at present. No other manufacturer in the world, including US corporation Raytheon and european missile association MBDA that are the leaders of foreign air defence system manufacturers, can offer such a wide range of land-based and shipborne SAM systems. Coupled with development and production of air defence radars, other target acquisition hardware, radars and automated air defence control systems, the above enables Almaz-Antey, firstly, to offer customers large-scale integrated layered air defence solutions and, secondly, tailor its offers depending on the requirements and solvency of its customers. The present-day SAM evolution tendencies are the increasing multiple-target acquisition, tracking and engagement capability and high-velocity (including ballistic) target

air defence | company

Consolidating the positions Since its establishment in 2002, the AlmazAntey corporation has made quite a progress in air defence system export. In the first place, mention should be made of the lucrative contracts awarded by China in 2004–06 for 16 battalionsize S-300PMU-2 batches that make up the backbone of the PRC’s air defence. Two battalion-size S-300PMU1 consignments have been delivered to Vietnam, and Algeria has awarded contracts for four battalion-size S-300PMU2 batches. Cyprus has received Buk-M1-2 systems, while Syria has ordered cutting-edge Buk-M2Es. The venerable Soviet-made Kvadrat SAM systems in service with the Egyptian and Iranian militaries have been upgraded to the Buk-M1-2 standard, with the two countries also having taken delivery of Tor-M1 self-propelled SAM systems. A number of countries have been provided with upgraded Pechora-2A SAM systems. Rif-M and Shtil-1 naval SAM systems have been delivered to China and India. A whole spectrum of R&D programmes has been run in support of China, India and South Korea. The overall air defence exports and export support work by Almaz-Antey in 2002–08 is estimated

at $7 billion, with its exports growing with every passing year. Despite the financial crisis commencing in later 2008, the corporation, which has partnered with Rosoboronexport, has been successful in maintaining the growing dynamics of its air defence materiel exports, with the latter estimated at being higher than an average of $1 billion a year. For instance, 2009 saw the successful completion of the 2006 China-awarded contract, with China accepting the last eight of the battalionsize S-300PMU2 batches ordered. Supplies of 9M317 SAMs and relevant equipment for China-operated ground- and ship-based SAM systems continue. Shtil-1 systems incorporating the same SAMs are delivered to equip the frigates under construction by Russian and Indian shipyards for the Indian Navy. Two major successes of Almaz-Antey in the last two years have been the contracts for SAM systems for Venezuela and Azerbaijan. In 2009, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez announced the development of a layered national air defence based on Russian SAM systems that have had nothing to rival them in Latin America. As part of its contribution to the effort, Almaz-Antey shall deliver a battalion-size batch of S-300VM systems, a number of Buk-M2Es and Tor-M2Es, air defence radars and automatic control systems. In 2010, Azerbaijan ordered two battalionsize batches of brand-new S-300PMU2 SAM systems, which cost is estimated at $300 million. The delivery has been completed. In South Korea, Almaz-Antey has virtually completed its share of work on the development of the KM-SAM medium-range SAM system for the country, with the KM-SAM system being wrapped around the new SAM system under development for the Russian Defence Ministry. Russian arms exports to the international market have repeatedly faced the increas-

ing resistance by Western competitors. For instance, Almaz-Antey’s bidding in the Turkish tender for long-range and medium-range SAM systems is being accompanied by a large-scale campaign unleashed by the Americans trying to sell their Patriot PAC-3 SAM system to the Turks. US ranking political and military officials have publicly voiced ‘recommendations’ that Turkey by no means should buy Russian SAM systems as they are allegedly incompatible with NATO’s command, control and communication (C°) system standards. Several years ago, the United States persuaded the United Arab Emirates into refusing to buy the S-300V or S-300P SAM systems in a similar manner. However, the very willingness of Turkey as well as several other countries (the UAE and Saudi Arabia) to regard AlmazAntey’s SAM systems as a feasible alternative to the Patriot PAC-3 offered by its ally speaks volumes about the high appeal of the Russian SAM systems. In addition, the S-300P and Tor-M1 SAM systems have been integrated with the Hellenic Armed Services successfully. At present, Russian air defence systems are taking part in several international tenders. In addition, intensive negotiations are under way on delivery of Almaz-Antey-made SAM systems to several customers. To top it off, Russian SAM systems may well penetrate new markets, particularly, in Latin America and Southeast Asia. More opportunities for air defence weaponry export increase will be provided by the export of the latest heavily upgraded versions of Buk and Tor as well as advanced S-400 SAM system, which has just begun. Thus, Almaz-Antey’s air defence system exports in the near future are expected to remain steady at the high level attained after 2009. The highly lethal SAM systems from the AlmazAntey Corp. are certainly to remain a Russian defence industry trademark abroad. Buk-M2E

Andrey Fomin

ment capability that ensure effective antimissile defence. Long-range and medium-range systems are considered to be a means to destroy nonICBM threats (e.g. battlefield, shorter-range and intermediate-range ballistic missiles) and cruise missiles and also are being honed to maximise their multiple-target engagement capability. The development of short-range air defence missile systems is mostly designed to enable them to eliminate precision-guided munitions, artillery projectiles and rockets. The latest trend is to have a single SAM system to integrate SAMs differing in range. Almaz-Antey’s current and future designs are in line with these tendencies and requirements. This affords Russia successful promotion of its air defence systems on the world market. Recently, the growing importance of aviation and air-launched weapons in present-day wars has facilitated a surge in air defence arms acquisition by many countries. Another key factor of the growing air defence hardware market is the complete obsolescence of the widespread previous-generation SAM systems, e.g. the Sovietmade S-75, S-125, Krug, Kvadrat and Osa, US-made Hawk, etc., and the need to replace them. Finally, a significant trend is the interest on the part of many customers in limited missile defence systems to defend against battlefield and shorter-range ballistic missiles. This contributes to the growth of the air defence systems market and the increase in the sales of Russian materiel, with Almaz-Antey facing bitter competition in this market segment because several new manufacturers, e.g. Israeli and Chinese ones, are trying to get their slice of the market too.

take-off december 2011


Alexey Mikheyev

military aviation | debut



No doubt, the spice of the MAKS 2011 air show in Zhukovsky, Moscow Region, in August was the long-awaited unveiling of prototypes of the Future Tactical Fighter (Russian acronym – PAK FA) – Russian fifth-generation fighter T-50 the Sukhoi company is developing in cooperation with its engine, aircraft material, avionics, airborne systems and weapons subcontractors. The PAK FA made its debut on the second day of the show, when both flying T-50 prototypes were demonstrated in flight to Russian Premier Vladimir Putin. They flew as a pair, after which the Sukhoi design bureau’s test pilot Sergey Bogdan flew aerobatics on the T-50-1. On the following days of MAKS 2011, the second T-50 prototype, the T-50-2, was used in the flight demonstration programme. It would first lead a Sukhoi aircraft ‘troika’ with a Su-34 and a Su-35 as its wingmen and then perform solo aerobatics. Although no characteristics of the plane have been published officially, many interesting things related to the PAK FA programme to a certain degree could be seen in the pavilions of MAKS 2011. So, what did we learn about the Russian fifthgeneration fighter during the air show?


take-off december 2011

Andrey FOMIN

Aircraft Actually, no surprises concerning the T-50’s design were expected from its debut demonstration at MAKS 2011. The customer did not allow static display of the fighter, and its takeoffs and landings even had to be performed at a distance from the crowd. To this end, every day, early in the morning, the tarpaulin-clad prototypes would be towed from the Sukhoi flight test facility’s apron to a spot in a taxiway near the end of the runway and be towed back at night. Takeoffs would be performed far away from the crowd too, with the run commencing from about the middle of the runway, which length, thankfully, exceeds 5,400 m. By the way, given today’s advances in photographic gear, this did not prevent numerous reporters and aviation spotters from taking many quality pictures of the fighter from all aspects possible both on takeoff and

military aviation | debut

PAK FA’s second flying prototype airlifted from Komsomolsk-on-Amur in early April is flying in Zhukovsky since 10 August 2011

landing, on the one hand, and during its flypasts and aerobatics. Again, the T-50’s demonstration did not serve any surprise as its design and layout features had been known in advance owing to the official pictures published by Sukhoi since the maiden flight of the T-50-1 on 29 January 2010 and to numerous photos on the Internet, which were taken during the demonstrations to Russian and Indian national and military leaders in 2010–11. A rather large T-50 model was on display for the first time at Sukhoi’s stand in the UAC pavilion, but it was impossible to see in it anything capable of adding to what had been known from the pictures. A full-scale exhibit on display at the stand of the ORPE Tekhnologiya company – ‘a composite fuselage midsection panel’. As is known, a sizeable part of the T-50’s structure is made of composites, including the

large-size load-bearing panels, and this is a feature of the plane, setting it apart from the previous-generation Russian fighters. According to Sukhoi, both PAK FA flying prototypes had logged 84 sorties by the beginning of MAKS 2011. Following another demonstration to an Indian delegation on 14 June, the T-50-1 was being given scheduled improvements, in the course of which it was fitted, inter alia, with the antispin chute in a special container housed by the tip of the central tail boom. This may be an indication of the plane’s preparedness for operating envelope expansion tests, including flying at high alpha. With the improvements introduced, the plane was flown out on 4 August. The aircraft flew several missions more as part of preparations for the show, pulled off aerobatics with certain g-load and speed limitations after the flypast with the T-50-2 and then was not demonstrated at the show any longer.

