Ilyushin has been selected to meet the Russian air force's requirement for a next-generation airlifter, beating the RSK MiG MiG-110, Sukhoi S-80 and a Tupolev design.

Development is included in Russian president Vladimir Putin's 2002-10 armament programme and allocated state funding from next year. Air force commander Gen Vladimir Mikhailov says the aircraft's specification will be "shortly" handed over to the developer. The outline specification calls for a 6,000kg (13,215lb) payload and a 6,000km (3,240nm) range.

The Il-112VT will have two high-power derivatives of the Klimov TV7-117S engine, used on the Ilyushin Il-114 regional turboprop, providing a higher cruise speed and greater range than the Antonov An-26, which the new aircraft is intended to replace.

The Il-112VT will have a larger cabin cross-section, 2.4 x 2.4m (8 x 8ft), and a rear ramp. The ability to operate from 800-1,000m unprepared strips is also required.

The Russian defence ministry estimates a need for 100-120 aircraft by 2010. The commercial market is estimated at 200 units and production will be carried out at the VASO plant in Voronezh.

Meanwhile, Ilyushin general director Victor Livanov says the company will offer the Il-214 for the Russian air force medium airlifter competition expected later this year. The 55,000kg maximum take-off weight Il-214 is based on the MTA being jointly developed by India's Hindustan Aeronautics and Russia's NPK Irkut and Ilyushin. The Rolls-Royce BR710 is favoured to power the MTA, while the Il-214 will have a Russian engine.

Source: Flight International