Russian military to use civilian planes

Last Updated: Tue, Apr 03, 2012 03:50 hrs

Moscow, April 3 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Russia's military will use a civilian An-124 Ruslan Condor heavy-lift transport aircraft currently owned by large carriers, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said.

"Orders will be placed for dozens of aircraft - 60-70 Ruslans," he said.

It was not clear whether the military will pay for the use of cargo aircraft or simply commandeer them in the interest of national defence.

"If necessary, these machines can also work for the benefit of Russia's security," Rogozin said without elaborating.

In the future, at least 10 Ruslans will be built for the armed forces by 2020, he said.

The An-124, developed by the Antonov Design Bureau in 1982, has a maximum payload of 150 metric tonnes with a flight range of around 3,000 km. It is the world's third largest jet after the An-225 and the Airbus A380.

--IANS/RIA Novosti


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