Military Review

Foreign view of the Russian military transport potential

Since the end of 2015, Russia has carried out a number of expeditionary operations in Syria, relying on aging military transport aviation and offshore platforms. If it is not possible to correct previous unsuccessful attempts to replace them, the country risks losing the opportunity to conduct such operations over the next ten years, writes Tom Waldwin, an employee of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), in the article “Russian military lift risks atrophy”.

Heavy transport aircraft An-124-100 "Ruslan" (registration number RA-82035, serial number 05-09) VKS Rossii.Moskva, 07.05.2017 (c) Alexey (other) / (link)

The current Russian military transport equipment is only part of the one that was in service with the Soviet Union at the time of the end of the Cold War (aviation - 1/5, naval - a quarter from fleet early 1990s). Moreover, the Russian Armed Forces rely on aircraft and ships designed and built during the Soviet period, most of which are nearing the end of their service lives.

Foreign view of the Russian military transport potential

Military transport aviation

Russian capabilities in the field of heavy air cargo transportation are based on three types of aircraft: An-22 Antey, Il-76 and An-124 Ruslan. An-22 made its first flight in 1965 year, IL-76 - in 1971, An-124 - in 1982. By the end of the Soviet era, projects were being considered to create a new generation of military transport aircraft, but with the collapse of the USSR they were curtailed.

The Antonov aircraft manufacturing enterprise is located in Ukraine, and military-technical cooperation between Moscow and Kiev was abruptly stopped with the annexation of Crimea to Russia in 2014. At the end of 2013, the countries discussed the issue of resuming the production of An-124. Only a small part of the An-22 aircraft remains flightable, with efforts being made to extend their service life to 2020 year.

Much more numerous is the Il-76 aircraft fleet, which serve as the workhorses of the Russian HQs. The aircraft was at the center of the modernization effort, but the results remain modest. From 2002, two IL-76MD aircraft were upgraded to the IL-76MD-90 version, and the original D-30 turbofan engines were replaced by PS-90А. Updates touched and avionics equipment. However, this project is also in a state of uncertainty.

At the end of 2006, Russia decided to transfer the production of IL-76 from Tashkent to the Aviastar plant in Ulyanovsk and began developing a significantly improved version called IL-76MD-90А. This will be a new aircraft, and not just a modernization of the existing design. The first flight tests of the prototype were conducted in September 2012 of the year. The following month, Aviastar received a contract worth 139,4 billion rubles for the construction of the 39 Il-76MD-90А aircraft with a delivery period from 2014 to 2020. As of mid-year 2017, only three of the 39 aircraft were transferred.

At the end of 2012, the Russian Ministry of Defense issued PJSC Aviation Complex. S.V. Ilyushin "contract worth 3,4 billion rubles for the modernization of IL-76MD standard IL-76MD-M. This project included the upgrading of avionics to the level of IL-76MD-90А, but did not imply the replacement of the D-30 engine. The goal was to extend the life of the aircraft by another 15 years. Today, this project is behind schedule.

With a view to the long-term perspective, Moscow has once again begun to consider the possibility of improving its military transport fleet as part of the project "Perspective Aviation Complex of Transport Aviation" (PAK TA). Ilyushin, it seems, has returned to the developments of 1980's and the beginning of 1990's under the IL-106 project, but it is still difficult to judge the pace and progress in this work. The company is also working on the Il-112 light turboprop transport aircraft, as well as the Il-214 turbofan military transport aircraft. The first is intended to replace the An-26, and the second - An-12.

Naval military transport equipment

The prospects for Russian naval military transport technology are worse than in the area of ​​strategic military transport aviation. Currently, the Russian amphibious fleet is represented by two types of ships: the four remaining large amphibious ships of the 1171 project, which were put into operation during the period from 1966 to 1975, and also the large amphibious assault ships of the 775 project, which entered service in the 1976-1991 years. Half of these ships are assigned to the Black Sea Fleet. In 2004, the first of the planned new series of ships of the 11711 "Ivan Gren" project was laid. The lead ship, which was scheduled for commissioning in the 2008 year, is currently undergoing sea trials, and the second ship, which is expected to be delivered in the 2018 year, has not yet been launched. At the end of the 1980-ies, the Nevsky PKB developed the universal landing ship of the 11780 project, however, as in the case with the aforementioned IL-106, the matter did not get further.

In 2011, Russia attempted to improve naval military transport equipment by signing an agreement with France to purchase two universal landing craft of the Mistral type. However, the deal was canceled at the end of 2014, due to the French postponement of the order in response to the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.

