India and Russia stops co-develop new military transport plane

Photo by Ilyushin Aviation Complex
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India and Russia may stop co-develop of new Multi-role Transport Aircraft Ltd (MTAL) medium-airlift military transport aircraft. That was reported by The Hindu.

According to The Hindu, the Indo-Russian Transport Aircraft project to jointly design a transport aircraft for militaries of both nations has been grounded since a year.

It may now be just a matter of time before Multi-role Transport Aircraft Ltd. (MTAL), the Indo-Russian company that was to have spawned India’s own military transport aircraft, is wound up.

The closure of the company, when it happens, will formally bury a decade-old plan to co-design and co-develop a cargo/transport plane for the armed forces of the two nations.

The project appears to have gone cold at least a year ago and there has been no official word on the status of the government-to-government deal, whereas Russia is reportedly going ahead with its new plane for its armed forces, according to sources.

MTAL, which has been idle for almost two years, has a CEO, a company secretary and a head of finance.

The board of Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), which is an equal partner in the venture, may take the matter to its closure once it gets the nod, it is learnt.

A hint of this came during the February Aero India 2017, when HAL chairman and managing director T. Suvarna Raju said, “The MTA (Multi-role Transport Aircraft) project is not progressing well. As of now, no work is going on and it is currently in the ‘stop’ mode. We will be knowing about its future in the current year.”

It was up to the two governments to look at options, he said.

The MTA or also named  Ilyushin Il-214, was intended to replace the Indian Air Force’s ageing fleet of Antonov An-32 transport aircraft. It is designed to perform regular transport duties and also to deploy paratroopers.

On 13 January 2016, Russian state media reported that Ilyushin had “frozen” the Russian-Indian project, and that Russia would assume full responsibility for detailed design and production of the aircraft.

Also, Ukrainian Antonov company signed an agreement with Reliance Defence in April 2016 for joint production of their platforms in India, makes aircraft that can play both civil and military roles. The Indian company Reliance Defence Limited and Ukrainian State Enterprise Antonov on 27 April 2016, signed a memorandum of cooperation with the purpose of placing on the market of India of aircraft of different purposes on the basis of the An-148 / An-158.

The agreement was signed on the results of participation in the exhibition of arms Ukroboronprom and technology DefExpo-2016 in India, and the negotiation process with GP Spetstehnoeksport. Reliance Defence Limited, together with Antonov will participate in the tender of the Government of India for supply of aircraft. In case of winning the tender, which is scheduled for this summer, it plans to create a joint venture with the further localization of production in India.

There are two types of aircraft. In the first case India was talking about the An-178 type of aircraft. Indians are interested in at least 200 types of such aircraft. The other machine was the short runway and a turbofan engine, such as the An-132.

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