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15-toTake-off magazine December 2009
special edition for LIMA 2009

 

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CONTRACTS AND DELIVERIES
Mi-35M gearing up for shipping to Brazil
An-74TK-300D delivered to Laotian government

Su-30MKM
In service with RMAF

This summer, the last two Sukhoi Su-30MKM twinseat supermanoeuvrable multirole fighters from the batch of 18 aircraft ordered in 2003 entered service with the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF). With this delivery which took place on 17 August 2009, Irkut Corporation fulfilled completely the contract signed six years before providing RMAF with the most modern and combat effective multirole fighters. Now all of 18 superagile Su-30MKMs are in service with the 11th squadron of the Royal Malaysian Air Force stationed at Gong Kedak air base in the Kelantan province, on the coast of the South China Sea, 300 km north of the national capital, Kuala Lumpur. The international debut of the advanced Malaysian fighters took place two years ago, at LIMA 2007 airshow at the island of Langkawi. This time, three Su-30MKMs are also the participants of the international aerospace and marine exhibition at Langkawi and, no doubt, will become the main stars of the demonstration flight programme at LIMA 2009.

MMRCA tender
Trials kick off in India

Two advanced MiG-35 multirole fighters made by the MiG corporation this year were headed for India on 7 October to take part in the trials as part of the MMRCA (Medium MultiRole Combat Aircraft) tender. Starting from mid-August, US fighters F/A-18E/F and F-16E/F and French Rafale had completed their trials in India as contenders under the MMRCA tender providing for the Indian Air Force (IAF) to buy 126 multirole fighters worth upwards of $10 billion. Swedish Gripen and European Typhoon will be last to join the flight evaluation by the tender’s organisers. Although the rivalling planes’ developers and IAF keep mum on how the current flight trials unfold, the Indian media and Internet forums keep tabs on what is going on at Bangalore airbase and other Indian airfields where MMRCA contenders are flown under the conditions set by the organisers. Based on the media and Internet reports, let us try and look into how the flight evaluation of the contenders is going on.

Phazotron-NIIR ready for Indian tender

MILITARY AVIATION
Sukhoi to deliver 64 brand-new fighters to RusAF
The first Irkut-built Yak-130 has flown

MiG-29K
Back on deck!

In later September, the MiG Corporation conducted successful flight trials of the advanced MiG-29K and MiG-29KUB multirole carrierborne fighters ordered by the Indian Navy (IN). The trials took place on board the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraftcarrying cruiser of the Northern Fleet of the Russian Navy. The first deck landing on the Admiral Kuznetsov in the Barents Sea was conducted on 28 September by MiG Corp. chief test pilot Pavel Vlasov flying the MiG-29K prototype serialled 941. MiG Corp. test pilots Nikolay Diorditsa and Mikhail Belyayev followed him on the production MiG-29KUB twinseater painted in the customer’s colour scheme. In the course of two days, both aircraft performed several takeoffs and deck landings that proved the feasibility of safe operation of advanced fighters from aircraft carriers. Interestingly, the MiG-29K/KUB’s flight tests on board the Admiral Kuznetsov had taken place on the eve of the 20th anniversary of the first deck landings of Russia’s fourth-generation supersonic fighters and had become a kind of MiGs’ comeback to the deck. On 1 November 1989, a prototype MiG-29K of the previous model touched down on and then took off from this ship that was designated as Tbilisi at the time. Several more series of tests were conducted over several years afterwards, but for a number of reasons a decision was taken to have the Sukhoi Su-33 (Su-27K) shipborne fighter enter inventory of the Russian Navy’s air arm. History has made another twist, and now advanced MiG-29K/KUB being in full-rate production for a foreign customer could be used by the Russian Navy in the near future.

CIVIL AVIATION
First Russian-built An-148 delivered
Sukhoi SuperJet seeking type certificate
IFC sells 26 more Tu-204s
Polyot receives new Il-96-400Ts
Transaero flies three Tu-214s
Yakutia started operating its third An-140

MC-21 programme
Engine makers go around

Once the programme on developing the advanced Sukhoi SuperJet 100 airliner came into the straight, and the aircraft made its debut at home and abroad, designers turned to another promising Russian civil aviation project – the development of a family of MC-21 short- and medium-haul airliners. According to the developer, the airliners will have a wide range of operation capabilities, tailored to the Russian and foreign markets and capable of facilitating airlines’ reaching a radically new level of economic efficiency, including doing so by slashing the direct operating costs by 15% compared the current aircraft in the same class. The MC-21 programme is at the pre-design and key systems supplier selection stage. The results of several tenders on selecting first-tier suppliers for the MC-21 were announced on 20 August, but the final competitions on the powerplant, avionics and control systems have been put off until year-end.

INDUSTRY
Ka-32 certificated in EU
Turbomeca to supply engines to fit Mi-34
Ansat-U expected by the military
Ka-226T gearing up for certification
Ka-62 on Russian Helicopters priority list
Russia and Ukraine agreed to pursue An-70 programme together
PS-90A2 enters flight trials
Large order for engines to power Su-35

Tikhomirov’s AESA in trials
The active electronically-scanned array (AESA) radar being developed by the Tikhomirov-NIIP joint stock company to fit a new-generation fighter was among the head-turners of the MAKS 2009 air show. At the show, Tikhomirov-NIIP unveiled a full-scale X-band AESA radar that had logged many bench tests in laboratories. The AESA radar is expected to begin its flight tests next year. Owing to its design commonality and technical solutions selected, it could spawn active electronicallyscanned arrays to upgrade various radars equipping the fighters of the Su-27/Su-30 and MiG-29 families also. The Take-off editor met with Tikhomirov-NIIP Director General Yuri Bely and asked him to tell about the AESA radar development programme.

WEAPONS
Debut of advanced air-to-air missiles
 
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