Kiev State enterprise "Antonov" unilaterally decided to increase the cost of the flight of the prototype ship immediately by a third, from 67 million to 100 million.
This is not only contrary to all agreements between Russia and Ukraine reached at the highest level for the last two years, but also calls into question the very idea of this project — it is simply useless. And it is clear why. Much more powerful and heavy transport Il-476, with production set to begin this year at the facilities of the Ulyanovsk plant "Aviastar-SP", the Russian Defense Ministry will cost about 30% less than the An-70. But that’s not all. Suddenly, all became clear that Ukraine is unable to finalize the documentation for the aircraft being developed in accordance with the requirements of the Russian Air Force and translate it into electronic form — for that there are simply not enough qualified professionals. Moreover, there are serious doubts that developed the An-70 can in principle meet the tactical and technical requirements of our military.
Flight to Nowhere
By the development of the An-70 Antonov started back in the early 90-ies of the last century. It was assumed that the aircraft, designed to carry 35 tons of cargo or three hundred Marines to replace obsolete and outdated An-12. The new ship was to reach speeds up to 780 km / h and fly at a distance of 7.5 kilometers. Its main feature is it’s unique heavy-duty engines vintoventilyatornye D-27 Zaporozhye CB "Progress", by which ship could take off and land on a dirt strip length of only 600 meters. Initially, the cost of creating the An-70 was estimated at 1.1 billion dollars. In 1994, for the development of this machine Russia and Ukraine have established a joint venture "Medium Transport Aircraft". It was expected that the production of the new aircraft will be adjusted at the Kiev Aviation Plant "AVIANT" (part of the concern "Antonov") and Omsk association "Flight". According to the calculations of war, for payback Russia to buy 164 new liner, and Ukraine — 65. However, in order to increase the profitability of the program does not exclude the possibility of joint production of the aircraft to other countries, primarily France and Germany. But even before the start of the practical implementation of the project technical documentation for the An-70 miraculously appeared in the hands of European aircraft manufacturers. As a result, the consortium Airbus decided to build their own very similar to the An-70 plane — the A400M. Spent on its development almost 20 billion euros, two years ago, Airbus A400M finally picked up his in the air.
Right now Airbus has more than 150 orders for the A400M. But mass production of the liner comes with a scratch and clearly behind schedule. The fact is that during a test A400M revealed numerous drawbacks. For example, engineers for a long time failed to achieve the coordinated work of all four engines transporter. And when these issues have been resolved, suddenly discovered technical problems on other nodes in the plane. Once sorted out with the ill-fated nodes, again no luck and engines, and Airbus had to reinstall the software that controls their work. It is also important that the loading capacity A400M was 7 tons less than planned specifications.
All these problems — a direct result of failed engineering solutions used in the An-70, which appears to have been partially copied and then reproduced by Europeans. Another nine years ago a group of Russian designers, directors of research institutes and aircraft factories Russian Air Force asked the Defense of our country with the proposal to stop the development of the An-70 at the expense of the state budget. "This aircraft is on a number of important flight performance does not meet the tactical and technical task of the Russian Air Force. It is on the obsolete An-12 "- written designers. The authors of the letter were adamant that any attempts to modify the An-70 do not make sense, since the objective technical prerequisites to improve characteristics of the aircraft are not available. "Moreover, the extremely low level of reliability of the aircraft engines in general, and in particular does not allow without compromising safety to carry out further tests on him", — stated in the document. And it’s very likely. History of testing the An-70 except tragic not name. The first prototype of the aircraft crashed in February 1995. The second model collapsed to the ground in January 2001, at Omsk due to the failure of the two left engines. All in all, the An-70 nine years ago it was discovered more than 400 serious deficiencies, including documented at least 50 cases of engine failure. Defects tried many times to fix it but to no avail. According to experts, the failure of one of the four engines of the An-70 with a high probability lead to a serious accident. This is due to the fact that a significant portion of the wing lift force is created by blowing a jet of its rotor. When an engine failure on one wing there are strong deploying and heeling moments that require symmetric reducing engine power on the other wing. Obviously, for military aircraft, which is expected to operate in a fire exposure, such features are not allowed. In the end, it all led to that fund work on the An-70 Russian refused.
However, two years ago at a meeting of Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Viktor Yanukovych work on the An-70 have agreed to resume. Russian Defense Ministry has decided to not only continue to fund this project, but included the An-70 in the State Armaments Program for 2011-2020. Moreover, Ukraine was able to finance the activities of its engineers and designers, our military establishment even bought the concern "Antonov" rebuilt and renovated after the disaster prototype An-70. All this was done only because the Ukrainian authorities vowed to finish the plane and take it to adopt its own air force. At first, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry has promised to buy three aircraft, a Russian Defense Ministry — 60. In addition, for the continuation of the An-70 Russian allocated from the state budget just over $ 85 million, and Ukraine — 60.1 million dollars. But if our country is a part of the funds transferred correctly, the funding from the Ukraine, for unknown reasons, constantly delayed. Against this background, the desire Ukrainian aircraft builders to inflate the price agreed for the An-70 looks at least unwise. In fact, it is nothing but an attempt to prolong the existence of any means in all respects unviable project. And the fact that the project of An-70 is such that there is no doubt.
More recently, the Russian Defense Ministry did not want to say no technical solutions for the An-70. It was only after the intervention first of Dmitry Medvedev and Vladimir Putin, then the decision has to be changed. This position of our military is explained quite simply. Instead of the average airliner carrying capacity of 35 tons concern "Antonov" developed a machine capacity of 47 tons, which is very close to the class of heavy transport aircraft, such as IL-476 (50 tons). These liners military departments of Russia and Ukraine in large numbers simply do not need. The need for our country in the An-70 experts estimate only 40 aircraft. This is understandable: the An-70 was designed to carry a single tank type T-90 at a distance of three thousand miles away. This means that it can be employed for rapid redeployment of mechanized units to large theaters. However, the military doctrine of Russia and Ukraine reject even the theoretical possibility of large-scale tank battle
s. Therefore, besides the Navy more new freighter broke. And to use the aircraft for commercial purposes, such as for transportation of goods in the interests of private companies is not possible, since it does not meet the environmental requirements of the U.S., the EU and several other countries in terms of noise and emissions.
Therefore, allocating funds for the completion of An-70, Ukraine, Russia actually did a great gift that our colleagues to appreciate, unfortunately, could not.