The first ship of the 11711 project is likely to be commissioned later this year, but in the coming 10-15 years, such a large number of vehicles will need to be replaced, so that the apparent lack of a plan to continue building ships of this class or switching to a new project may lead to loss opportunities in Russia in this area.

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  1. Winnie the Pooh
    Winnie the Pooh 12 July 2017 15: 15
    All this is sad.
    1. B.T.V.
      B.T.V. 12 July 2017 15: 39
      Quote: vinipuh
      All this is sad.

      Eat a chocolate bar.
      1. Titsen
        Titsen 13 July 2017 07: 06
        Quote: B.T.W.
        Eat a chocolate bar.

        Limnov, not a chocolate bar, so that he doesn’t see happy faces!
    2. Titsen
      Titsen 13 July 2017 07: 04
      Quote: vinipuh
      All this is sad.


      Plaster is removed, the client leaves!
    3. IV19S
      IV19S 13 July 2017 15: 07
      All this is sad.

      It’s sad another thing, information recently appeared on the Internet that Israel does not have nuclear weapons at all, that is, a bluff that was beneficial to both the United States and Israel at the end of the Arab-Israeli wars.
      There is no comment about the source .... the grandmother in the bazaar whispered that she sells fried seeds, these are the slalom things ... you don’t have nuclear potential and this is really sad, but sad for you.
      1. Walanin
        Walanin 14 July 2017 11: 46
        Well, if someone wrote on the Internet, then certainly it is wink
        1. IV19S
          IV19S 14 July 2017 14: 21
          ))) Tyrnet are different laughing
  2. gorsten79
    gorsten79 12 July 2017 15: 50
    They forgot about the An-12.
    1. Oznob
      Oznob 12 July 2017 16: 24
      shhh ... they just don't know ... it's a secret ... military secret ...
  3. ADmA_RUS
    ADmA_RUS 12 July 2017 16: 39
    Why didn’t the charts and tables of capabilities of the NATO armies bring?
  4. Turgon
    Turgon 12 July 2017 17: 03
    Fair and to the point of problems.
  5. Radikal
    Radikal 12 July 2017 17: 07
    Quote: ADmA_RUS
    Why didn’t the charts and tables of capabilities of the NATO armies bring?

    Then it will become even sadder for you! hi And the rest, I think - too!
    1. DiKoff
      DiKoff 13 July 2017 10: 57
      Exactly - in addition to transport workers, the United States has more than 300 tiltrotopes, the United States can’t talk about NATO
      1. Abel
        Abel 13 July 2017 11: 50
        Do you mean Osprey? So eat it yourself: expensive and tasteless
      2. serezhasoldatow
        serezhasoldatow 14 July 2017 10: 16
        Something I do not remember the successful use of NATO this potential.
    2. ADmA_RUS
      ADmA_RUS 15 July 2017 15: 53
      And for this they use our aircraft to transfer equipment to Afghanistan? Nude Nude.
  6. faiver
    faiver 12 July 2017 17: 23
    Well, in terms of transport aircraft, the amers have only s-17 fresher than ours ... but quantitatively they re-give it at once, yes ...
    1. Chilean Abalon
      Chilean Abalon 12 July 2017 20: 20
      C-130J Super Hercules is available now.
  7. Vadim237
    Vadim237 12 July 2017 21: 57
    This is definitely a disaster, there are no transport planes.
  8. Music
    Music 12 July 2017 22: 47
    One hope is the new IL-112. There will be no ships, so the war on the far arc will end
    1. DiKoff
      DiKoff 13 July 2017 10: 57
      2 planes a year - we have technology and production just a stone age ((
      1. uskrabut
        uskrabut 13 July 2017 13: 56
        For that manageroff is full! That's where the strategic reserve is! Kaaak come out! Yes, kaaak all win!
  9. Brushing
    Brushing 13 July 2017 14: 06
    Yeah ... uzhzhzhzh ... sad .... sad
    1. Bubarius
      Bubarius 13 July 2017 23: 30
      Why is that sad?) You just have to dump the whole country on an aircraft carrier, business then)
  10. VladimS
    VladimS 14 July 2017 01: 54
    And if you succeed?
    Author, eat a tie?
  11. serezhasoldatow
    serezhasoldatow 14 July 2017 10: 14
    They do not care about our transporters. It is good that in the near future we do not have to massively use this type of aircraft.
  12. servant.
    servant. 16 July 2017 07: 20
    Not just a little, critically little .....