The second flying prototype that first flew in Komsomolsk-on-Amur on 3 March this year was airlifted by an An-124 to Sukhoi’s flight test facility in Zhukovsky on 3 April, but it had been flown out here only a week before the show, on 10 August. For four months, it had been subjected to the debugging and improvement programme too. The T-50-2 (side number 52, or 052), is similar to the first prototype, including in terms of the paintjob. It differs only in minor details. For instance, it carries several sensors of the integrated electro-optical system instead of the mockups equipping the T-50-1, and the design of the movable section of the cockpit canopy has been modified. During the two-ship flypast at the official opening of MAKS 2011 on the afternoon of 17 August, the T-50-2 was flown by Sukhoi’s test pilot Roman Kondratyev, with the programme take-off december 2011


military aviation | debut

Yuri Stepanov

Two PAK FA prototypes complete their formation demo flight

Andrey Fomin

K-36D-5 ejection seat with a dummy pilot in PPK-7 g-suit and ZSh-10 helmet

chief test pilot, Hero of Russia Sergey Bogdan, flying on the remaining days. On the final day of the show, the T-50-2 experienced a right engine surge while taking off in difficult weather conditions. The surge was caused by FADEC malfunction with a large flame exiting the nozzle. Sergei Bogdan had to abort the takeoff. Having deployed the drag chute and applied the brakes in an emergency manner, he stopped the plane before the end of the runway and taxied in to the apron. The incident seen


take-off december 2011

by thousands of onlookers and filmed by TV cameras on 21 August made quite a stir among the public. The aircraft and engine developers, however, assured that it was no drama, rather a routine thing in the trials of a prototype and that the plane would return to flight in the near future. Indeed, the T-50-2 flew under the flight test programme with a swing in September. This autumn, KnAAPO completed the assembly of the PAK FA third flying prototype. Its maiden flight at Komsomolsk-on-Amur took place on 22 November 2011. The T-50-3 is to be fitted with the main forward looking AESA radar and a complete integrated electrooptical system as well as other advanced avionics making it more like the future productionstandard aircraft. The fourth flying prototype and assemblies for subsequent aircraft are being manufactured too.

Engine The so-called first-stage engine to equip the PAK FA is in the preliminary trials now, Yevgeny Marchukov, General Designer, Lyulka Scientific and Technical Centre (Moscow affiliate of NPO Saturn Scientific and Production Association), said at MAKS 2011. “The preliminary stage includes bench and flight tests. It is the most labour-intensive period in terms of both time and money. Some of the elements of what has been implemented in the advanced

first-stage engine had built upon the solutions developed for the 117S engine to fit the Su-35 fighter, particularly, the designing techniques and technologies of processing most sophisticated structural elements. A cutting-edge automatic control system has been developed for the engine and it has been based on Russian-made componentry for the first time. The system’s architecture and control algorithm are Russian too”, Yevgeny Marchukov said, adding that “more than 20 engines” were built to date. “The engine’s performance has been proven beyond any doubt through bench tests. Its flying performance will have been evaluated by year-end, and we should be ready to launch the official test programme by 2013”, he specified. The engine itself, known as 117, was not shown at MAKS 2011. The same time, United Engine Corp.’s exposition at Oboronprom’s pavilion sported the known 117S afterburning turbofan powering the Su-35 and Su-35S fighters now. First-stage engines will not only power all T-50 prototypes and LRIP aircraft, but, probably, the early production planes as well. In the future, the fighter is going to be fitted with the so-called second-stage engine now under development by NPO Saturn as part of the United Engine Corporation. “The work has begun. We will fulfil it on schedule”, Oboronprom Director General

Yevgeny Yerokhin

military aviation | debut

T-50-1 got an antispin chute in its fuselage tail section during scheduled improvements held since mid-June through early August 2011 for operation envelope expansion tests

Andrey Reus said in this connection during MAKS 2011.

Ejection seat During the air show, many interesting things could be seen at the stand of the Zvezda Scientific and Production Association named after Guy Severin. There, the new K-36D-5 ejection seat for the fifth-generation fighter was unveiled, as was the pilot’s equipment comprising the PPK-7 g-suit, ZSh-10 helmet and KM-36M oxygen mask. The K-36D-5 ejection seat is a next spiral of the evolution of the K-36D-3.5

ejection seat fitting the advanced versions of the MiG-29 and Su-27 (Su-30) fighters. According to Zvezda, it differs from the baseline model in the extended pilot weight and operating temperature brackets, enhanced minimal ejection altitude characteristics and reduced maintenance time. It was reported that, combined with the pilot’s protective gear, the K-36D-5 ejection seat enables the aircrew to withstand manoeuvring g-load from -4 g to +9g, longitudinal g-load from -6g to +6g and lateral g-load from -4g to +4g. Safe ejection is ensured for the 0–20,000-m altitude

bracket and 0–1,300-km/h IAS bracket, including the 0–0 mode, with an ambient temperature from -60 to +74 deg. C and pilot’s weight of 55–125 kg.

Avionics and weapons A key element of the PAK FA’s multirole integrated radar system – the forwardlooking X-band active electronically scanned array with more than 1,500 transmit-receive (T-R) modules – was unveiled by its developer, Tikhomirov-NIIP, at the previous air show, MAKS 2009, as the first experimental example. This time around, Tikhomirov-NIIP

Ivan Kirillov

Russian ‘troika’ comprising T-50-2 as a leader and Sukhoi Su-34 and Su-35 as wingmen

take-off december 2011


Andrey Fomin

Andrey Fomin

military aviation | debut

Tikhomirov-NIIP X-band AESA and one of its multichannel T-R modules (upper left)

ules of the integrated optronic system displayed at MAKS 2011 as Product 101KS. According to the materials disseminated during the show, the T-50’s optronic system will comprise the 101KS-V IRST for aerial target acquisition, identification, pinpointing and tracking, the 101KS-U aerial and ground situation awareness subsystem, the 101KS-O optronic defensive aids suite and the 101KS-N podded IRST Andrey Fomin

into a single computer system by means of high-performance optical interfaces”. Other novelties from GRPZ at MAKS 2011 were the 4283E AESA two-band digital IFF interrogator and 4280MSE multifunction integrated IFF responder. A surprise sensation at the airshow was made by the Urals Optical and Mechanical Plant (UOMZ), which demonstrated the basic mod-

Andrey Fomin

demonstrated the second AESA prototype embodying a number of improvements stemming from the lab bench tests. The array is an ellipse measuring about 0.9x0.7 m. In addition to the AESA, the developer displayed during MAKS 2011 a full-scale multichannel T-R module the AESA is made up of and an L-band AESA to be housed in the wing leading edge. According to Tikhomirov-NIIP Director General Yuri Bely, the third AESA example, which has passed its bench tests, will have been delivered to Sukhoi and mounted on the third T-50 flying prototype this year. More AESAs are being manufactured (for more detail on the AESA radar for the PAK FA, see Yuri Bely’s interview in this issue). Tikhomirov-NIIP’s old-time partner, State Ryazan Instrument Plant (GRPZ), demonstrated at the airshow the units of the N-036EVS computer system supporting the operation of the AESA radar and designed “to receive and process high-capacity analoguedigital signals and control and automate complex processes in real time”. The N-036EVS computer system comprises two high-performance digital computers “based on the united switching computing environment and united

Andrey Fomin

Andrey Fomin

Top: 101KS-V air-to-air IRST station (left) and 101KS-N podded air-to-ground optronic system (right) Bottom: 101KS-U missile launch detection system (left) and 101KS-O optronic defensive suite (right)


take-off december 2011

military aviation | debut T-50-1 and T-50-2 in formation flight at the opening ceremony of MAKS 2011 airshow, 17 August 2011

Sergey Lysenko

for ground target acquisition, identification, pinpointing and tracking. UOMZ Director General Sergei Maksin said at MAKS 2011 that the PAK FA’s optronic system comprising a panoply of sensors “will ensure total control of the situation around the aircraft in all optical wavebands”, with some of the sensors being “unique from the point of view of both their performance and application philosophy”. The complete system is supposed to fit the third T-50 flying prototype. The 101KS-V IRST will be installed in the PAK FA at the place customary to Russian fighters Su-27 and MiG-29 – the ball-type fairing in front of the cockpit. The ball housing the 101KS-O DAS subsystem, which is likely designed to interfere with heat-seekers, will be set on top the fuselage aft the cockpit. The 101KS-U subsystem, designed for “providing the aircrew with information on the situation in the air and on the ground”, is likely a set of UV sensors alerting the crew to missile launches. Finally, the aircraft can be equipped with a pod housing the 101KS-N IRST to deal with ground targets. Another advanced system to come in handy to the PAK FA was demonstrated at MAKS 2011 by the NPP Polyot company based in Nizhny Novgorod. It was the “S-111-N airborne communications system” mated with the “Aist-50 airborne integrated antennafeeder system”. It was specified at Polyot’s stand that the system ensured “a considerable increase in the functional-technical, operating and economic showings” over the production-standard TKS-2M system equipping Sukhoi planes at present. The S-111-N

ensures “multichannel data exchange via highcapacity enhanced frequency band channels” and implementation of the “reprogrammable radio” concept, flexible comms gear architecture software/hardware rearrangement and quick adaptation to simultaneous operation in different comms systems and networks. Tidbits of information on the weapons suite of the future PAK FA were avail-

able at the stand of the Tactical Missiles Corporation, which showcased, inter alia, internal carriage missiles with the export designations Kh-38MLE and Kh-58UShKE and the advanced KAB-250 smart bomb as well (for detail on latest weapons from Tactical Missiles Corp., which could make their way to the fighter’s weapons suite, see further in the issue).

