Ignore Russia took control of the Crimean peninsula in 2014 for a few moments, ignore the ongoing fights in Ukraine’s eastern areas with Russian troop, intelligence and command & control involvement. The Russian military is still building its logistic strength on the legacy from the country it has been trying to destabilize for years. For its short-haul fixed-wing flights.
Designed and originally made by Antonov in Ukrainian Kiev, the new Antonov AN-140-100 turboprop aircraft is still finding its way to units of the Russian armed forces, be it in small numbers. The latest passenger and cargo aircraft of the type went to the Russian Navy’s Pacific Fleet, on 14 February this year.
How many officially are in service is hard to say. Moscow planned to have at least 20 operational, but after the conflict with Ukraine resulted in an industrial break-up between Antonov and the Russian partners, the air frames already in Russia are planned to be finished with solely Russian equipment. As far as our sources go, we estimate the number of operational AN-140-100s within the Russian armed forces to be between 8 and 14, but Moscow wishes for more. Russian Aviacor is believed to deliver at least six of the machines it had on its premises in various stages of unfinished construction.
The AN-140-100 is able to transport up to 52 people or about 19,000 lbs (about 8,500) of cargo (including fuel weight) over 2,290 miles (3,700 km) of distance. It can operate from unpaved airstrips, which makes it an ideal aircraft to operate in island rich environments where unprepared or short airstrips are common.
The Russian Ministry of Defence confirmed it has ordered 150 new Yakovlev Yak-152 advanced primary trainers early this month.
The new machine desigend by Yakovlev is produced by Irkut, where the first three aircraft are currently being pieced together (see image published by RIA Novosti here). The highly maneouvrable aicraft is said to be able to sustain G-loads up to +9 or -7, although with a crew of two it will be one G less, both positive and negative. The Yak-152 has been designed to be easily recoverable even when mishandled during flight and is not only to teach future pilots basic and advanced skills, but aerobatic and normal combat maneouvres as well.
Aided by multi-functional LCDs, with a triple redundancy of flight and navigation equipment and a flight information and performance data recorder the Yak-152 does lack a pressurized cockpit. IT can take off from both hardened as well as soft air strips, with a take-off run as short as about 705 feet (concrete) to 780 feet (grass/ground). For landing it needs 1260 feet (concrete) or 1125 feet (grass/ground).
The new trainer will be able to fly at standard speeds up to 189 knots (350 km/h), but is able to sustain as much as 269 knots (500 km/h) and its has a sustained climb rate of 30 feet/sec. Its service ceiling is 12,000 feet and the maximum flight range is 930 miles (1,500 km). The projected service life is 30,000 landings, or 10,000 flight hours. To reduce costs the Yak-152 is powered by a diesel, rather than a kerosine, engine.
Irkut plans to have two test planes flying, with another two to be used for ground and airframe tests. The first production aircraft are expected to be delivered to the Russian armed forces in 2017, where they will likely replace older Yak-52s of which about 300 are operational.
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.
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.
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.
The Russian Ministry of Defence decided to give the Russian Naval Aviation’s carrier based fighters a frontline task between the cruises of the Navy’s sole aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov.
Starting this week the Northern Fleet’s Sukhoi Su-33 (“Flanker-D”) jets fly regular all-weather patrol duties of the Russian Kola peninsula, the Arctic part of mainland Russia bordering with Norway and Finland.
The roughly 12 to 16 operational jets (out of an official strength of 24) of the 279th Shipborne Fighter Aviation Regiment fly the missions mainly from Severomorsk-3, their home base 15 miles (24 km) east of the city of Murmansk; a short flight of roughly 80 miles (135 km) to the Norwegian border.
Earlier the fighter jocks that operate from the heavy aircraft carrier Kuznetsov flew training missions in between cruises.
The Russian Navy is to receive the last of 20 MiG-29K Fulcrums this year, the Ministry of Defense in Moscow reported on Sunday 26 July. The final delivery will conclude a contract signed in 2012. The Fulcrums are meant to operate from Russia’s aircraft carrier Admiral Admiral Kuznetsov.
In Russia, the MiG-29K is seen as a replacement for older Sukhoi Su-33 Flankers operating from the Kuznetsov. The type was developed in partnership with India, which has ordered a total of 45 MiGs for its navy. Among these are MiG-29KUB two-seater variants.
The Russian ministry of Defense has stated the MiG-29K will be used to equip a new unit within the Northern naval fleet.