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MOSCOW, January 19. /TASS/. Russia’s emergencies ministry has set up an air rescue company and purchased two new Sukhoi SuperJet 100 planes, the ministry’s press service said on Tuesday.
"The air rescue company of the Russian emergencies ministry was established in December 2015 to boost the level of rapid response to emergency situations, conduct special air rescue and search operations and to ensure swift airlifting of equipment and forces to the zones of accidents or disasters both in Russia and abroad," the press service said.
Over the month of its operation, the company has proved its efficiency. "Over this short period, flying time of the company’s aircraft has exceeded 100 hours. The company’s jets performed two international flights with humanitarian cargoes to Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, and delivered rescuers to Russia’s Irkutsk region and the republic of Buryatia, the seats of peat bog fires, and to the Orenburg region hit by severe snowstorm," the ministry said.
The ministry is replenishing its fleet of airplanes. Two new Sukhoi SuperJets have been bought for the air rescue company. "These jets are completing flight testing and are expected to be put into service after receiving an operation certificate in late January," the press service.
The company’s fleet as of today includes nine planes. "Along with the two new SuperJets, the company has five Il-76 and two An-148 planes," the ministry said, adding that transport planes would be replaced by new Il-76MD-90A planes within three years.
The ministry spokesman said it had not yet been decided where the company’s fleet would be based. Hence, the ministry did not confirm media reports saying the company would be based at Moscow’s Vnukovo-3 airport. "So far, this issue is being looked at, with all Moscow’s airports being discussed as possible base for the emergencies ministry’s air fleet," the spokesman said.