Alexey Mikheyev

T-50-2 rolls after another demo flight at MAKS 2011. On 3 November 2011 it performed the 100th PAK FA’s test flight

take-off december 2011


Andrey Fomin

military aviation | interview


“PAK FA’s AESA radar development is right on schedule” The PAK FA future tactical fighter, which prototypes made their debut at the MAKS 2011 air show, will feature, inter alia, a highly automated multifunctional integrated active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar system under development by the Tikhomirov Scientific Research Institute of Instrument Design (TikhomirovNIIP). To date, Tikhomirov-NIIP has made several X-band AESA prototypes and L-band experimental AESA examples and performed a considerable volume of tests, with the AESA radar soon to be mounted on the fighter. Tikhomirov-NIIP’s X-band AESA prototype, L-band example and their transmit/receive (T-R) modules could be seen at the company’s booth at MAKS 2011. We spoke with TikhomirovNIIP Director General Yuri Bely about the state of the AESA programme and other topical matters.


take-off december 2011

Mr. Bely, let us start with the main innovative programme of Tikhomirov-NIIP, the AESA radar for the fifth-generation fighter. What is the status of the programme? What did you achieve? PAK FA’s AESA radar system development is right on schedule approved by the prime contractor for the plane, the Sukhoi company. Under the schedule, two prototypes are being rig-tested, with one more being ready for installation on a PAK FA prototype. This, third, AESA radar prototype will be handed over to Sukhoi, and it will begin to work on board the third flying PAK FA aircraft. Manufacture of more radars is under way, e.g. the fourth set is being assembled to fit another PAK FA prototype and the fifth one’s manufacture has begun. The first AESA radar has logged two years on our test rig, most of its issues have been ironed out and its software is being refined now. The second AESA complete set has been placed on a test rig earlier this year and will soon be handed over to Sukhoi as part of the PAK FA avionics suite for rig testing. The third example has completed its rig tests and now is ready for mounting on a plane. The fourth set is to be made before year-end. Our institute performs the assembly, adjustment and rig testing of the AESA radars so far, and at the same time, its productionising is underway at the State Ryazan Instrument Plant (GRPZ) that is setting up new manufacturing lines and buying advanced equipment and has erected a special shop to this end. The plant also has taken part in the manufacture of the AESA radar since its early examples had been made; in particular, it has been making the distribution system, waveguide

military aviation | interview


Tikhomirov-NIIP X-band AESA first prototype during rig-tests

L-band AESA in fighter’s wing leading edge mock-up

Andrey Fomin

runs, T-R module cases, etc. We have been handing radar part manufacture off to the plant gradually; thus, the plant will productionise the AESA radar in full. We will be able to launch its production as soon as next year. What problems do you encounter in AESA development? Since the AESA radar is a drastically novel product not only to us at TikhomirovNIIP, but to the whole of Russian industry as well, it is no secret that there are problems, mostly due to electronic componentry, specifically due to the productionising of T-R modules under way at the Istok scientific and production association and to ensuring their reliability. Hence, many things have to be done over and reconsidered. As far as characteristics are concerned, we are satisfied now with the T-R modules supplied to us, but their reliability is yet to be enhanced. The cause of the current situation is the slippage of Istok’s production facilities renovation programme, due to which some work is still done using obsolete equipment with lower precision. The financing is in a stop-and-go manner; hence, Istok is experiencing problems with its production facilities renovation and, therefore, with the reliability of the early T-R modules they made. Nevertheless, I would like to stress again that we have been settling all issues with success no matter what and the programme has been on schedule. The AESA radar development is gradual, given the scale of the job to be done. First, priority is given to the forward-looking AESA and its integration with the electronic countermeasures (ECM), IFF and other avionics. In parallel, other units and systems are being developed, and the radar system is beefed up as they are developed. In the end, we will get a full-fledged multifunctional integrated radio-electronic system of the fifth-generation aircraft.

While working on the AESA, you do not neglect passive phased-array radars either, do you? Certainly, we have developed the unique phased-array radar, the Irbis-E, with an airborne target acquisition range of 400 km. Three prototypes of the radar have been undergoing their flight trials on two Su-35 prototypes and a Su-30MK2 flying testbed for several years now. This year, the first production Su-35S fighter built by KnAAPO Komsomolsk-on-Amur Aircraft Production Association under the Russian Defence Ministry-awarded contract has entered its trials. It carries a full production-standard Irbis set made by GRPZ plant at its production line. Tikhomirov-NIIP staff has been proactive in supporting the radar’s flight tests, its productionising by GRPZ and settling all issues cropping up in the process. Mention should be made that the radar has a good prospect not only on board the Su-35. We have received inquiries as to the feasibility of using Irbis-E derivatives on board ships and as part of ground-based radar systems. We have not neglected the Irbis’s predeces-

sor, the Bars phased-array radar, which is in mass production and exported extensively as part of the Su-30MKI fighters and its versions to India, Malaysia and Algeria. As is known, the Russian Defence Ministry, too, has recently decided to buy a batch of aircraft like that, designated as Su-30SM, in the near future. We have got a contract with the Sukhoi company for development of a Bars version to fit these fighters. We also are taking part in the programme on upgrade of the Indian Air Force Su-30MKIs. Provision has been made for enhancing the performance of the Bars radar and its current phased array and, possibly, fitting the radar with an AESA further down the road. However, we believe that such an upgrade of the Bars should be conditioned on the programme for development of an AESA radar for the Fifth-Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) being co-developed by Russia and India, so that our experience in developing the AESA can be used in subsequent upgrade of in-service Su-30MKI fighters. Do you continue to upgrade other airborne radars you developed? We certainly do. We are further honing our first phased-array radar, the Zaslon, used on the MiG-31 interceptor. The upgraded MiG-31BM has kicked off the second phase of its official trials recently. Advanced operating modes are being implemented into its Zaslon radar, to which new long- and medium-range missiles are being adapted as well. The MiG-31’s tactical capabilities will grow by far owing to the ongoing upgrade. In addition, Su-27SM(3) fighters have been fielded with Russian Air Force combat units this year. We have upgraded their N001 fire control radar again, with advanced operating modes introduced and modified medium-range missile application ensured. The work is going on. take-off december 2011


military aviation | weapons

FORGING ARMS FOR T-50 Yevgeny YEROKHIN Photos by the author

The organisers of the Tactical Missiles Corp.’s exposition at the MAKS 2011 air show in Zhukovsky last August altered their approach to demonstrating their advances to a more pragmatic one. During the news conference in the course of the show, Tactical Missiles Corp.’s Director General Boris Obnosov noted that the company’s exposition displayed only the new weapon systems that were in the final stages of the official trials or had passed them this year. All of the displays are to be manufactured both in the export version and in the configuration designed for the Russian Air Force, with some of them being prototypes of the weapons to fit the star of the air show – the Future Tactical Fighter, or the Sukhoi T-50 fifth-generation fighter.

Designed for Gen 5 and more “Series orders have already been placed for many of the items of weapons we show. We are manufacturing pilot batches, and the production will go full-scale starting from 2013 or 2014”, Boris Obnosov said during MAKS 2011. “This year, we are to complete the official trials of four or five devices. Next year and 2014 will be very tough too, because we will have to integrate the whole range of weapons under development with the fifth-generation aircraft”. Asked which of the weapons on display were almost complete for the fifth-generation fighter, the corporation’s leader said internal carriage weapons needed to be considered first in that context. According to Boris Obnosov, the RVV-MD and RVV-SD air-to-air missiles displayed at the show this time are designed for external carriage so far, but are, essentially, prototypes that will have spawned refined versions by 2014 to fit the PAK FA. They will become the backbone of its weapons suite in the dogfight and medium-range air-to-air missile classes.


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The Raduga Kh-58UShKE antiradiation missile displayed at MAKS 2011 is designed for both internal and external carriage. Its weight is 650 kg and its range measures 76–245 km when launched externally. It differs from the venerable Kh-58E in a shorter length, a pop-up wing, shorter-span vanes and a single wideband passive radar homer acquiring all known air defence radar bands. A big TV screen at Tactical Missiles Corp.’s stand at MAKS 2011 displayed an animation clip showing how four missiles of the type would be housed by the inner bay of the fifthgeneration fighter. According to Mr. Obnosov, the official tests of the Kh-58UShKE are to be wrapped up next year. Another missile to be used as part of the fifth-generation fighter’s weapons suit and fit its internal bays is the Tactical Missiles Corp.’s parent company’s Kh-38ME newgeneration modular multipurpose air-tosurface missile weighing up to 520 kg with a reach of up to 40 km. It is designed to wipe out a wide spectrum of armoured, hardened and exposed ground single or multiple tar-

gets and waterborne targets in the littorals. During the previous MAKS 2009 show in Zhukovsky, where the Kh-38ME missile family made its debut, it was reported that the missiles of the family could carry various guidance packages – a semiactive laser homer on the Kh-38MLE, an active radar homer on the Kh-38MAE, a thermalimaging heat-seeker on the Kh-38MTE and a satnav-guided one on the Kh-38MKE cluster-type missile. The Kh-38MLE laser beam rider was displayed at MAKS 2011. According to Boris Obnosov, its development is on schedule and is expected to be completed in a couple of years. A spice of the show was the 250-kg KAB-250 smart bomb from the Region company. Owing to its compact dimensions, it can be not only mounted on the PAK FA’s external weapons stations, but carried internally as well. “The KAB-250 is an internalcarriage weapon designed for the PAK FA but capable of being used by other planes as well”. Only the basic dimensional parameters of the advanced 250-kg bomb were offered at

military aviation | weapons KAB-250

the show, e.g. a length of 3.2 m, a diameter of 255 mm and a wingspan of 550 m. “It is too early to go into detail on the KAB-250”, Mr. Obnosov said. The type of guidance used has not been unveiled yet either. When speaking about using GPS and GLONASS receivers for cuing smart bombs to their targets, however, the Tactical Missiles Director General said, “There are 500-kg bombs like that, namely the KAB-500S-E, and the satnav capability has been provided for virtually all next-generation bombs in the 1,500, 500 and 250-kg class”. Thus, the KAB-250 will presumably carry a combined guidance package comprising the satnav system and one of the homing heads. Other advanced and upgraded air-tosurface missiles from the Tactical Missiles Corporation, which export versions were displayed at MAKS 2011 could be also carried by PAK FA, albeit externally. For instance, they include the Kh-31PD highvelocity antiradiation missile and heavily upgraded Kh-31AD and Kh-35UE antiship missiles. All of them are made by Tactical Missiles Corp.’s parent company. The Kh-31AD supersonic antiship missile, for which development the company is paying out of pocket, is in the final stages of development. It features an extended range, enhanced ECM immunity and a cutting-edge active radar homing head. Its test programme is expected to be wrapped up in 2013 or 2014. The Kh-35UE’s official trials are slated for completion as soon as the end of this year. Boris Obnosov noted that the Kh-35UE development was no cakewalk because the missile, albeit a dead-ringer for the Kh-35E baseline model outwardly, is equipped with an advanced short-burn turbojet engine, a sophisticated homer and a satnav system in addition to the inertial navigation system, which has improved the weapon’s basic characteristics much. For instance, its maximal range has doubled from 130 km to 260 km, with an

