Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
22 January 2015
Also Known As: An-70T
Antonov ASTC and KAPO Gorbunov
Parent System: An-70
Initial Operational Capability (IOC): 22 January 2015
Maiden Flight: 1994
Total Production: 5
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Description: The Antonov An-70 aircraft is a medium, four-engine tactical military transport aircraft designed to replace the An-12 in service within Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) Air Forces and several countries all over the world. This airplane stands out by its short take off and landing characteristics as well as its ability to operate from unprepared runaways. This translates into the capability of operating from 600-700 meters of unpaved strips carrying up to 20 tons of cargo.
The An-70 is powered by four D-27 turboprop engines outfitted with SV-27 high-efficiency, counter-rotating fan blades. These engines ensure higher cruise speed and fuel efficiency compared with conventional turboprop engines and/or turbojets. The An-70 is able to carry military items weighing 35 to 47 tons at ranges of 3,000 to 5,100 km while cruising at 700 to 750 km/h. This aircraft has been fitted with modern avionics that can be easily and rapidly upgradeable.
In addition to the cargo aircraft role, the An-70 is capable of air dropping paratroopers, vehicles or cargo weighing up to 21 tons at low or high altitude in support of military operations. The aircraft can accommodate a maximum of 300 troops and can cruise distances of up to 8,000 kilometers. It has been designed to operate from prepared runways of 1,800 meters long but taking its short take off and landing characteristics into account it can be servicing from 700 meters of unpaved strips.
A built-in aerial autonomous delivery system takes care of loading/unloading operations as well as air dropping. This system consists of four overhead rail electric motor hoists capable of lifting 12 tons and two onboard winches with 1.5 tons traction effort each. Additional equipment allows to automate the fully cargo handling operations. The onboard auto-diagnostics system allows the aircraft to undergo maintenance and repair in poor equipped airfields.
Antonov is planning the development of further models that will assume electronic warfare, command and control, maritime patrol, tanker and civil aviation (An-70T) roles. All aspects of the An-70 program, from airframe to engines, have been managed by the Medium Transport Aircraft (MTA) international consortium which Antonov belongs to.
The An-70 cargo aircraft entered service with the Air Force of Ukraine in 2002. Since the An-70 has underwent certification test for several aviation agencies worldwide. Criticism about this aircraft focus on reliability because one prototype suffered a fatal crash during the tests program. To date, it has been ordered by Ukraine, the Czech Republic and Hungary. Russia pulled back in 2006 due to the high number of Il-76 transport aircraft still available for airlift missions. Finally, the Russian Air Force will buy the Il-476 turbofan-powered transport aircraft instead of the Antonov An-70 turboprop-powered aircraft.
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