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MOSCOW, October 5 (Itar-Tass) — On Thursday, Russia’s Defense Ministry signed an agreement on the purchase of 39 Ilyushin-476 transport jets. The contract worth about 140 billion rubles was signed at the Ulyanovsk region-based Aviastar-SP in the presence of Russian President Vladimir Putin. It was the biggest deal between the military and aircraft builders in the entire modern Russian history.
There was so much talk about this new Russian aircraft that President Putin arrived in the Ulyanovsk region to watch its first demo flight, writes the Komsomolskaya Pravda. The jet was known by many names while it was developed to finally be called Il-476. Last week, Russian Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov reported to the president that the project was a success. In his words, only two countries, Russia and the United States, have aircraft of this type. Ours is much better, he stressed. The Il-476 took off from the Ulyanovsk Vostochny airfield and safely landed after a fifteen-minute flight at an altitude of 500 meters, the newspaper writes.
Later in the day, president Putin held a conference on the formation of consolidated orders for commercial and military aircraft of the Russian make till the year 2020, the Rossiiskaya Gazeta daily writes. “We made an arrangement on signing this contract to the tune of 140 billion rubles covering 39 jets,” Putin said. The state has pledged to help United Aircraft Corporation (UAC)-Transport Planes establish mass production of Ilyushin-476 jets. “Both the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Defense will be instructed to grant state guarantees to the company to ensure mass production,” Putin promised.
After the conference, chief of the presidential staff Sergei Ivanov said that the president had ordered to begin the formation of a pool of potential Il-76MD-90A buyers within three weeks, the Kommersant notes. Apart from that, he added, the Defense Ministry’s order for 39 jets is to be supplemented by orders for 100 such aircraft for other ministries to have the Aviastar facility work at its full capacity till 2018.