cant increase in its air-launched version’s launch weight from 520 to 550 kg. The Kh-35UE is a versatile weapon for use, among other things, by the upgraded Uran and Bal shipborne and coastal defence missile systems. It also has been adapted for use by virtually all tactical warplanes and naval helicopters. Also displayed at MAKS 2011 were the latest members of the Kh-59ME subsonic missile family under development by the Raduga design bureau – the Kh-59MK

with the active radar homing head to kill a wide range of radio-contrast targets, Kh-59M2E with TV-command guidance and Kh-59MK2 with a combined guidance system. Depending on the version, their launch weight varies from 900 kg to 960 kg and their max range is up to 285 km (115–140 km for the Kh-59M2E). According to Boris Obnosov, the launch of the Kh-59MK’s production is slated for early next year. The missile of the type is designed for application by the Sukhoi



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military aviation | weapons RVV-BD long-range air-to-air missile

Su-30, Su-34 and Su-35 aircraft in the first place.

Longest-range air-to-air missile No doubt, the star of the air-launched weapon segment of the air show in Zhukovsky was the RVV-BD long-range air-to-air missile unveiled by the Tactical Missiles Corporation. That the Vympel design bureau is developing the missile has been known for a while. As far back as his news conference during the MAKS 2009 air show, Boris Obnosov confirmed that Vympel was developing a long-range weapon in addition to the RVV-SD medium- and RVVMD short-range missiles. Last year, paperwork for an export version, designated as RVV-BD, was finalised, which cleared it for display at MAKS 2011. A tender is known to have been issued for development of an advanced long-range air-to-air missile. In addition to the Vympel design bureau (a subsidiary of Tactical Missiles Corp.), the Yekaterinburg-based Novator design bureau joined the competition. Its full-sale mockups of a long-range missile, dubbed AAM tentatively, could be seen suspended under wing on the Su-35 prototype and laid out on the apron in front of it during MAKS 2007. “There was stiff RVV-BD long-range missile main data Length, m Diameter, m Wing span, m Tail span, m Launch weight, kg Warhead weight, kg Max forward-looking range, km Target designation angles, deg. G-load on manoeuvring targets, g Target altitude, km


4.06 0.38 0.72 1.02 up to 510 60 up to 200 ±60 8 0.015-25

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competition”, Boris Obnosov reminisces about the competition during MAKS 2011. “I hold products from Novator in high esteem”. But it looks like the tender ended not in favour of Novator’s weapon. According to Mr. Obnosov, Tactical Missiles Corp’s work on the long-range missile is on schedule, a production-standard version has been selected, and its tests are to be finalised before year-end. The missile has been productionised for the past two year. “This is a formidable weapon with nothing to rival it either in country or abroad. It flies with a swing and hits its targets”, added the Director General proudly. According to the official information disseminated during the air show, the new missile’s performance is far more advanced over that of the well-known long-range R-33E. It is not easy to compare the RVV-BD and R-33E, however. It is clear at first sight that they are utterly different. Presumably, the RVV-BD is likely to be a derivative of the long-range missile prototype Vympel developed in 1980– 1990s to equip latest versions of the MiG-31 interceptor (for instance, at MAKS 1997, six missiles like that were seen on the underbelly hardpoints of the MiG-31M No. 057 at the static display ground). Mention should be made that the lateral dimensions of the MAKS 2011-displayed RVV-BD are unlikely to allow its internal carriage by the PAK FA. The missile’s pamphlet disseminated during the show indicated that only the external AKU-410-1 and AKU-620 ejectors were to be used to attach it to and launch it. Judging by the example displayed at the show, only the vanes of the RVV-BD were foldable for conformal carriage, but the

wing remained fixed, to boot. Also, specifying the weapons designed for internal carriage, Boris Obnosov did not mention the RVV-BD. Most probably, the RVV-BD is an export version of the advanced longrange missile being developed under the programme of MiG-31 interceptor upgrade in service with the Russian Air Force (an upgraded MiG-31BM was shown at a static display during MAKS 2011). Nonetheless, the lessons learnt from the programme are certainly to be relevant to the development of a long-range missile for internal carriage on the fifth-generation fighter. The RVV-BD is taken to the target area by the inertial guidance system with radio-frequency updates and subsequent active terminal radar homing. According to adverts circulated, the RVV-BD will be able to destroy various air threats (fighters, attack aircraft, bombers, airlifters, helicopters, cruise missiles) from any aspect at long range round the clock despite heavy ECM, including multiple-channel launch-andleave capability. Owing to the missile’s top-notch aerodynamics and high-performance bi-pulse solid-fuel rocket motor, its range may well be several hundred kilometres. Speaking at MAKS 2011, Boris Obnosov said the RVV-BD’s export version would have a range of up to 200 km. “To date, no missile in the class can boast a range like that”, Mr. Obnosov concluded. The missile can eliminate threats jinking hard at 8 g at an altitude of 15–25,000 m. The RVV-BD’s launch weight stands at 510 kg. The weapon packs a 60-kg HE/ fragmentation warhead with proximity and impact fuses.

558 ARP OFFERS COOPERATION Joint Stock Company "558 Aircraft Repair Plant" history dates back to the 26th of June, 1941. Since that time the enterprise has turned into a large aircraft repair plant and obtained international authority and business reputation through performing orders definitely and in proper time, providing high quality of services. At present, JSC "558 ARP" provides full cycle of overhaul of Su-22, Su-25, Su-27, MiG-29 and An-2 aircraft, Mi-8 and Mi-24 helicopters of all versions as well as upgrade of Su-27 and MiG-29 fighters and Mi-8 helicopters. Our enterprise has a fame of one of the most efficient aviation repair plants in the former USSR territory thanks to powerfull production base, modern equipment, advanced aviation technologies and also high lifeware of technicians and engineers. Today the progress of aviation demands modern methods of overhaul and upgrade of aviation materiel and its support during their whole operation life. The main goals of JSC "558 Aircraft Repair Plant” includes design and implementation of advanced developments for materiel service and training of specialists. The enterprise is able to create logistic support and service centers on customer's territory. The main advantage of such center is efficiency, quality and low cost of aviation materiel repair. Such center provides: • efficient operation of aircraft with high level of reliability and flight safety during the whole life of helicopters (Mi-8, Mi-24), aircraft (Su-27, Su-17, Su-25, MiG-29, An-2) and their versions; • prompt diagnostics and repair of failed devices of onboard equipment with the purpose of maintaining aircraft's constant working order and their readiness for action. • performing preventive replacements of the least reliable electronic components of aircraft and helicopter onboard equipment during operation; • permanent control of technical condition of aircraft and helicopters, diagnostics of the most vital construction elements, works performed for increasing operational reliability of the materiel; • training of customer's staff on repair of onboard equipment units; • permanent consulting of customer's staff on the questions of aircraft and helicopter operation, as well as elaborating the appropriate instructions; • prompt gathering and accomplishment of enquiries for supply of spare parts and

expendables needed for aircraft and helicopter operation. The training center, created at the premises of Joint Stock Company "558 Aircraft Repair Plant", is an efficient facility for giving new knowledge to aviation specialists. Owing to its great experience in repairs and overhaul of aviation materiel of different types, well developed production base and advanced technologies, our enterprise provides training to customer's technical staff and pilots on the high professional level. Both theoretical and practical training on operation and maintenance of aviation materiel are based on the training programs elaborated according to the relevant operation and maintenance manuals. Modern computer technologies are widely involved in the training program. The efficient training process is ensured by: - highly qualified instructors; - full set of technical documentation, posters and aids; - using new educational technologies; - training on modern methods of diagnostics of aircraft components; - training on modern methods of repairs and upgrade of different types of aircraft and helicopters; - training of pilots with the use of multifunctional simulators; - opportunity to study aircraft units and systems directly in the workshops and at testing workbenches. Modern diagnostics methods of componentry for aviation materiel training program includes: - diagnostics of radio-electronic cards; - testing of turbocoolers; - diagnostics of onboard radio-electronic equipment units; Modern training program of overhaul methods includes: commercial

- laser welding and surfacing for elimination of faults appearing because of corrosion and wear-out; - restoration of glazing optical features; - restoration of mechanical or corrosion damages of parts with the use of metal polymers; - non-abrasive ultrasound finishing of metals for reducing surface roughness and elimination of tension; - plasma spraying on parts having continuous mechanical or corrosion surface damages up to 0,8 mm in depth. Over the last years more than 300 foreign specialists have been trained by Joint Stock Company "558 Aircraft Repair Plant" on operation and repairs of Su-22, Su-25, Su-27, MiG-29 aircraft, Mi-8 and Mi-24 helicopters. The enterprise ensures high level of training, being always open for cooperation. Moreover, our experience allowed us to elaborate the standard project of training center, which is delivered "ready for use". Our enterprise pays special attention to conformity with international and national standards of quality. JSC "558 Aircraft Repair Plant" possesses an official authorization to perform overhaul, upgrade and service of aviation materiel operated in Belarus and abroad. Rich experience and good production capabilities enable developing modern aviation materiel overhaul programs. JSC "558 Aircraft Repair Plant" obtained international authority as a reliable partner. It ensures the prospects of successful cooperation. 558 Aircraft Repair Plant JSC Bldg. 7, 50 let VLKSM, Baranovichi, Brest region, 225320, Republic of Belarus Tel.: +375 (163) 42-99-54 Fax: +375 (163) 42-91-64 E-mail: take-off december 2011


military aviation | news

RusAF Training Centre got 10 Yak-130s plant in Nizhny Novgorod flew from the factory airfield to the Air Force Training Centre in Borisoglebsk, Voronezh Region. The first five Yak-130s (serials 21 through 25) arrived in Borisoglebsk

