Moscow - Russia wants to develop a super-heavy plane to replace the Antonov An-124. A new super transporter has been included in the state armament program through 2027, said Yuri Borisov on July 30, the Russian Deputy Prime Minister.

The An-124 Ruslan is a strategic airlift jet developed by Ukranian aircraft manufacturer Antonov during the Soviet era. It is the second heaviest operating cargo aircraft today just behind the Antonov An-225

The aircraft has a maximum lifting capacity of 120 tonnes. It can fly 2592 nautical miles (4,800km) fully loaded with a speed of 537 mph (865 km/h). To date, there are 19 An-124 currently in service in Russia - nine in the Russian Aerospace Force and ten in Russia’s Volga-Dnepr airline.

Diplomatic and economic ties between Ukraine and Russia were ceased after the annexation of Crimea in 2014 by Russian Federation. Ukrainian manufacturer withdrew from the United Aircraft Corporation In September 2015 and halted serial production due to its dependence on Russian Federation for plane parts needed for production.

Boeing helps Antonov to restart serial production

The preliminary study related to relaunching the production of An-124 Ruslan in Russia was started by Ulyanovsk-based aircraft manufacturer Aviastar-SP, TASS news agency reports.