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Multi-Role Transport Aircraft (MTA) Russian Project

On 06 June 2004 a protocol was signed between Russia and India on beginning the joint construction of an Il-214 multi-role military cargo jet. HAL'S design share would include the MRTA's front fuselage and wings. The Russians are contributing the designs for the aircraft's rear and center.

The decision on MTA's full-scale launch was made in November 2007, when a special agreement between the two countries' governments was signed. An Inter Governmental Agreement was signed on November 12, 2007 to design, develop and produce the multi-role transport aircraft in the 15-20 tonne class, jointly by the Indian and Russian agencies (HAL and UAC-TAS) to meet the requirements of 100 aircraft for the Russian Air Force, 45 aircraft for the IAF and 60 for other countries. The total requirement for the present was 205. This long-planned Russian-Indian project will bring to life a next-generation tactical airlifter with maximum takeoff weight about 70 tons and a payload capability of 20 tons. New Delhi agreed to directly invest $300 million for work to be done by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). Russia will invest little, or nothing at all, in the given programs.

In March 2008 Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), clarified that the withdrawal of the Russian company, Irkutsk Aviation and Industrial Association as a partner from the $600 million, Indo-Russian Multi-role Transport Aircraft (MTA) joint venture was an internal Russian affair and did not indicate a collapse of the project. Rosoboronexport, Russia's state-owned monopoly liaison agency for the export and import of defence related and dual use products, technologies and services identified the Ilyushin Aviation Complex as the new prime nodal agency in place of Irkutsk.

The MTA is meant to replace the ageing Antonov (An)-12, An-26/ 32 turboprop transport aircraft which first entered service in the 1970s. While the Indian Air Force plans to acquire 45 of these aircraft, the Russians are committed to acquiring around 100 over 12 years. The MTA was expected to fly in 2013 and be inducted by 2015.

Progress has been slower than anticipated. It had been hoped that a $600 million joint venture would be set up during Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's 5th visit to India in March 2010, between India's Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and Russia's United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), to develop a Medium Transport Aircraft (MTA) for the Russian and Indian Air Forces to transport 18.5 tonne payloads over 2500 kilometres. This expectation was belied, and both sides continue to bargain hard in ongoing negotiations.

The Framework Agreement on the establishment of the transport capacity of up to 20 tonnes for the Air Force of Russia and India was signed in September 2010. The parties committed themselves to invest in the project for $300 million and expand aircraft production in Russia and India. India planned to acquire 45 aircraft, Russia would purchase around 100. MTA will have 2 turbofan engines and maximum takeoff weight of 65 tons. The cruising speed of the aircraft will stand at 800 km/h.

Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), the aerospace major, signed the Preliminary Design Phase (PDP) Contract October 12, 2012 in New Delhi with the United Aircraft Corporation — Transport Aircraft (UAC-TA), the Russian partner and their JV-Multirole Transport Aircraft Ltd (MTAL) for the Multirole Transport Aircraft (MTA) project as a follow on contract of the General Contract signed between the three parties in May 2012.

Preliminary Design Phase (PDP) activities of MTA commenced on 1st December, 2012. With this HAL and UAC-TA started the preliminary design work immediately at Moscow. HAL design team consisting of 30 designers will be positioned at UAC-TA”, says Mr. R.K.Tyagi, Chairman, HAL who was present on the occasion. The primary objective of the project is to achieve self-reliance in design, development and production of aircraft of this size and also to manage the programme with international collaboration and large number of global suppliers, he added.

Indian military had planned to buy the first pilot batch of 45 machines, Russia - about 100. It was expected that the MTA will have two engines, its maximum takeoff weight is 65 tons. It was planned that the aircraft will be able to fly at a cruising speed of 800 km / h, the range of its flight to reach 2,5-2,7 thousand km and service ceiling 12 km.

In early 2015 it was reported that Russia and India had plans in the third quarter to agree pre-contract documentation for the MTA program. By July 2015 Russia and India were ready to start working on a new multirole transport aircraft, which could conduct its maiden flight as early as in 2019, the head of foreign economic activity at the Ilyushin Aviation Complex of the Russian aircraft manufacturing company, said on Saturday. “[Manufacturers in Russia and India show] complete readiness to begin designing [the aircraft]…the final product will be ready 3,5–4 years after the decision is made,” Vladimir Belyakov said.

Sergey Velmozhkin, CEO of Ilyushin, was quoted by TASS news agency 14 January 2016 as saying: "It has been frozen as a joint Russian-Indian project." Velmozhkin confirmed the freezing of the project on creation of military transport aircraft MTA (Multirole Transport Aircraft). "We have an intergovernmental agreement, it has not been canceled, but because of the passivity, not exactly because of the passivity and the strange position of the Indian side, care of the Indian side, the project is actually frozen Today the completed project."

Russia needed a sharp increase in the budget of the development of the transport and the Indian Air Force was dissatisfied with a number of technical characteristics of the AIT, in particular - the new Russian turbofan PD-14M.

Differences between the two cropped up over the usage of the type of the power-plant to be fitted in the new aircraft. UAC preferred "PD-14M — a modified version of the already in-service Aviadvigtel PS-90A-76 turbofan as fitted to the Il-76 'Candid'," while its Indian counterpart wanted a "completely clean-sheet engine with full authority digital engine control (FADEC)". But UAC argued that FADEC was not part of the initial technical specification. The meeting between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow in late December 2015 was not able to break the stalemate over the issue.

Gas turbine engines often employ Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC) systems for engine management. The FADEC receives a signal from the throttle lever or the autopilot system and, among other things, digitally calculates and precisely controls the fuel flow rate to the engines providing precise thrust. The FADEC is essentially a multiple channel computer that receives a limited number of information inputs from the aircraft pilot, as well as continuous input from the various sensors, switches, and drivers that are placed throughout the engine system. The FADEC analyzes the various inputs from these devices and sends control signals back to these devices to manage their operation. An autopilot system generally automates the aircraft handling during take-off, ascent, level, descent, approach and landing phases of flight. Typical autopilot systems incorporate an auto-throttle for controlling the speed of the aircraft.

Until the end of 2016 it was planned to start the basic aircraft design stage, declared the president of the United Aircraft Corporation Yuri Slusar. But at the end of 2016 CEO of the company "IL" Sergei Velmozhkin reported that a joint Russian-Indian project to establish a military transport plane was frozen.

The joint Russian-Indian project to establish a military transport aircraft hasstopped. This was announced 17 March 2017 by Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov on your business trip to India. "Not all of the projects must necessarily result into practice. We were not able during the five-year project to find the solution that the parties would be beneficial in the future. This does not mean that this is a gap of some relations.." Manutrov said , responding to a question about whether indeed they had closed a joint venture for the production of this multi-purpose aircraft. According to him, it is simply switching to other, more interesting projects with HAL realized and implemented.

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Page last modified: 20-03-2017 16:03:21 ZULU