Rosoboronexport expects to win the Indian Air Force tenders on the delivery of heavy-lift transport helicopters and refueler aircraft in which Russia is offering the Mi-26T2 helicopter and Il-78MK-90 aircraft respectively.
Rosoboronexport disproves media reports about Russia’s losing the above mentioned tenders and informs that such publications are not true. The results have not been announced yet and any early announcements mislead general public and professional community both in Russia and India.
The Mi-26T2 heavy-lift transport helicopters and Il-78MK-90 tanker are worthy of winning both tenders not only because they are unique military air systems fully meeting specifications of the Indian side but also because they attract potential customers by cost-effectiveness.
The newest Mi-26T2 heavy-lift transport helicopter has the following obvious advantages:
- Mi-26 type helicopters have been successfully operated for a long time in India which will not need to retrain pilots and technicians for them and has already the infrastructure required;
- Mi-26T2s are the world’s biggest serially produced helicopters with 20-tonne lifting capacity comparable to that of the C-130 Hercules military transport aircraft: in one sortie the Mi-26T2 helicopter can transport 82 troops with their equipment, quickly transfer a wide range of heavy-weight combat vehicles suspended on the external cargo sling, and in general implement important transport missions by a small group of the helicopters;
- in one flight the Mi-26 type helicopters can perform transport as well as assault, search-and-rescue and special-purpose tasks similar to successful operations it carried out in hot and high areas in Afghanistan and other regions, proving its vast combat experience gained in difficult conditions, and high flight safety standards;
- Mi-26T2 is sturdy in operation thanks to the installation of protection devices which practically do not reduce service life of its engines and accessories when operating in sand formations; this Russian helicopter also has high field repairability characteristics which speak in its favour too;
- information field in the Mi-26T2 pilot cabin is formed by multifunctional “glass cabin” type displays, and its engines are electronically controlled.
The newest Il-78MK-90 refueller aircraft has the following obvious advantages:
- Il-78MK-90 has been developed basically as a military transport aircraft: it can be quickly converted into a full-size military transport aircraft for rapid shipment of cargos, heavy combat vehicles and troops, but the multifunctional design allows its deployment as firefighting, flying ambulance, air command post and airborne early warning aircraft;
- Il-78MK-90 can operate from paved and unpaved runways which means that the Russian aircraft can use more than 80 percent of runways available in India, and thanks to this fact there will be no issues with the dispersion of air refuellers over the national airfield network in case of necessity;
- Il-78MK-90 is equipped to provide air refueling of other aircraft with two types of fuel in one flight, and on-ground fuel dispensing at the rate of up to 1,500 l/min for field refueling of up to four aircraft, transportation means and armoured vehicles;
- Il-78MK-90 is checked for the capability of carrying out refueling operations with all heavy-weight aircraft in the Indian Air Force inventory;
- The Il-78MK-90 power plant includes four engines which provides high level of combat survivability in case that one engine is damaged;
- Il-78MK-90 features the new PS-90A-76 low fuel consumption engines, modified wing, reinforced landing gear, integrated avionics suite including the “glass cabin” with multifunctional liquid-crystal colour displays and “smart” control panels;
- Il-78MK-90 can perform intercontinental commercial air shipment operations since it meets international ICAO noise and emissions standards.