Russia seeking for Antonov An-26 replacement

As reports, the Russian MoD has announced that it started to look for a replacement of the Antonov An-26 (NATO codename: Curl) plane.

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Twin-engined turboprop aircraft are slowly coming to an end of their service life. What is more – they start to become obsolete. Yurij Borisov, the vice-minister for Russian defence has informed that two airplanes are considered to be the replacement for the old 26.

Two options are currently considered to replace the aircraft that has been in service since 1970s.

The first option is a transport derivative of An-140-100, which is to be a replacement for An-24/An-26. It was developed in Aviacor facility in Samara. It already has many users, what is more back in 2011 the Russian Air Force ordered a few of these in a passenger version. The transport version is able to handle 6 tons of load.

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The alternative is the Il-112 by Ilyushin from WASO facility in Woronez. This design has been through many ups and downs, since despite it won the contest for An-26 replacement, the programme was hampered and ultimately put on hold back in 2011.

The Russian AF bought 7 pieces of An-140 instead and the programme was brought back to life last year.

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No specific requirements as to the contract were given. The contest is still going on.

In the Polish Air Force An-26s were replaced by CASA C-295 airplanes.

Nonetheless, employing European design in Russia would be quite impossible, as Russia is governed by its own rights and the politics aim at supporting local companies.

Jacek Siminski for TheAviationist

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About Jacek Siminski
Standing contributor for TheAviationist. Aviation photojournalist. Co-Founder of Expert in linguistics, Cold War discourse, Cold War history and policy and media communications.