The Russian naval air forces in the Baltics will soon receive at least two new Ukranian built Antonov AN-140-100 turboprop cargo aircraft, sources from the Western Military District told press agency RIA Novosti.
The aircraft has been built under license by Russian Aviacor. Another six AN-140s will be distributed amongst the other air units of the four Russian fleets, the first already having been delivered in April 2013. Apart from transporting regular cargo, the AN-140 can be equipped with special mission gear for maritime patrol and special operations. Its range with 6 tons of cargo is about 2,000 kilometers (1,080 nautical miles).
The military AN-140-100 derives from the civilian passenger aircraft, of which only about a dozen fly in the Ukraine and Russia. Compared to the first version of the type the -100 has a bigger wingspan, giving it better flying characteristics. The type has been successfully test-flown in landing conditions from minus 55 degrees Celsius to plus 45. The aircraft is certified to operate from the airfield located at 2,500 m (7,500 feet) above sea level.
In the passenger role the AN-140-100 can carry up to 52 people plus crew at a maximum cruising speed of 291 knots (540 kmh) up to almost 23,000 feet (7,600 meters). The arrival of the An-140 is part of a wider build-up of Russian military air, ground and naval forces in the Baltics, meaning NATO’s Baltic Air Policing mission will have something extra to do in the future.
Source: RAI Novosti/Antonov