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GELENDZHIK, September 22. /TASS/. Russia may develop concept aircraft which is similar to An-124, super heavy transportation aircraft, in the next two years, Andrei Boginsky, Deputy Industry and Trade minister told reporters on the sideline of the Gidroaviasalon exhibition.
"There is no specific timing of when the project should be ready. The work is under way primarily with the Defense Ministry, because they will be customers of the aircraft. The work is now at the initial stage, the concept is being developed. I think it will take two years," he said adding that the Ilyushin Design Bureau is designing the concept.
At present, Russian operators have difficulties maintaining the airworthiness of An-124-100 Ruslan aircraft.
In September 2015, Ukraine’s Antonov Company, the producer of the An-124-100 Ruslan plane quitted the Ukrainian-Russian UAC-Antonov joint venture on order of Ukraine’s government.
Antonov Company is not providing maintenance for An-124-100 Ruslan aircraft.
The Antonov Company said that it was planning to declare these planes unsafe if Russia refused to service them on the company’s premises.
The Volga-Dnepr Company and the Aerospace Force are the main operators of the An-124 Ruslan plane in Russia.