PARIS: Antonov awaits decision on An-124 restart

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Antonov is expecting Russian partners to make a decision about restarting production of the An-124-100 after completing modernisation work on the type.

Speaking at the Paris air show, Antonov chief Dmitry Kiva says the design team in Kiev is putting finishing touches to the improved variant of the outsize freighter.

"We've upgraded all major on-board systems and secured the doubling of its operational airworthiness in terms of flight hours and service life," explains Kiva.

"The new variant will feature a higher level of technical performance and meet the latest requirements of international market.

"Having a 150t payload capability, the An-124 has long been the world's largest air transport. Hardly will anyone develop a freighter surpassing it in the near future."

Antonov is preparing to issue guidelines for construction of the modernised An-124 at the Ulyanovsk-based airframer Aviastar but has not given any clue as to when it could start.

"This is a joint project," says Kiva. "Its fate is now in the hands of our partners at the United Aircraft and hinges on obtaining endorsement from the Russian government."