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Russia and Ukraine have reached an agreement to jointly manufacture two An-124 Condor heavy transport aircraft
Russia and Ukraine have reached an agreement to jointly manufacture two An-124 Condor heavy transport aircraft, the Volga-Dnepr aircraft manufacturing consortium said Monday in a press release. The An-124 was designed by the Antonov aircraft design bureau in 1982. Its modified versions, the An-124-100 and An-124-100M-150, were manufactured by Russia's Ulyanovsk-based Aviastar-SP and Antonov in Ukraine until the mid-1990s. Currently no An-124s are being produced. "With the production of these two [modernized] planes, we will have a prototype for further serial production," said Alexey Isaikin, president of the Russian-Ukrainian Volga-Dnepr Group. The new version of the An-124, which is similar to the American Lockheed C-5 Galaxy, will feature advanced avionics, upgraded power units, increased payload capacity of up to 150 metric tons, an extended flight range, and a smaller crew. According to various estimates, global demand for modernized An-124-100 aircraft is growing at an average rate of 15%-20% per year, and several dozen Condor aircraft may be needed by 2017. The Volga-Dnepr Group plans to manufacture up to 15 heavy transport planes that meet all International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) requirements during the first phase of the Russian-Ukrainian project.
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