Boeing may introduce a Soviet-era military transport jet as a new option for the US military's need for a new fleet of small airlifters, the airframer told Flight International in Washington, DC yesterday.

The Antonov An-72, a 70-seat jet with over-wing-mounted engines (pictured below in Aeroflot livery), is one of the options Boeing is considering to enter the US Army's pending Future Cargo Aircraft (FCA) competition, says George Muellner, Boeing vice president for Air Force Systems.

A Boeing evaluation team has visited Antonov headquarters in Kiev, the Ukraine, and both companies remain in active discussions, says Muellner.

Antonov An-72

© Antonov / KSAMC

The FCA competition is on hold for two months to allow army officials time to discuss blending the programme with a US Air Force requirement for a new light cargo aircraft fleet. Muellner says Boeing's plans will not be decided until the army unveils the final requirements for FCA.

As another option, Boeing also is in discussions to Alenia to join the Global Military Aircraft Systems team that plans to offer the Alenia C-27J Spartan. Raytheon and EADS CASA North America also plan to compete, offering the CASA C-295, CN-235, or both, depending on the army's final requirements.

The An-72, if Boeing were to offer it, would be the only jet-powered aircraft in the competition.


Source: Flight International