Russian defence ministry is other potential customer for regional turboprop

Malaysia has asked Sukhoi to submit a proposal for a maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) based on the S-80 regional turboprop. The country is seeking a maritime patrol capability to bolster four Raytheon Beech King Airs and Lockheed Martin C-130s, which are not equipped with a mission system.

An S-80 MPA would have a 10h endurance and be based on the planned armed variant equipped with the Strizh surveillance and weapon-aiming system.

Sukhoi says Malaysia is interested in an S-80 MPA as the turboprop is built at the KnAAPO factory in Komsomolsk-am-Amur, in Russia's Far East, a region with which Malaysia wants co-operation programmes. Malaysia has also studied the Beriev Be-103 twin-piston amphibian, produced by KnAAPO, for licence production.

Malaysia has also been offered EADS Casa, L-3 Communications and Thales mission systems to be fitted to the C-130s or the country's EADS Casa/Indonesian Aerospace CN235Ms, while Alenia has offered the MPA variant of the ATR 42 (Flight International, 16-22 April).

The only airworthy S-80 made its first flight in September last year and has since made 30 test flights, says S-80 chief designer Gennady Litvinov.

Four airframes are in final assembly at KnAAPO. These differ from the prototype in having a 1.4m longer fuselage. The first will be completed by the third quarter of next year for structural testing while two airworthy aircraft will be completed by the end of 2003, and one in 2004. The certification programme calls for 900 flights to be completed in 2004.

Sukhoi's other potential military customer is the Russian defence ministry which is evaluating the aircraft against the Ilyushin Il-112V and RSK MiG-110, as well as a new Myasishchev design.

The Russian military version is likely to be powered by the 1,860kW (2,500shp) Klimov TV7-117S in place of the 1,300kW General Electric CT7-9B on the civil variant.

Litvinov says the 1,120kW NPO Saturn TVD-1500 was dropped from consideration as it is underpowered for the stretched version.


Source: Flight International