IL-214 Multirole Transport Aircraft, Russian Federation
IL-214 is a twin-engine, multipurpose medium range military transport aircraft designed and being manufactured jointly by United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) of Russia and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) of India. The aircraft is suitable for military as well as commercial operations. It is being built to meet requirements of the Russian Air Force (RAF) and Indian Air Force (IAF).
The aircraft will supersede the obsolete fleet of Antonov An-12, An-26 and An-27s in the RAF. It will also replace the 110 An-32s currently in service with the IAF. The maiden flight of the IL-214 is expected to take place in 2014, with service entry planned for 2016.
The IL-214 can carry out passenger transport, paratroop deployment and medical evacuation missions both day and night even in hostile environments. It can take-off from and land on elevated airfields such as unprepared airstrips and unpaved runways including grass, mud and snow.
The IAF is planning to procure 45 IL-214 aircraft. The RAF will acquire 105 IL-214s by 2020.
Development of the IL-214 transport aircraft
Governments of India and Russia signed a 50:50 joint venture agreement in 2000 for the $600m IL-214 development project. The project includes design and development of the IL-214T transport aircraft and a 100-seater civilian variation, IL-214-100 passenger version, for which HAL will be the prime contractor.
The IL-214 was initially designated as IRTA-21 by HAL in 2003. It was later renamed as the multirole transport aircraft (MRTA). Russia and India signed a protocol agreement in June 2004 to begin joint construction of the IL-214 aircraft. Engineering and feasibility studies were completed in 2004.
JSC Irkut Aviation and Industrial Association (JSC IAIA) was selected by Russia while HAL was chosen by India for the IL-214 project. HAL revealed the withdrawal of JSC IAIA from the project in March 2008. Ilyushin Aviation Complex (IAC) was selected as the new contractor for the IL-214 development.
The front fuselage, wings and avionics will be built by HAL, while IAC will work on the aft and centre fuselage sections. The IL-214 was displayed at the Aero India Expo held in 2009. The joint venture agreement was officially announced in October 2009 during Indian Defence Minister A.K. Antony's visit to Russia.
Features of the Indian and Russian-built multipurpose military aircraft
The IL-214 will feature a high wing monoplane design, glazed in nose, T-shaped tail empennage, semi-monocoque fuselage, two telphers, a cargo winch and rollers comprising cargo handling equipment. It will be made up of sophisticated aluminium alloys and composite materials. The stepped cockpit will be equipped with six multifunctional displays along with two head-up indicators. It can accommodate three flight crew members including pilot, co-pilot and flight engineer.
The aircraft will also boast a rear-ward ramp to load or unload freight and carry out air drop missions. The 13.8m long, 3.45m wide and 3.4m high spacious cabin will carry 18.5 tons of cargo, 82 soldiers or 74 paratroopers. Approximately 60 severely wounded soldiers can be accommodated in the cabin.
Turbofan engine and performance of UAC's and HAL's IL-214
The IL-214 will be powered by two PD-14 turbofan engines designed and built by Aviadvigatel OJSC, of Russia.
The engines are impounded to top-mounted wings. Each engine can generate a maximum thrust of 6,000lbs. Fuel consumption is 10% to 15% lower compared to that of conventional turbofan engines.
The PD-14 is fitted with a single-stage fan, a four-stage low pressure compressor, dual stage high pressure turbine, an eight-stage high pressure compressor, a four-stage low pressure turbine and an annular combustor. The fan tip diameter of the engine is 1.9m. The dry weight varies between 2,770kg and 2,850kg.
The IL-214 can fly at a maximum speed of 870km/h. Its cruise speed is 800km/h. The maximum and ferry ranges of the aircraft are 2,500km and 6,000km respectively. The service ceiling is 13,000m. The take-off and landing distances are 1,300m and 1,200m respectively.
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