Alexey Mikheyev

The government order for 12 new-generation Yakovlev Yak-130 combat trainers for the Russian Air Force was fulfilled this summer, when the last three aircraft of the batch built by the Sokol aircraft

on 6 April this year. Two more aircraft (90 and 91) came in from Lipetsk in mid-June. Along with two other planes (92 and 93), they had been delivered to the RusAF State Aviation Personnel Training and Operational Evaluation Centre during February through April last year. The final three Yak-130s under the first contract signed with the Russian Defence Ministry were assembled by Sokol this spring. With their factory acceptance tests completed the planes issued serials 26 through 28 were ferried to Borisoglebsk on 30 June. Borisoglebsk is home to the training air regiment giving basic and advanced flight training

to future pilots of attack and bomber aircraft – the cadets of the Krasnodar flight school. The instructor-pilots of the Borisoglebsk training centre have mastered Yak-130s, and the first cadets are to begin their training on them in the near future. On 8 November 2011, during his visit to Irkutsk Aviation Plant (subsidiary of the Irkut Corp.) Russian Air Force Commander-inChief Alexander Zelin announced that a new order for 65 more Yak-130s for RusAF will be signed soon. Irkut will become the main supplier under this contract and all other Yak-130 combat trainers to be ordered both by Russian and foreign customers.

Russian-made An-140s earmarked for military use?


the Russian government issued Resolution on the signature of the Protocol by the Government of the Russian Federation and the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine on cooperation in aircraft development, production, delivery and operation. The protocol lists, inter alia, several new An-140 versions, e.g. the An-140-110 and An-140-200 airliners, An-140C-100, An-140T-100 and An-140T-210 freighters and An-140MP patrol aircraft. The An-140T-100 freighter with a lifting capacity of 6 t is an in-production An-140-100 derivative with the cargo tail ramp. Antonov offers the An-140T-210 with a greater lifting capacity, which is a derivative of the in-development 68-seat An-140-210 stretch. Since

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the Defence Ministry’s advanced light airlifter acquisitions are stipulated by the 2020 Governmental Armament Acquisition Programme, it is possible that planes to be acquired may be latest ramp-equipped An-140 versions under development by Antonov, given the rejection of the Il-112V and the An-140-100 airliner order landed by Aviakor recently. In addition, Aviakor and Radar MMS, a major Russian developer and integrator of special airborne radioelectronic gear, made an agreement during MAKS 2011 to look into the feasibility of fitting Radar MMS systems to the An-140. Probably, they are going to develop the An-140MP maritime patrol aircraft mentioned in the 6 May 2011 governmental resolution.

It also was reported during MAKS 2011 that the Samara-built An-140 was promising enough in terms of export as well. During the show, Aviakor and Rosoboronexport agreed to cooperate, with their agreement providing for the feasibility of the An-140 becoming part of Rosoboronexport’s export programme. “The agreement signed indicates keen interest of the major Russian combat gear supplier in Aviakor’s business processes and plane”, Aviakor Director General Sergei Gusev said. “Now, Aviakor has got an order for an An-140 batch for the Russian Defence Ministry. The cooperation with Rosoboronexport will enable us to offer our main product to defence ministries of other nations”.

Alexey Mikheyev

The static displays of the MAKS 2011 air show, which took place in Zhukovsky, Moscow Region in August, featured the new An-140-100 turboprop sporting an unusual darkgray paintjob. The aircraft with side number 41254 is the first An-140 made by the Aviakor plant in Samara on order of the Russian Defence Ministry. It performed its maiden flight on 6 August of this year and arrived in Zhukovsky a week later for the airshow. Aviakor has built only three production An-140s delivered to the Yakutiya air carrier during 2006–09. The full-fledged productionising of the An-140 in Samara is attributed to a contract signed by Aviakor and the Russian Defence Ministry recently. Having ordered its first An-140 (c/n 002) shown at MAKS 2011, the Russian Defence Ministry in May ordered nine more planes to be delivered within three years. All of them will be in the standard 52-seat passenger layout and oust the obsolete An-24s and An-26s used for top brass carriage. The An-140 also may see new vistas opening up owing to lastyear’s refusal of the Russian Defence Ministry to keep on funding the Ilyushin Il-112V light airlifter development programme. On 6 May,

military aviation | news

all of the surveillance equipment cleared by the agreement, namely four airborne photo cameras, three TV cameras, a synthetic aperture radar and an infrared linear scanner”. The mission equipment

is housed behind special fuselage hatches and fairings, with operator and observer workstations in the cabin. At MAKS 2011, the Tu-214ON (serial RA-64519) was both shown

Mikhail Zherdev

Mikhail Zherdev

Marina Lystseva

The Tu-214ON specialised airborne surveillance aircraft developed under the Open Skies programme was a spice of the MAKS 2011 air show. It took to the skies for the first time from the airfield of the Kazan Aircraft Production Association (KAPO) on 1 June of this year and is undergoing tests. The plane was developed by Tupolev and built by KAPO on order of the Vega corporation, the prime contractor under the Open Skies programme. Once its trials have been complete, it will be delivered to the Russian Defence Ministry. On its inspection flights under the Open Skies international agreement, Russia has used two types of aircraft, the Tu-154M-LK-1 and An-30B. To enhance the effectiveness of missions, Tupolev was contracted to develop a dedicated derivative of the Tu-214 airliner, fitted with the up-to-date multifunction air surveillance system from Vega. According to the system’s developer, the Tu-214ON “is the first plane among those of the 34 signatories to carry

Alexey Mikheyev

Tu-214ON: Open Skies without secrets

as a static display and demonstrated in flight, and the media were given an opportunity to familiarise with its airborne surveillance system equipment and the operator workstations.

The Russian Defence Ministry is going to order in the near future from Irkut Corp. a batch of Su-30SM twoseat supermanoeuvrable multirole fighters derived from the Su-30MKI aircraft exported by the company. Irkut President Alexei Fyodorov told the media that a contract was in the pipeline for 28 aircraft for the Russian Air Force with 12 options that could be fielded with the air arm of the Russian Navy. The order is to be placed next year, but the Irkutsk Aircraft Plant is already making two first Su-30SMs intended to enter the test programme in the configuration approved by RusAF. According to Alexander Veprev, Director General, Irkutsk Aircraft Plant, the two Su-30SM prorotypes will be able to launch their trials before year-end. The production and delivery of Su-30MKI family fighters is Irkut’s most successful programme in the past decade. Since 2000, more than 170 production-configuration

Andrey Fomin

RusAF to receive supermanoeuvrable fighters of Su-30MKI family

warplanes of the type have been delivered, including knockdown kits for licence production in India. The Su-30MKI orderbook has swelled up to 292 aircraft and expected to hike up to 374, once the anticipated new order for 42 extra Su-30MKIs has been awarded by India and the Russian Defence Ministry has placed its order for 40 Su-30SMs.

To date, Irkut has fulfilled the contracts for 90 Su-30MKIs for India (the first deal was made in 1996, with two more in 2007), 28 Su-30MKI(A) for Algeria under the 2006 contract and 18 Su-30MKMs for Malaysia under the 2003 contract. Deliveries of Su-30MKI knockdown kits to India carry on under the contract for 140 fighters, and a new batch of Su-30MKI(A) aircraft is being prepared for shipping to

Algeria under the second contract for 16 aircraft, which was signed in 2010. The manufacturing plant’s Director General Alexander Veprev told the media that the company had made 38 Sukhoi aircraft and knockdown kits of the type last year. Taking into account the orderbook, the Su-30MKI production will have continued in Irkutsk until the second half of this decade at the least.

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military aviation | news

and 46, have the Mi-28N’s traditional camouflage paintjob of various shades of green, with the remaining four (47 through 50) having the new gray paintjob of RusAF. The Mi-28N entered service with RusAF by a presidential decree dated 15 October 2009. Last year, the first RusAF air squadron stationed in Budyonnovsk was converted to the Mi-28N (Rostvertol had built 16 helicopters for it, of which 10 were delivered in 2009), and deliveries started to another RusAF unit stationed in Korenovsk (according to the Russian media, the first eight Mi-28Ns were shipped there in

Take-off's archive

Another six-ship batch of Mil Mi-28N advanced attack helicopters was delivered to RusAF in an official ceremony at the airfield of the Rostvertol joint stock company, a subsidiary of the Russian Helicopters holding company, on 8 October 2011. The machines were headed for the Army Aviation Combat and Conversion Training Centre in the town of Torzhok. It has been the second RusAF Mi-28N delivery this year. The first batch of four Mi-28Ns has been shipped to Torzhok this summer and given yellow side numbers 09, 10, 11 and 12. The first two machines of the new batch, with yellow side numbers 45

Take-off's archive

Six more Mi-28Ns delivered to RusAF

October through December 2010). The Budyonnovsk-based aircraft feature blue serials from 01 through 17 and the Korenovsk-stationed ones red serials from 01 through 08. In September this year, six Mi-28Ns from both units were involved in large-scale combined exercise Union Shield 2011 at the Ashuluk training range in the Astrakhan Region. To date, Rostvertol has delivered as many as almost 40 productionstandard Mi-28Ns. Recently, Russian Helicopters holding and Russian Defence Ministry have signed a new long-term contract for more helicopters of the type for the period

throughout the decade. Meeting the media this spring, Rostvertol Director General Boris Slyusar said the company would have productionised the Mi-28NM upgraded version by 2015. Probably, the derivative will mount the long-awaited radar, cutting-edge defensive aids suite and advanced weapons. The Mi-28UB fitted with twin sets of controls is being prepared for construction too. In addition, RusAF has ordered more than two dozen Mi-35M attack helicopters that have been built only for export until recently. The first Mi-35Ms earmarked for RusAF are already in trials at Rostvertol.

