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ULYANOVSK, October 4 (Itar-Tass) – Russia’s Defense Ministry has signed an agreement on a batch purchase of Ilyushin-476 transport jets, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday.
“We made an arrangement on signing this contract to the tune of 140 billion rubles /USD 1=RUB 32.5/ covering 39 jets,” Putin said at a conference discussing the formation of consolidated orders for commercial and military aircraft.
“I’d like to say this is the largest order in the so far brief /post-Soviet/ history of the Russian aircraft manufacturing industry,” he said.
The agreement was signed in Putin’s presence right in the course of the conference.
Putin said Ilyushin-476 was practically the first entirely new jet designed by Russian aircraft makers over the past 21 years.
He called the audiences’ attention to the fact that the efforts to make the new aircraft airworthy had taken six years.
“This is not just making a rehabilitated Ilyushin-76 airborne again,” Putin said. “In essence, the transport jet is absolutely new, as 70% of its units have been revamped.”
The technical characteristics of the aircraft exceed those of the Ilyushin-76 in what concerns reliability, the cruising range, fuel economy, and payload /20 tons more/.
Putin added along with it that the Ilyushin-476’s enjoy a high demand and he feels confident therefore that it will be much needed inside Russia and in the partner countries.