Tag Archives: Ilyushin

Closure looms for famous Monino museum

The famous Monino aviation museum in Moscow may very well close its doors in the not-too-distant future and see parts of its unique collection of aircraft scrapped. A small number of airplanes could move to Kubinka airbase as part of the new ‘Patriot’ museum.

East of Moscow, Monino offers a fascinating collection of MiGs, Sukhois, Yakovlevs, Ilyuhsins and Tupolevs, many of them prototypes, early production models or otherwise rare aircraft. The museum is unique in every aspect, its number of exhibits not in the least. Many dozens of aircraft are on display.

New display

Moscow ordered the building of the new ‘Patriot’ museum near Kubinka airbase to the west of Moscow. The base is home to Russian Air Force flight testing. Construction for the new museum started in 2014, and the location is now ready for items to be displayed. These should include a number of aircraft from Monino, with the remainder at Monino possibly to be scrapped.

Fall apart

Many aircraft at Monino, especially the larger ones, are deemed unfit for any kind of transportation as they would likely fall apart in the process. The Monino museum has been short on funds for maintenance for years.

© 2016 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest
Featured image: An Antonov AN-14A at the Russian Air Force Museum in Monino in 2001 (Image © Alan Wilson)

India: “Only half the combat fleet operational”

On paper the Indian Air Force has roughly 700 fighter and strike jets, but in reality slightly only about half are operational raising concern about how effective the military of the 2nd largest population in the world is being protected.

The average aircraft availability measured over the entire year is about 50 to 55 percent, Defence officials have admitted towards the parliamentary committee on defence matters. About 20 percent of those jets are simply grounded because of the lack of spare parts, but Indian Air Force sources say that concerns mostly the older Soviet-era jets like the approx. 120 MiG-21 Bisons, 80 MiG-27 Bahadurs and 130 to 135 SEPECAT Shamshers (Jaguars).

An Indian Air Force Sukhoi Su-30 (Image © Marcel Burger)
An Indian Air Force Sukhoi Su-30 (Image © Marcel Burger)

Indian MiG-29, Mirage 2000 and Sukhoi Su-30MKI

What the status is on the 60 to 65 MiG-29 Baaz’s and the 56 Mirage 2000 Vajras and the almost 230 Sukhoi Su-30MKI is not fully known – but the Airheadsfly.com article on the IAF MiG-29 is still one of the best read pieces on our web. In 2014 the Sukhoi Su-30MKI fleet had huge problems and despite the issue has been addressed somewhat the India’s Auditor General still called the matter “unresolved” in August 2015.

Ilyushing/Beriev A-50 AWACS

The government watchdog authority also slashed the reputation of the Air Force’s three Ilyushin/Beriev A-50 AWACS aircraft. Lack of trained aircrew, lack of bases to operate from, lack of funds and resources for the aircraft maintenance have seriously hampered the effectiveness of the airborne radar and intelligence gathering platforms.

© 2016 Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger
Featured image (top): An Indian Air Force MiG-21 (Image © Indian Air Force)

Russia’s Pacific Fleet gets new AN-140 and IL-38s

The Russian Pacific Fleet naval aviation division is happy to receive a bunch of new and updated aircraft: consisting of AN-140-100s and IL-38s.

The first new Ukrainian designed but locally produced Antonov AN-140-100 joins the force this December, with a second machine in the first half of 2016, the Russian Ministry of Defence writes in a statement.

“Dolphin” detecting targets

During 2015 four modernized Ilyushin IL-38Ns made it back to operational duty with the Asian maritime force of “the Motherland”. Now on anti-submarine and maritime patrol duties the IL-38Ns are able to detect targets up to 49 nautical miles (90 km) and track them within a 173 nautical miles (320 km). The “Dolphin” – as the NATO-reporting name for the type goes – is even able to carry out attacks independently, carrying up to 9 tons of torpedoes or depth charges.

IL-38N bases

The Russian Ministry of Defence boasts the IL-38N has an increased capacity of four times the original aircraft. The Pacific Fleet’s IL-38s – old and new – operate from Yelizovo and Nikolayevka airbases.

Take-off of an AN-140-100 in Russian livery (Image © Aviacor)
Take-off of an AN-140-100 in Russian livery (Image © Aviacor)

Antonov AN-140-100 by Aviacor

The origin of the new AN-140-100s transport aircraft is not clear. Russia reportedly stopped production after its forces collided with the military of Ukraine inside Ukrainian borders supporting pro-Russian rebel forces. Ukraine is home of the Antonov aircraft factory and design bureau of the type. The new delivery may mean that Russia’s Aviacor is able to fulfill at least half of the latest full order of six aircraft with the machines that were believed not to make to the end of the production line before manufacturing was ended.

© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger
Featured image: A Russian Navy Ilyushin IL-38N ASW & patrol aircraft (Image © Russian Ministry of Defence)

Fleet-size upgrade Belarusian Air Force

The Belarusian Air Force started to upgrade almost its entire fleet of aircraft. The most ambitious part: to replace the 24 older MiG-29s “Fulcrum” combat jets with state-of-the-art Sukhoi Su-30SM “Flanker” aircraft between 2020 and 2030.

Airbrake out on this Belarusian Yak-130 (Image © Irkut)
RELATED POST: Belarus attack strategy – team up Yak-130 with Su-25

During a meeting with journalist from Belarusian state press agency BelTA Major-General Oleg Dvigalev, Chief of Staff of the Belarusian Air Force and Air Defence, said that his people already test-flew the Su-30SM during the recent MAKS International Airshow in Moscow.

Although the general did not say how many Flankers he would like the buy, we at Airheadsfly.com believe that the 13 MiG-29s upgraded to BM standard in the early 2000s will stay a bit longer, while up to 18 Su-30SMs will be purchased. The number is based on earlier statements by the Belarusian military leadership.

Rotary wing
Meanwhile the country’s rotary wing of 20 Mil Mi-35 attack helicopters and 5 Mi-26 heavy-lift choppers is expecting a boost with the arrival of 12 Mi-8MTV-5 choppers, the first six in 2016 and the second batch in 2017. They are an upgraded version of the 18 to 25 Mi-8/Mi-17s the Belarusian Air Force has already on strength and are expected to replace some of them.

Airlift and attack
One of the two Ilyushin IL-76 strategic airlifters is currently being brought back to airworthy status, while the second batch of four Yakovlev Yak-130 light attack and advanced jet trainers has been ordered some time ago. The backbone of the Belarusian Air Force’s ground attack capacity, between 40 and 68 operational Sukhoi Su-25 “Frogfoot” jets, will remain in service – as well as two to four Antonov An-26 transport aircraft and a handful of Mil Mi-2 utility helicopters.

© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger
Featured image (top): The Sukhoi Su-30SM (Cy-30CM) during a test flight (Image © Irkut)

Russia fields strategic water bombers in Siberia

With Winter turning into Spring many countries face the challenge of wildfires. Russia is no exception, where part of the emergency response is done by standard strategic airlifters: the Ilyushin IL-76TD and its cousins.

Three of these have lately been involved in extinguishing fires in Siberia, using VAP-2 spray tanks and installation. The Russian Emergency Response Ministery (MCHS Rossii) has the lead in these missions. The IL-76TD got support from an Russian Air Force IL-76 “Candid”, plus from the MCHS fleet two Beriev BE-200s amphibious firefighters, two Mil Mi-8 helicopters and a single big Mil Mi-26 helicopter. All combined they dropped 700,000 litres of water with the Air Force Candid providing a fifth of the anti-fire power.

The great thing with the big converted airlifters is that they are also used to transport necessary equipment, fire suppression substances and food/aid supplies to areas struck by the fires, about 100 tons in the case of recent the Siberian operations. By combining a relatively environmental-friendly retardant powder (OS-5) with 2.8 times more water the flames can be fought more effectively, while the powder increases the effect of the water on the ground and thereby reducing the number of sorties needed to combat the hazard.

VAP-2
Fire-fighter planes have been busy, with responding to wildfires in the Buryatia region earlier. Russia has been fielding the IL-76s in the fire-fighting role since 1992, with the design started in 1989. The current VAP-2 spray tank systems consists of two cylindrical tanks with each 21,000 litres capacity. The system is attached to the floor of the cargo compartment and can be rolled out/in the Candids by a wheeled trailer.

It takes about 1.5 to 2 hours to load and secure the fire-fighting system in the plane. About 25 minutes is used to fill the tanks once they’re in the plane. Typical drop altitudes are between 150 and 320 feet, with each retardant/water load taking about 6 to 8 seconds to be released onto the fire. The VAP-2 system is already compatible with Russia’s new IL-76MD-90A aircraft, without the need of any modifications.

Russia’s MCHS Rossii and Russian Air Force fire-fighting IL-76s are known to fly from the Pskov, Taganrog, Tver and Orenburg Airbases.

2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger, based on source information by Ilyushin Aircraft Company
Featured image: An Ilyushin IL-76 equipped as water bomber (Image © Russian Ministry of Defence)