Sunday, September 12, 2010

Indo-Russian JV for MRTA was signed

As Russian RIAN and ITAR-TASS news agencies reported, the Indo-Russian agreement for prospective medium transport aircraft development and building was signed in Moscow.
Under the deal, each party will pay $300.35 million to the JV's charter capital. Unfortunately the official English translation did not include some details, then worth to add some points.

Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) and United Aircraft Building Company expected to sign a deal in March during Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's visit to New Delhi, but India failed to get the paperwork ready and the signing was delayed.

- HAL will have 50% of the shares, UAC - 25% and RosOboronExport - 25%.
Manufacturing facilities will be set up both in Russia and in India. A total of 205 planes are to be made, 30% of which may be exported to third countries.

- As the MRTA Russian aircraft design house 'Ilushin' chief Victor Livanov said at the briefing, the Russian AF plan to purchase 100 planes and India - 45. It will allow to gain the manufacturing without losses. If taking the  into consideration the World civil market the prospective level of sells can gain 390 aircrafts. 'The niche of 20 t payload is the most essential on the market. MTA will become the An-12 successor' -  he add: 'First time the countries will develop, sell, give service and utilization for a transport plan'. On the first step the common engineering center will be organized in Moscow, and the Indo-Russian team will start the sketch projecting. After that on the stage of work project the aircraft will be divided to compartments, each of which will be designed by different teams composed with UAC and HAL engineers. 

 Russia and India signed an intergovernmental agreement on the joint development and manufacturing of the Medium Transport Aircraft (MTA) in 2007.

- 'This is the first step towards JV setting according to the intergovernmental decision' - the vice-president of the Federal State Office for Military-technological Cooperation Alexander Fomin said on the briefing. As the HAL chief Ashok Nayak added the Indo-Russian JV with the name 'MTA Limited' will be established and registered in India in 2 months (in Bangalore as reported in India), and will have its filial office in Russia. I personally evaluate the localisation point as a big victory for Indian air-building industry and a possible cause for why the negotiations were going so long.

The first MTA is expected to make its maiden flight in 2016-18.

- First time they declared a clear schedule for the work, which sounds rather realistic in my eyes. The new medium transport aircraft will have advanced aerodynamics, option for 5th gen high-bypass turbofan installing with possibility for 4th gen engine installation too. Its planned full load range is 2250 km. The part of composites in its airframe structure is yet decided. Considering   new composite manufacturing lines are under the construction in India and Russia, and will be ready till 2013,  the new plane at least will have composite wings.


  1. With all due respect to this project, the MTA has been delayed by several years now and in hindsight it would have been better for India to drop out of the discussions and join the Brazilian C-390 project instead. It has superior specifications to the Il-214 and would have been capable of airlifting IFVs like the BMP-3, for instance.

  2. Gautam,
    India has no BMP-3 for instance. MTA and C390 have 19% different weight, 68 t for MTA and 81 - for C390 - a big difference!

    If India needed more heavy weight for MTA, it would reflected in its specification. In fact India is satisfied with current specifications.

  3. BTW, Gautam,
    c390 Capacity: Length 12.68 m (41.6 ft) x Width 3.35 m (11 ft) x Height 2.94 m (9.64 ft)

    while MTA will have the same width and height with il-76 i.e 3.4 and 3.45 m, so who is more roomy ?

  4. I remember reading about using a modified An-148 as a new cargo plane for the Russian airforce. Will this plane fulfill the same requirement or is it in a different class?

  5. to Eric:
    An-148 - is in reality a passenger version of old An-74 plane. So no need for reverse conversion, just its specs dont satisfy Ru AF.

  6. I believe the 5 gen engine being proposed is the PD-14A an advanced variant of PD-14 will also power the MS-21

    Igor can you find out the progress on this engine ? And does it compare with PS-90A ?

  7. How does the PD-14 compare to Western engines like the BR715 and CFM56? It seems to be out of date in comparison. I had read earlier that the Indians were interested in adopting a Western engine for their version of MTA?

  8. to Gautam:

    BR715 - is just another thrust class engine, 80-90 kn while MTA need 120-140 kn. As regards to CFM56, their bypass ratio is 5.5-6.6 depending of the model while PD-14 has 8.5-8.9. Thus PD-14 will be more economic on taking-off and medium speed (most important for transport aircraft) with guarantee.

  9. Austin:
    The progress in PD-14 serial is rather good. They reportedly finish the new 5th generation engine core design, '2nd Gate'. Different participants Saturn - fan and low pressure compressor. Salut - gear box. Motor-Such cooperates in low emission combuster camera and possibly - in open rotor wariant with same core (on the next step of development). PD-14A - is just the designation for derated 125 kn version, and PD-14M - fore the uprated 155 kn version. MTA mostly fits PD-14A version. First engine - 2012, certification - 2014, serial production - 2015 period.

