Africa Aerospace & Defence 2018

New tactical airlifter nears first flight [AAD18D2]

20 September 2018

Marking the start of export marketing for the type, a model of the Ilyushin Il-112V light tactical airlifter is being displayed on the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) stand at AAD (Hangar 2, Stand CE25), the first time the design has been showcased outside of Russia.

After a long gestation, UAC is planning a rollout ceremony on 26 October for the first of two prototypes at the Voronezh Aircraft Production Association, where the Il-112V is to be built. A first flight is expected in "about six months", according to a UAC spokesperson, who added that production could begin "around 2021".

Designed by the JSC Ilyushin Aviation Complex, the Il-112 project for an An-26 and An-72/74 replacement was initially entrusted to the design bureau in 2003, drawing to some extent on the low-wing Il-114 regional airliner.

However, the programme was halted in 2011 due to design flaws and the Russian ministry of defence bought a few Antonov An-140 cargo transports instead. In 2013 the project was resurrected for the VKS (Russian aerospace forces) An-26 replacement requirement.

India was offered a part in the development of the aircraft, although this did not materialise.

As part of the reborn Il-112V project, Klimov was invited to provide an improved engine, the 2,800shp (with higher emergency rating) TV7-117S series 2, while radio-electronics house KRET was charged with adapting its President-S helicopter defensive suite to the Il-112V for battlefield operations.

The high-wing, T-tailed aircraft has a rear loading ramp that allows access to the cabin for small tactical vehicles. The cabin can accommodate 50 soldiers, 42 paratroops, or 25 persons in the air ambulance role, including medical staff. Maximum payload is six tonnes, with which the Il-112V is expected to have a range of 1,000km. Take-off run is expected to be 850m, with a landing run of 550m, and unpaved runway operations are a requirement.

Currently the engine is still undergoing flight trials, which began in September 2017 installed under the port inner engine pylon of an Il-76LL testbed. Tests are expected to conclude early next year. The Russian MoD plans to buy at least 35 Il-112Vs for the VKS, and the aircraft has been offered once again to India to answer that country's needs for an Avro 748 replacement.

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