The world’s largest cargo aircraft, Antonov AN -225 Mriya — or the Dream, made its first landing in India today at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad, the Ukraine company’s collaborators in Mumbai said on Wednesday.
The wide body aircraft is powered by six turbofan engines and is the longest and heaviest airplane ever built, with a maximum takeoff weight of 640 tonnes, a statement said.
It also has the largest wingspan of any aircraft in operational service, the statement added.
“Specially built to undertake transcontinental route airlifting load between 180-230 tonnes, the aircraft will be coming in to Hyderabad from Turkmenistan.”
The development comes close on the heels of Anil Ambani-led Reliance Defence signing a strategic pact last month with ANtonic Company of Ukraine for the assembly, manufacture, and maintenance and repair of is platforms in India, both for the commercial and the military market.
Reliance Defence together with Antonov will 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.
India is said to require over 200 medium lift turbofan aircraft valued at Rs. 35,000 crore, which is the backbone of all tactical transport support of the air force, army and para-military forces.