  10. Nice thanks for the info.

    Is it possible for you to write an article on the latest PS-90 series engine and PD-14 with latest info at your disposal plus a comparison on how this 5th Gen PD-14 engine is better and scores over the 4th gen PS-90A in different parameters ?

    Can you confirm that Russia has canceled IL-112V Light Transport Aircraft project ?

    Also if you get time a good write up on latest Mi-17 series and Mi-38 development will be good.

  11. to Eric in addition to previous: An-74 and An-76 - both have very similar airframe with An-148 too. But their body is not wide enough. The crucial point of MRTA program is the body wide as Il-76 at least or even slightly more but with only half length. It would be very comfort for the user (IAF and RuAF).

  12. ==Can you confirm that Russia has canceled IL-112V Light Transport Aircraft project ?==

    - No it has not. MoD just took the time out in financing and started financial revision of the program. The program was financed almost fully, just $25 mln remained to pay for first 4 planes manufacturing, they are in different stage of assembly on VASO (Voronezh) . So most probably they will follow this program after some slams. Recently they planned to make the first in 2010 and start serial prod in 2011. However, the last rumor said the engine TV117 is not powerful enough and they bother to find other engine for serial planes, prob the Ukrainian one. It could be OK since Motor-Sich has one with 4000 hp against 3500 hp of TV117.

  13. I know this is a complete tangent, but I was wondering if you knew anything about the Il-106 program.
    The little info I have read suggests it would be a C-17 class aircraft with an 80 ton payload which would make it an ideal future replacement for the An-22s and even the Il-76s now that the An-70s are going forward.
    I have read the engines for the Il-106 were already ready and had impressive performance with the cancellation of the Il-106 program being the problem.
    I am guessing the shift of the Army to mobility and wheeled vehicles and the turn away from heavy tanks like the T-95 might negatively impact Il-106 development, but I also think this aircraft class would kill on the export market where its only competition is the ridiculously expensive C-17.

  14. BTW I'd also like to read about the PS-90A engine, and I heard they were offering a much cheaper upgrade of the original engine that offered significant improvements in performance but at much lower costs.
    Another article I would enjoy reading would be an article on the R-27 series of missiles.
    Is there another comparable family out there?
    The R-27 and R-27E series rocket types, with seeker options from SARH, IR, and passive radar homing, plus the special models for use over water for the Su-33, and the other special models for older upgraded aircraft like the Mig-21-98 and the Mig-23-98, and of course the active radar homing models, all of which actually exist, and then there are the speculation models like the proposed model (by Carlos Kopp) with an ARH seeker fitted to an R-73 sitting on top of an R-27E booster as a two stage missile with high terminal manoeuvre capability and long range, and various IIR and optically guided models... even an jet fuel sniffing model like the diesel sniffing sensors used to find WWII diesel submarines!

  15. Igor it seems the alternative engine proposed for MS-21 which is Pratt & Whitney's PW1000G geared turbofan is much more sophisticated and fuel efficient than the Aviadvigatel PD-14 twin-shaft turbofan.

    Much of the claim of MS-21 fuel efficiency is based on the use of American engine , Can you confirm this ?

    Check the link

  16. to Austin:
    True, MS-21 will initially fly on PW1000G and the engines for the first batch are already contracted. PD-14 will be ready on the second step only.
    About 'sophistication' of PW1000G: they did not yet finish the works on their prospective 5th gen core (correct me if I'm wrong). So it's remain on question, whether they achieve the proclaimed parameters and when.

  17. Yes the PW1000G have already started their test flights , you can check the details here

    The PW1000G compared to PD-14 is almost couple of generations ahead and the claimed advantage of MS-21 is only via the PW1000G engine.

    The MS-21 will be offered with two different engine , so customer who cannot buy US products or are banned from buying can use the Russian PD-14 Engine.

    For eg Iran was forbidden to buy the Tu-204 with Western Engine and had to opt for Russian PS-90 engine.

    Can you do a comparision chart for MS-21 with PW1000G and PD-14 engine and the advantage and disadvantage using both the engines ?

  18. ^^

    Yup I agree the PW GTF is far more advanced than PD-14 though PD-14 is more advanced than ANY currently flying western engine which is a huge huge achievement.This is why it is ideal to use it for reengining IL-76 (at least 1000 units),in addition to powering AEW/Anti sub variants of the MC-21 for the RuAF.

    As a commercial engine it just isn't competetive with GTF,LEAP56 and RB282.

    So I think Russia should forget about flying civil MC-21 on PD-14 and thus ending commercial competetiveness.

    Iran won't get MC-21 anyway because it has US rockwell collins avionics and other parts and thus will be unservicable due to sanctions even with PD-14 engine.

  19. At the end of the day it will likely get new engines fitted during its operational life time so the engines it starts out with is not very important.

  20. Igor do you have any latest info on the status of NK-93 engine program ?

    Is that program still funded or cancelled.