Rostvertol resumes Mi-26 deliveries to Russian Defence Ministry


start taking deliveries of a new version based on the Mi-26T2 heavily upgraded helicopter now under trials. The advanced version will feature a cuttingedge flight navigation system allowing a reduction in crew members, a glass cockpit, round-the clock operation equipment, modified engines and a number of other improvements. The Mi-26T2 is taking part in the tender issued by the Indian Air Force for 15 heavy-lift helicopters.


According to the Russian media, the Defence Ministry and the Russian Helicopters holding company have made a long-term deal for 15 Mi-26 heavylifters. This spring, Rostvertol was assembling the first four machines under the contract. The lead helicopter was rolled out and started its tests in May. The brand-new Mi-26s differ from those previously supplied to RusAF in slightly upgraded avionics. Further down the line, combat units are to

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Two brand-new Mil Mi-26 heavylift helicopters made this year under a contract with the Russian Defence Ministry departed the airfield of Rostvertol JSC on 25 October. These are the first machines of the type fielded with the Russian Air Force recently, with the previous Mi-26 having been shipped to the customer over a decade ago. Having been given side numbers 05 and 06 and RusAF’s new gray paintjob, the machines will be operated in the Eastern Military District.

military aviation | news

weapons suite. The preparations for the official tests of the upgraded Ka-52 kicked off in 2006. To take part in the trials, the Progress aircraft plant in Arsenyev had manufactured two more prototypes (side numbers 062 and 063) in 2008. On 26 December 2008, Russian Air Force chief Col.-Gen. Alexander Zelin signed the preliminary report on the first stage of the Ka-52 official test programme, which recommended a low-rate initial production batch manufacturing. The first three production-standard machines (serials 51, 52 and 53) were built in Arsenyev in 2009 and entered the official trials too. At the same time, the plant launched the full-scale production of the Ka-52 under the late 2009 governmental order for 36 helicopters.

In December 2010, four production Ka-52s were fielded with the Army Aviation Combat and Conversion Training Centre in the town of Torzhok for operational evaluation, and May 2011 witnessed the delivery of an eight-ship production-standard Ka-52 batch to the Chernigovka Army Aviation Base in the Russian Far East, which had operated Mi-24V/P helicopters. Thus, Progress has made and delivered as many as 15 productionconfiguration Ka-52s within less than three years. This autumn, the plant was handling the final assembly of the further eight helicopters with four more machines undergoing their acceptance tests prior to their fielding with a combat unit. They are being fitted with FH01 radar systems the Phazotron-NIIR corporation shipped to Arsenyev. The four Ka-52s, too, will have been fielded with the Chernigovka air base before yearend. Further down the road, radars of the type will be retrofitted to the inservice early production helicopters. Russian Helicopters holding company Director General Dmitry Petrov

said in early September that the Russian Defence Ministry awarded a new long-term order “for more than 140 Ka-52 helicopters” on 31 August 2011. It is significant that the helicopter of the type is planned for adoption with not only the Army Aviation, but also the Russian Navy. As is known, the Ka-52K shipborne multirole combat helicopter is to become the mainstay of the strike power of the air groups to be carried by the Mistral-class amphibious assault ships. Kamov is running the development of the shipborne version that will have the folding main rotor blades and folding wings and a number of other modifications as well. Progress Managing Director Yury Denisenko told the media that the Ka-52K’s full-rate production and deliveries were slated for 2014. In addition, Russian Helicopters and Kamov, coupled with Rosoboronexport JSC, are cooperating in promoting the Ka-52A export version to the global market. A number of countries displayed keen interest in buys such helicopters as far as several years ago.

Andrey Fomin

Take-off's archive

The official trials of the Kamov Ka-52 multirole combat helicopter equipped with the Arbalet radar system (FH01) from the Phazotron-NIIR corporation were completed successfully in November 2011. In midNovember, the acceptance report recommending the Ka-52 with its FH01 radar system for full-scale production and service entry was signed. The first Ka-52 two-seat multirole combat helicopter prototype (side number 061) was made by the Kamov company as far back as 1997. The preliminary stage of its official test programme, which provided for assessment of its flight performance, was completed in 2003. Later on, the helicopter was upgraded, getting an improved avionics and an expanded guided

Alexey Mikheyev

Arbalet-fitted Ka-52 wraps up its trials

take-off decemeber 2011


commercial aviation | news

to launch tourist services to Egypt, Spain, Italy, the UAE, Israel, etc”. Under the contract signed by Polyot, Sberbank-Leasing and VASO plant last year, the carrier shall lease 10 An-148-100Es. They shall be in the 68-seat layout (8 seats in the business class and 60 in the economy class) but will be able to be converted quickly to the 75-seat single-class layout. Unlike the six

Vyacheslav Smigunov

9 September saw the first operational flight of the An-148-100E (RA-61709) of the Polyot airline, the second Russian user of the advanced regional airliners made in Voronezh. The 1 h 40 min flight with 56 passengers on board was conducted from Voronezh to St. Petersburg. The aircraft came back to Chertovitskoye airport in Voronezh on the return flight on the same day. An hour-long An-148-100E service was also launched to Moscow’s Domodedovo airport on 29 September. By then, the carrier’s airliner fleet had been beefed up with another aircraft of the type, RA-61710. As its own crews are trained and the maintenance system is set up in its home airport, Polyot is going to expand its operational network and intensify the operations. Polyot Director General Anatoly Karpov said: “The characteristics of the An-148-100E will enable the company to connect the regions in central Russia with the regional centres in the Urals and Siberia and

Alexey Boyarin

Polyot and UIA launch An-148 services

An-148-100Bs made in Voronezh, the Polyot-intended planes feature an extended range. The first An-148-100E (c/n 41-04, RA-61709) first flew in Voronezh in early June of this year and was delivered to Polyot on 20 July 2011. The second aircraft (c/n 41-06, RA-61710) flew for the first time on 6 July and its acceptance report was signed on 31 August 2011. In September, VASO completed another Polyot-destined plane (c/n 41-07, its registration number will be RA-61711) that performed its first flight on 4 October. According to Anatoly Karpov, the company is going to have it on services before year-end and receive the fourth aircraft from VASO in the first quarter of 2012. Meanwhile, a new An-148 operator appeared in Ukraine as well. On

3 August, Antonov handed over a new production An-148-100B built earlier this year in Kiev to the new customer, Ukraine International Airlines (UIA). The carrier’s aircraft fleet, which has been made up of Boeing planes only (according to UIA’s official website, it comprises 19 Boeing 737s in various versions), was extended by the second production-standard An-148 built in Kiev (reg. UR-NTD, c/n 01-10). It first flew in Kiev on 13 January 2011. In September, UIA received another An-148 (reg. UR-NTA, c/n 01-01) that had been flown by the Aerosvit airline from June 2009 to August 2011. Aerosvit also operated the first production An-148 made in Kiev (c/n 01-09, reg. UR-NTC) since May 2010 till September 2011. This plane is seemed to start its operations with UIA too.

Another Il-114-100 kicks off commercial operation


take-off december 2011

for six aircraft with upgraded avionics suite. TAPC rolled it out and moved it to the in-house flight test facility on 6 June, with the plane performing its maiden flight on 8 July of this year. The first four Il-114-100s made under the 2007 contract entered service during 2008–10, while the very first aircraft of the type (c/n 02-02) was made in Tashkent as far back as 1999 and has flown on Uzbekistan Airways routes since 2003. The Il-114-100s operate on domestic

operations and on services to other CIS countries. The six and last Il-114-100 (c/n 02-09) under 2007 contract

is expected to fly next year. The prospect of future Il-114 production by TAPC remains uncertain despite the backlog the plant has.

Andrew Dyubin

On 26 August 2011, in the runup to the 20th anniversary of the independence of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Tashkent hosted the ceremony of acceptance by flag carrier Uzbekistan Airways of another Ilyushin Il-114-100 regional turboprop (c/n 02-08) built by the Tashkent Aircraft Production Corp. (TAPC) named after Valery Chkalov. Assigned registration number UK-91108, it became the sixth Il-114-100 in the aircraft fleet of the Uzbek flag carrier and the fifth one under the 2007 contract

Marina Lystseva

commercial aviation | report

Anton LAVROV, Andrei FOMIN

SUKHOI SUPERJET 100 Half a year in operation The Sukhoi Superjet 100 advanced regional airliner development programme pursued by Russia’s Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company (SCAC) in cooperation with several foreign aircraft equipment and system suppliers has passed a few key milestones this autumn. Firstly, October marked six months since the first production SSJ100 kicked off regular services with Armenian carrier Armavia on 21 April 2011. Secondly, Armavia’s new-type airliner cleared the 1,000-flying-hour milestone on scheduled services in the same month. A week later, on 16 October, Russia’s Aeroflot crossed the same threshold, having operated two SSJ100s by then (one of them entered passenger operations on 16 June 2011 and the other on 27 August 2011). By the end of November, the Superjets have performed a total of 1,500 commercial flights, having logged over 2,800 flying hours.

