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Il-214 Multi-Role Transport Aircraft (MTA)
Multi-Purpose Transport Aircraft (MPTA)

The international project on joint development, production and sales of twin-turbofan Tactical Transport Aircraft envisions solidary cooperation of the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (India), the IRKUT Corporation and the Ilyushin Aviation Complex (Russia), with their design teams to be merged into a virtual enterprise. The Tactical Transport Aircraft development program will significantly broaden the horizons of Indo-Russian military-technical cooperation. While implementing this innovative program, Russian and Indian engineers will acquire invaluable experience and expertise in joint creation of the top-of-the-line aviation product.

Featuring a semi-monocoque fuselage, the aircraft's structure is made of advanced aluminium alloys and composites. Perfect aerodynamic layout with high-swept advanced wing and T-shape tail is optimized to ensure the flight safety and enhanced cruise speed. The airlifter is capable of operating from elevated airfields with paved/unpaved runways, in adverse weather conditions. The avionics' open architecture approach provides essential capacity for future innovations and upgrades. Sophisticated concept of the unified inform-and-control "field" envisions integration of six multifunctional displays with two head-up indicators. The spacious cargo cabin will accommodate up to 18.5 tonnes of cargo. The rear ramp will contribute to efficient airdrop operations, as well as to ease of loading/unloading. Two telphers, a cargo winch, and rollers comprise cargo-handling equipment.

The IL-214 is an aircraft with top-mounted wing and T-shaped tail empennage. The aircraft would be equipped with twin bypass turbo-jet engines of 9-10 ton thrust. As a prospective powerplant, the PS-9 engine manufactured by the JSC "Perm' Motor Works", Rolls-Royce BR-170, D-436T engines are contemplated. The cargo cabin is 13.85 m long (with account for the ramp - 17.8 m), and would be 3.0 m high and 3.15 m wide. The military transport version of the airplane would have the cargo ramp in the tail section and capable of paratroops deployment at flight speed of approximately 250 km/h. The aircraft estimated operational life is 20000 flight hours.

Initially, Ilyushin had the intention to build an aircraft with a payload capacity of 15 tons and maximum take-off mass of 47.3 tons. While the project proved to be of little interest in Russia, it did attract a major from India in the late 1990s. Thus, the Il-214 project - known as MTA aircraft (Multipurpose Transport Aircraft) and the IRTA (Indo-Russian Transport Aircraft) - was included in the Russian-Indian program on military and technical cooperation for a period through 2010.

In late 2000 the Government of India, the Aviation Complex after Ilyushin and the JSC "Irkutsk Aviation Industrial Association" signed an agreement stipulating development and production run of a multi-role transport aircraft IL-214T of 15-20 ton or 82 paratroopers load capacity and in its passenger version IL-214-100, for the capability of transportation of 100 passengers.

As a prototype of the new airplane, a military transport project of IL-214 aircraft was selected, the one that is being examined by the Air Force of Russia as a replacement for the obsolete Antonov An-12 as well as An-26. In India, the new aircraft is proposed to replace 110 An-32 transport aircraft.

By expert evaluation, the IL-214 could become a good alternative for the C-130, C-160, C-123, G-222 aircraft that operate in dozens of countries of the world in huge numbers. Financing of the project is planned in equal shares of the Parties. The production would possibly be run at both Indian HAL Corporation factory and the JSC "IAIA".

The business-plan for the project was to be finalized by the end of the year 2001, after the completion of its technical feasibility studies. The cost of the program is estimated at $300 million. Initial deliveries under the MMTA program could commence in seven years after the launch of the project. By one estimate, the first aircraft was initially expected by in the 2003-2005 timeframe. A detailed timetable for the program had not been specified. Estimated cost of the production aircraft would make $20-25 million.

In the course of a detailed working out and harmonization of the requirements set by Air Force of Russia and India, the MTA project was significantly changed from the Il-214 baseline, and the aircraft's payload capacity and cargo compartment dimensions were increased. None of the engines currently manufactured in Russia can be applied to the new aircraft. As of 2003 it was expected that a new 12-ton thrust class engine could be ready in Russia not earlier than by 2009-2010. Therefore, it is very likely that the Indian Defense Ministry will prefer a Western-made engine such as the Rolls-Royce BR715 or Snecma CFM56, which will allow to develop and flight test of the aircraft until Russian engines are ready. In 2003, Vladimir Mikhailov, the Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Air Force, and his deputies mentioned for the first time their intention to hold a competition for a new military transport aircraft to replace An-12, taking an intermediate position in the military transport aviation fleet between the light Il-112V and the heavy-lift Il-76MF aircraft. The Ministry of Defense was to be an official organizer of the tender in 2004, as the new aircraft was supposed to be used by all branches of the armed forces and other militarized bodies. However, it is the Air Force that will take the lead in bringing the tender committee to a final decision.

The An-12 has a 20-ton payload capacity with a maximum take-off weight of 61 tons. According to General Victor Denisov, commander of the 61st Air Army, the new aircraft's maximum take-off weight should be in the 65-80 ton range. Only Russian aircraft designers would be invited for the tender, and the outcome of the tender to a significant extent was to be determined by investment capacities of the wining bidder. The Ilyushin Il-214 meets specification set by the Russian Air Force more than any other Russian aircraft.

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, Vice-Premier of the government of the Russian Federation Ilya Klebanov said. He heads the Russian part of the commission on military-technical cooperation with India. According to Klebanov, "this is an outstanding achievement, and Russia has not cooperated on such a scale with any country." He avoided commenting on the value of the contract, but stressed, that the project envisages development, tests and production of the jet. The Vice-Premier opined that the Il-214 will be the most promising aircraft of the 21st century.

The UAC council named Ilyushin as the basis for the "Cargo Aviation" business unit within UAC's corporate structure. This business unit deals with development and production of ramp-equipped and converted (with a side-fuselage cargo door) freighters for civilian markets and airlifters for the military.

But India had a lot of specific requirements — high-altitude airfields in the mountains up to 5 kilometers, heat, plus they were going to put some unusual amount of weapons on it, including bombs and cannons. Customers from the Russian Federation and India presented different requirements for the MTA. For example, for the Indian military it was important that the transport vehicle performed tasks excellently in high-altitude conditions, and for the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation this was not of fundamental importance. In addition, Indians often insist on the transfer of technology and the deployment of production in their territory. This is not always beneficial to the owner of intellectual property. Another set of typical problems in such projects is the timing of implementation and financing.

In March 2017, the Minister of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation Denis Manturov told reporters about the suspension of the MTA. According to him, during the five years of the project’s existence, Russia and India could not “find the solution that would be beneficial for the parties to implement in the future.” At the same time, he stressed that this should not be perceived as a “rupture of some kind of relationship.”

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Page last modified: 10-12-2018 18:49:14 ZULU