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Russia mulling to buy An-70 aircraft from Ukraine

MOSCOW (BNS): The Russian Air Force may buy Ukrainian-built An-70 military transport planes in 2012-2013 to replace its aging An-12 aircraft.

According to Major General Viktor Bondarev, deputy commander of the Russian Air Force, the aircraft are presently undergoing factory tests and will be tested by Russian military pilots next year.

The final decision to buy the planes will be made by a state commission on the basis of the tests results, the official was quoted as saying by Ria Novosti on Wednesday.

The Russian Air Force presently operates around 300 transport planes that include the An-12 Cub, Il-76MD and An-124 Condor transport aircraft, the report said.

The An-70 is built by Ukraine’s Antonov Design Bureau. It is a four-engine medium-range transport aircraft, and the first large aircraft to be powered by propfan engines.

The new-generation planes will replace Russia's obsolete An-12 military transport planes.

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