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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russian Military to Use Civilian Planes

RIA Novosti

16:31 02/04/2012 MOSCOW, April 2 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's military-transport aviation will use civilian An-124 Ruslan Condor heavy-lift transport aircraft owned by large carriers, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said on Monday.

“Orders will be placed for dozens of aircraft - 60-70 Ruslans,” he said.

It was not immediately clear whether the military will pay for the use of cargo aircraft or simply commandeer them in the interest of “national defense.”

“If necessary, these machines can also work for the benefit of Russia’s security,” Rogozin said without elaborating.

In the future at least 10 Ruslans will be built for the Armed Forces by 2020, Rogozin said.

The An-124, developed by the Antonov Design Bureau in 1982, has a maximum payload of 150 metric tons with a flight range of around 3,000 kilometers (1,864 miles).

The cargo jet is the world's third largest after the An-225 and the Airbus A380.

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