Hyderabad: The world’s largest cargo aircraft – Antonov An-225 Mriya – made its first landing in India at the Rajiv Gandhi International airport on Friday early morning .
The wide body An-225 aircraft is powered by six turbofan engines and is the longest and heaviest airplane ever built, with a maximum takeoff weight of 640 tonnes.
It also has the largest wingspan of any aircraft in operational service.
Specially built to undertake transcontinental route airlifting load between 180–230 tonnes, the aircraft came to Hyderabad from Turkmenistan.
Reliance Defence had last month signed a strategic partnership agreement with Antonov company of Ukraine for assembly, manufacture and MRO of Antonov platforms in India, both for the commercial and the military market.
Reliance Defence together with Antonov would jointly address various requirements including 50-80 seat passenger aircraft programme of the HAL, in its basic configuration and in all its variants such as transport, maritime patrol and other military roles, the company said in a statement.
An class of aircraft have long served the Indian Air Force and Navy for over five decades.
Currently, the IAF has more than 100 An-32 aircraft on its inventory having completed its last life cycle upgrade will be due for replacements.
The partnership agreement would provide the benefits of quality and low cost solution for 50-80 seater aircraft through its core competencies, it said adding that the joint venture envisages design and manufacture of the medium lift dual use turbofan aircraft in India with transfer of niche technologies.