Complete Renewal

Russia’s military has considered its options for replacing the ageing fleet of Tupolev Tu- 134 and Tu-154s used for passenger and VIP transport in the foreseeable future.

Likely candidate types to fill the niche role are the An-148 and Tu-214, manufactured at the Voronezh and Kazan aviation plants respectively. Both are controlled by the United Aircraft Corporation.

Driving the recently launched initiative to replace the entire fleet of passenger and VIP-outfitted jets operated by the Russian Air and Space Force is the crash of a Tu- 154B-2 near Sochi on December 25, 2016, which killed all 92 people on board.

According to deputy defence minister for procurement Yury Borisov, the Sukhoi Superjet SSJ100 has been rejected as a Tu-134 replacement, because its engines, mounted low to the ground, are deemed unsuitable for landings on military airfields with runways in a poor condition and the risk of foreign object damage. In addition, the SSJ100 features a high proportion of parts and assemblies supplied by Western companies, which is not acceptable to the Russian Ministry of Defence.

Alexander Mladenov