Aeroflot and Ilyushin have signed the final contract paving the way for the production of 20 Il-96Ms and Il-96Ts.

The $1.5 billion deal, signed on 3 December, will see the Russian-manufactured aircraft fitted with Pratt & Whitney PW2337 turbofans and Western avionics to be integrated by Rockwell-Collins.

The first Il-96T will be delivered in 1997, to be followed by the passenger variant, which has yet to be certificated.

Aeroflot has initially ordered ten of each type, reducing the order for freighters to three. The remaining 17 aircraft will be Il-96Ms.

Some 85% of the financing is being provided by the USExim bank, with the remainder to be funded from Russian sources, with help from the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development.

The aircraft will be built by VASO Voronezh, also a signatory to the deal. The initial flight of the first series-production Il-96T is due by the end of this year, more than 12 months later than planned.

Source: Flight International