A higher-thrust derivative of the Rolls-Royce Deutschland BR710 engine is the lead contender to power the proposed Indian-Russian Multirole Transport Aircraft (MTA), according to NPK Irkut chairman Aleksei Fiodorov.

Irkutsk Aircraft Production Association - part of Irkut - Ilyushin and India's Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) are developing the twin-turbofan MTA, to be known as the Ilyushin Il-214 in Russian service.

Aviadvigatel's PS-12, a PS-90A derivative, was earlier considered to be the likely choice for the aircraft, but India requires more power for hot-and-high operations (Flight International 30 April-6 May 2002).

The PS-12 was proposed after the ZMKB Progress D-436 and the PS-9 were dropped due to India's requirements. The PS-12, like the PS-9, is derived from PS-90 technology, and is understood to remain in the competition to power the Il-214. So far the only military application for the BR710 is the BAE Systems Nimrod MRA4 maritime patrol aircraft.

The MTA is being pitched as the replacement for Russia's ageing inventory of Antonov An-12 and An-26/32 turboprop transports. The combined Indian and Russian market is estimated at 170 aircraft.

Although full-scale development of the MTA has not been formally launched, Ilyushin has begun the preliminary design phase. HAL, Irkut-controlled Beriev and possibly Yakovlev are due to join the programme at launch. MTA production would be split 50:50 between India and Russia, as would the estimated$300 million development cost. A joint venture would be established to manage the project, with Irkut, Ilyushin, HAL and Russia's state arms agency Rosoboronexport among its members.

HAL is to manufacture fins, horizontal tailplanes and canards for 22 Sukhoi Su-30MKI multirole fighters to be delivered by NPK Irkut to the Indian air force over the next two years. The contract also covers parts to upgrade 18 Su-30Ks delivered to India in 1998-9 to MKI standard. The deal is separate to the 2000 agreement to assemble 140 aircraft at HAL from 2004. NPK Irkut says moving airframe parts production to India reduces costs and helps to fulfil Su-30 and Be-200 orders.

Source: Flight International