Superjet in Armavia … Made in September 2007, the order of two SSJ100s by Armenian airline Armavia with three more options did not turn many heads at first. By then, 110 advanced airliners had been ordered (in the form of both firm orders and options) by several air carriers, including the foreign launch customer in Italy. A considerable discount to the list price was offered to Armavia, as it was offered to other early customers. Besides, Armavia ordered the configuration close to the baseline one, i.e. lacking expensive trimmings. The planes were leased through Russian company VTBLeasing. Under the contract, the first aircraft was to be delivered as far back as late 2008, but


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the delivery slipped by far just like the delivery to Aeroflot did. Some of the orders considered to be firm were put on the back burner or cancelled altogether, as the SSJ programme was slipping further behind schedule. Suddenly, Armavia, along with Aeroflot, found itself the launch customer, probably, to its own surprise. The first production SSJ100-95B (c/n 95007) first flew on 4 November 2010 and then underwent the certification check test programme held for the first time as part of certification by the Interstate Aviation Committee’s Aircraft Registry. During the tests, a production-standard aircraft had to log at least 150 flight hours on standard routes. The Superjet certification check tests com-

menced in December 2010, following Aircraft 95007 ferry flight from Komsomolsk-on-Amur to Zhukovsky in the Moscow Region. With the tests completed, the plane returned to Komsomolsk-on-Amur, where it was subjected to final improvements before its delivery. Participation in a long-term certification check test programme, which lasted for almost two months, came as a very useful breaking-in to the advanced plane. It allowed the troubleshooting of the most obvious teething troubles inherent to the first production aircraft and benefited the beginning of its operation further down the road. On 19 April 2011, the aircraft flew from the manufacturer’s airfield in Komsomolskon-Amur to the customer’s base airport, Zvartnots in the city of Yerevan. In Armenia, the SSJ100 registered as EK-95015 and named Yuri Gagarin was given the red-carpet treatment. The first commercial flight of the new aircraft took place as soon as the next day after its delivery, 21 April. In the very beginning of its operation, it was clear that the carrier was not going to go easy on its first Superjet 100 just because it was a new plane. The aircraft had conducted services to seven

Yuri Stepanov

commercial aviation | report

The first production Sukhoi Superjet 100 (c/n 95007) started its commercial operations with Armavia airline as EK-95015 on 21 April 2011

hot mountainous terrain. The aircraft logged 200-plus flight hours as soon as its third month of operation, which is good for a new aircraft in the class. In October, the Armenian Superjet flew from Yerevan to Moscow’s Vnukovo and Domodedovo, to Samara, Ufa, Tbilisi and over 10 cities in the ‘far abroad’ – Amsterdam, Athens, Berlin, Lyon, Marseille, Venice, Aleppo, Beirut, Dubai, Tehran and Tel Aviv. It had conducted more than 530 operations with a total of 1,300 flight hours by the end

of November. In the first six months of its operation, its average monthly flying time has accounted for about 180 flying hours (the maximal flying time – 205 hours – was logged in July 2011) with an average flight slightly exceeding 2.5 h and an average daily flying time being slightly less than 6 h (an average of five services are flown every two days). Armavia’s SSJ100 did not fly only five days in October, which indicates a rather high degree of operability and reliability of the carrier’s only aircraft of the type. The second Superjet Armavia’s SSJ100 passenger cabin interior

take-off december 2011


Andrey Fomin

aircports in five nations (Moscow, Aleppo, Athens, Donetsk, Odessa, Simferopol and Tehran), which became a mini-pattern of its subsequent operation, during which it flies to Russia, Ukraine, other European countries and the Middle East. The SSJ100’s hour of triumph in service with Armavia came in mid-June when the airline decommissioned as many as two A320s. Coupled with the seasonal hike in the number of the carrier’s flights, this stepped up the operational tempo for its remaining aircraft up to an average of two return flights a day. Many remote European destinations, which had been handled by the airbuses before that, fell on the SSJ100. As a result, 4–5-hour flights to Europe out to 2,500–3,500 km became a routine, virtually daily job to the plane. The services to Amsterdam, Barcelona, Lyon, Marseille, Rome, Venice and Zurich became the Armenian Superjet’s standard routes. The advanced Russian-built airliner’s first three months in the commercial operation by Armavia were very fruitful. The diversified route network enabled the plane to be tested not only on short regional services, but on long ones as well. The Superjet flew to 20 airports. It mastered its European lines that proved the range stated by the manufacturer. The aircraft also proved its ability to operate in the adverse climatic conditions of Armenia’s

(c/n 95009) is to be delivered to Armavia in 2012, if all goes to plan.

…and Aeroflot The Russian flag carrier, Aeroflot, got the first of the 30 SSJ100s, ordered in December 2005, in mid-June 2011. New regional jet with c/n 95008 and registration number RA-89001 named after Mikhail Vodopyanov conducted its first commercial service from Moscow to St. Petersburg on 16 June and then launched operations to Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and then Ufa. Unlike the first production SSJ100, which was delivered to Armavia and had been debugged during its 150-hour certification check tests, despite the fact that Aeroflot’s first SSJ100 did not get to the customer soon after its maiden flight on 30 January 2011, it had completed only a limited number of acceptance tests. Possibly, this was a reason for the carrier having to ground its new plane several times in the initial stages of operation to fix problems. For instance, following an aggressive start in June (46 flights performed during the first 12 days, with almost 80 flight hours logged), RA-89001 flew only for 14 days in July. Nevertheless, it has no longer encountered considerable technical problems since later July, which has enabled it to fly up to eight services a day without any delays worth mentioning. The intensity of operation of the new-type aircraft by Aeroflot increased further in the wake of the delivery of its second Superjet late in August. The aircraft with c/n 95010

conducted its maiden flight in Komsomolskon-Amur on 11 July and then was headed for Ulyanovsk to be painted in the customer’s livery. Having been given registration number RA-89002 and named after Dmitry Yezersky, it was delivered to Aeroflot on 25 August and conducted its first scheduled flight as soon as two days later. The new Superjet’s flying time exceeded 230 fight hours during the very first month in service, with the two aircraft flying up to 14 services a day during September and October. The Moscow–Astrakhan route, which was flown in the first fortnight of September, was added to the existing lines to Nizhny Novgorod, St. Petersburg and Ufa. On 1 October, the first international flight, Moscow–Minsk, was added to the schedule of Aeroflot’s SSJ100s, and the services to Chelyabinsk (the SSJ100s had flown to Yekaterinburg until 17 September) and Kazan started on 3 October and 24 October respectively. The Superjet’s reliability and operability are highlighted by the fact that there were only two days in September, when neither of Aeroflot’s SSJ100s took to the sky, with no such days in October. The third Aeroflot-ordered airliner (c/n 95011, RA-89003) made its maiden flight in Komsomolsk-on-Amur on 11 September 2011 and was delivered to the customer on 7 November, entering regular services since 8 November. By the end of November, the Aeroflot’s Superjets had performed more than 1,000 flights, logging 1,600 flight hours. The 1000th commercial flight milestone was passed on 23 November 2011.

(Sergey Sergeyev

commercial aviation | report

An average flight of the Superjets on the Russian flag carrier’s routes lasts for about 1.5 hours (the longest flights last 2.5 hours in services from Moscow to Yekaterinburg, Chelyabinsk and Astrakhan). The average flying time per plane in Aeroflot stands at a bit less than 6 h (on the average, each of the aircraft flies four operations a day). The first SSJ100’s average monthly flying time has accounted for about 180 flying hours over the four months in

The first Aeroflot’s Sukhoi Superjet 100 (c/n 95008, RA-89001) entered regular services on 16 June 2011


take-off december 2011

commercial aviation | report

Elnar Mansurov

SSJ100 c/n 95010 (RA-89002) is carrying passengers since 27 August 2011

Sergey Sergeyev

service, and the second airliner’s average flying time during the first two months of its scheduled operations equalled about 210 h (the average monthly flying time per two-aircraft fleet is slightly less than 200 h per plane). Aeroflot will have been able to receive several more Superjets before year-end. In October, there were seven more Aeroflotdestined aircraft in final assembly. The fourth Aeroflot’s SSJ100 (c/n 95012, RA-89004)

Aeroflot’s Superjet economy class cabin

first flew in Komsomolsk-on-Amur on 7 November 2011 and was to be followed by 95015, 95013 and 95016 soon. The fuselage of the 13th production aircraft (c/n 95019) was brought to SCAC’s final assembly shop in Komsomolsk-on-Amur on 1 October 2011. SCAC is making efforts to step up the output rate hampered so far by delayed deliveries of production-standard SaM146 engines. In September, Igor Vinogradov, SCAC first vicepresident for development and certification, said that extra jobs would be created in the final assembly shop, which would allow 10 aircraft to be assembled there instead of six. In addition, aircraft components will be brought to the

shop pre-assembled, part of wing panel assembly will be handled by KAPO plant in Kazan while the assembly of the cabin interior will be carried out in Ulyanovsk starting with the ninth production aircraft (c/n 95015). Owing to the measures being taken, “28 SSJ100 planes are planned for production next year”, Igor Vinogradov said. Along with the continued Superjet deliveries to Aeroflot and Armavia in 2012, SCAC and the Superjet International joint venture plan to start deliveries to new customers that might include Russian carriers Yakutiya and UTair and the SSJ100’s first foreign operators from Mexico, Indonesia, Laos, etc take-off december 2011


contracts and deliveries | news

The contract for delivery of two brand-new Ilyushin Il-76MF airlifters to Jordan was fulfilled last summer. The Russian-Jordanian deal on two Il-76MFs was clinched in August 2005, during the MAKS 2005 air show. The Rosoboronexport company was earmarked as supplier, with construction itself to be handled by the Tashkent Aircraft Production Corp. (TAPC). The difficulties experienced by the manufacturer plant and its disagreements with the Russian party as to the terms of the deal resulted in slippage. Ilyushin and TAPC signed a contract for two airlifters as late as 4 July 2007, but the actual work on the aircraft kicked off only after Rosoboronexport and Jordan in December 2009 made a supplementary agreement providing for a certain postponement of the delivery.

