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They operate the largest production aircraft in the world, and are regularly called upon to assist everything from the delivery of aircraft engines and satellites, to the provision of military equipment and humanitarian aid, using a fleet of giant Antonov AN124-100 turbofan airlifters, of which the Russia-based airline operates twelve. The airline flies scheduled and leased cargo services, and is an exhibitor at this year’s UK Security Exhibition being held between 28 November and 29 November at London’s Olympia exhibition centre.

The company shared with MONch that it would like to upgrade its AN124-100 fleet with new engines and avionics. This, it believes, could add an extra 20 years of life to the aircraft. The freighter became highly visible following the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s. The aircraft flown by Volga-Dnepr have already experienced a major upgrade earlier in their careers to enable them to meet European Union (EU) requirements in terms of air worthiness, and environmental requirements pertaining to noise and emissions. The firm continued that it has not set any definite timeline as to when the upgrade could occur, or where it may be performed. That said, sources did continue that the engine element of the upgrade could require the design of a bespoke turbofan to meet EU ‘chapter four’ requirements for noise pollution, while ensuring that the aircraft can retain its performance.

A Volga-Dnepr AN124-100 seen here unloading cargo to support the NATO-led deployment to Afghanistan. These aircraft were used extensively for such tasks. (Photo: US DOD)

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