Russia is likely to begin purchasing Ukrainian-built An-70 propfan military transport aircraft in 2012-2013, Russian Air Force deputy commander major general Viktor Bondarev said.

“The plane is undergoing factory tests, and next year it will be tested by [Russian] military pilots,” he added.

The Russian State commission will finally decide the purchase on the basis of the factory test results.

The An-70 is a medium-range propfan-powered military transport plane developed by Ukraine’s Antonov design bureau.

The aircraft is intended to replace Russia’s ageing An-12 aircraft, according to RIA Novosti.

The Russian Air Force has about 300 transport aircraft in service including An-12 Cub, Il-76MD and An-124 Condor transport aircraft.