Sergey Lysenko

Jordan takes delivery of two Il-76MFs

The first Il-76MF (c/n 96-02), designed for Jordan and issued side number 76954 for the duration of the trials, conducted its maiden flight in Tashkent on 30 September 2010 and was ferried to Zhukovsky a month later for remaining equipment to be fitted and special flight trials conducted. The other aircraft (c/n

94-01, side number 76953) first flew on 12 May this year and moved to the airfield of the Gromov Flight Research Institute on 31 May. Painted in the colours of the customer and given the insignia of Jordan carriers Royal Falcon and JIAC, the planes were issued their registration numbers JY-JID and

JY-JIC. Their tests were completed during the spring and early summer, and their flying and ground crews were trained on them in Zhukovsky. Finally, the Il-76MF (76953 or JY-JIC) departed from Gromov LII’s airfield for Jordan on 29 June, followed by the other Il-76MF (76954 or JY-JID) on the next day.

this summer. A minor slip behind schedule was due to the customer having added extra requirements several times. The implementation of the additional requirements called for more development work, tests and modifications pertaining to the planes made. In the end, the parties agreed on the final configuration of the Yak-130, and nothing prevents the manufacturer to ship the products now. Rosoboronexport and Irkut are in pre-contract talks on Yak-130 deliveries to a number of other countries

as well. The launch contract for 12 Yak-130s built by Sokol in Nizhny Novgorod for the Russian Air Force was fulfilled in June of this year. A governmental contract for more than 60 Yak-130s to be manufactured by the Irkutsk Aircraft Plant is in the pipeline. In anticipation of more orders, construction of more Yak-130s by the Irkutsk Aircraft Plant is in full swing. In July, the plant’s Director General Alexander Veprev said that assembly of the 35th Yak-130 had begun in Irkutsk by then.

Algerian pilots learning Yak-130 trained in operating and maintaining the Yak-130. Delivery of the Yak-130 combat trainer to Algeria is slated for this autumn. As is known, the 2006 contract stipulates that Irkut shall deliver 16 aircraft of the type to Algeria. The first production Yak-130 under this order had made its maiden flight in Irkutsk on 21 August 2009 and 12 new jet trainers for Algerian Air Force were assembled at Irkutsk Aircraft Plant by 2011. The final several planes were in the final stages of assembly

Andrey Fomin

On 1 September, Algerian Air Force pilots performed their first solo flights on Yak-130 combat trainers at the airfield of the Irkutsk Aircraft Plant, an affiliate of the Irkut corporation. Their flights had been preceded by a three-month-long ground school, during which the Algerian pilots logged a total of 100-plus sorties on Yak-130s together with Irkut’s test pilots in the role of their instructor pilots and were cleared for solo flights. Prior to that, a large group of Algerian military engineers and technicians had been


take-off december 2011

contracts and deliveries | news

Andrey Fomin

In early August, the MiG corporation commenced the assembly of the first MiG-29K/KUB fighters under the contract made last spring for 29 more fighters of the type for the Indian Navy. As is known, the first contract for 16 MiG-29K/KUB multirole carrierborne fighters for the Indian Navy was signed in January 2004. Having developed the plane and completing its flight tests, MiG started full-rate production of the MiG-29K/KUB that became the first members of the new MiG-29 family comprising the MiG-29M/M2 and MiG-35 as well. In August 2011, MiG Director General Sergei Korotkov said that 11 MiG-29K/KUB planes had been delivered under the first contract – the first six in late 2009 and five more in May 2011. The remainder will have been delivered by year-end 2011. At the same time, MiG began to implement the 29 options that firmed up in March last year. This summer, units of the first MiG-29K/KUB airframes under a new contract were laid down in the fuselage assembly jig at MiG’s Production Complex 2 in Moscow (previously known as the Banner of Labour plant of MAPO association). The fighters are being built in cooperation with several subcontractors. For instance, the fuselage nose section is being made by Sokol plant in Nizhny Novgorod and will

Andrey Fomin

Construction of new MiG-29K batch kicks off

be supplied to MiG’s Production Complex 2. Here, the rest fuselage assemblies, including the basic loadbearing element – the central fuel tank, are made and the fuselage is assembled to be then sent to MiG’s Production Complex 1 in the town of Lukhovitsy out of Moscow, which manufactures the wings, empennage and composite structural elements and performs the final assembly and tests of the planes. In addition to the work under the MiG-29K/KUB programme, MiG is fulfilling another major order placed by the Indian Defence Ministry, the one for upgrading 62 MiG-29 fighters in service with IAF. The first four aircraft are being upgraded by MiG Corp. while the two MiG-29UBs by Sokol plant. Initial MiG-29UPG made its maiden flight after upgrade

on 4 February 2011 to be followed by the second one and the first MiG-29UPG-UM in May. Two more IAF singleseaters were upgraded at MiG’s Production Complex 1 this summer and the second twinseater at Sokol’s facility in Nizhny Novgorod. The remaining 56 aircraft will be upgraded in India using parts and units supplied by Russia. An IAF pilot flew the first upgraded MiG-29UPG-UB fighter in Zhukovsky on 7 October. The sortie lasted for an hour and a half and was smooth. The Indian pilot appreciated the new capabilities of the upgraded aircraft. On the same day, two MiG-29UPG singleseaters upgraded by MiG Corp. flew from Zhukovsky to the airfield of the Russian Defence Ministry State Flight Test Centre in Akhtubinsk for continued tactical trials.

Another contract being fulfilled by MiG’s Moscow-based facility is the construction of MiG-29 fighters for the Republic of Myanmar. According to MiG’s Production Complex 2 Director Vyacheslav Artemyev, the first three aircraft were delivered this spring and three more were flight-tested in Lukhovitsy in August, after which they were headed for Myanmar too. The plant is assembling a next batch of MIG-29s for the Myanmarese. The line production method is used for assembly, ensuring higher effectiveness and quicker work. The production line set up in Production Complex 2 comprises six stations where fuselages are beefed up consecutively with the rest of structural components and systems. Recurring to the MiG-29K/KUB carrierborne fighters, mention should be made that MiG expects the Russian government to award an order in the near future for a batch of aircraft like that for the Russian Defence Ministry. The aircraft are to be fielded with the independent carrierborne fighter regiment of the Russian Navy’s Northern Fleet. Talks also are under way on MiG-35 fighters for the Russian Air Force. Besides, MiG’s Engineering Centre Director Vladimir Barkovsky said in August that the first MiG-29M/M2 multirole fighter prototypes were to be completed by year-end, with the fighters being manufactured under a contract with foreign customer. They will be heavily commonised with the production-standard MiG-29K/KUB carrierborne fighters in terms of design, avionic and weapons.

take-off december 2011


contracts and deliveries | news

Andrey Fomin

RMAF mulling over beefing up its Su-30MKM fleet

Andrey Fomin

Andrey Fomin

The Irkutsk Aviation Plant, a subsidiary of the Irkut Corporation, was visited by Malaysian Defence Minister Dato Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi on 16 November 2011. During the visit, Irkut President Alexey Fyodorov showed his guest the key divisions of the plant, where the Su-30MK and Yak-130 aircraft and Airbus A320 components are manufactured. “The purpose of my visit to Irkutsk is to see with my own eyes where the Royal Malaysian Air Force’s multirole combat aircraft


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are made”, Dato Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said. “What I have seen here is impressive and mind-boggling. I am certain that the aircraft is facing a bright future. We also are discussing the feasibility of further programmes, and Malaysian companies are always willing to cooperate with Irkut in this sphere”. Irkut has delivered 18 Sukhoi Su-30MKM supermanoeuvrable multirole fighters to Malaysia as part of its cooperation with RMAF. “Finer points of another contract for the

production of the multirole aircraft are under discussion now”, reads Irkut’s official release on the Malaysian defence minister’s visit to the plant. The first contract for 18 Su-30MKM was signed by RMAF in 2003. It stipulated deriving from the Su-30MKI fighter, which had been delivered to the Indian Air Force by then, a modified supermanoeuvrable multirole combat aircraft with an international avionics suite beefed up with cutting-edge foreign-made self-defence gear. The first two production Su-30MKMs were accepted by RMAF in May 2007, with the official ceremony of the first Su-30MKM batch’s service entry taking place in Malaysia on 10 August 2007. Two years later, in August 2009, the last of the 18 aircraft ordered were delivered. The Su-30MKMs were fielded with the RMAF 11th Air Squadron stationed at the Gong Kedak air base situated north of the Malaysian capital.

RMAF chief Gen. Rodzali bin Daud about Su-30MKM

During the LIMA 2009 show at the Malaysian island of Langkawi two years ago, the Take-off editor had an opportunity to be granted an exclusive interview by the chief of the Royal Malaysian Air Force, General Dato’ Sri Rodzali bin Daud. Sharing his impressions of the Russian-made Su-30MKM fighters in service with RMAF, Gen. Rodzali bin Daud said the following: “We are very pleased with the technical performance and tactical capabilities of the Sukhoi fighter we have received. Firstly, the Su-30MKMs have satisfied our need of long-range multirole fighters dualhatted as both the fighter and the strike aircraft capable of operating above land and sea. Previously, we had had no planes in the class and needed them much. Secondly, owing to the top-notch flight and technical characteristics, manoeuvrability, cutting-edge avionics and weapon suites, the Su-30MKMs brought RMAF to a radically higher technical level and heavily influenced the development of Malaysia’s aerospace industry, since we had from the outset participated in the Su-30MKM development by selecting its international avionics and weapons suites comprising the best Russian and Western systems. One of the reasons, for which the Su-30MKM was selected, was our rather long knowledge of Russian aircraft, because RMAF had operated the Mi-29N fighters for a decade and a half by then and had been satisfied with the cooperation with your country on the whole. Again, we have got no problem with the Su-30MKM aircraft itself and we are very satisfied with this bargain”.