TechRussian military flexes aviation muscle in tactical exercise with seven An-124 Ruslan aircrafts

Russian military flexes aviation muscle in tactical exercise with seven An‑124 Ruslan aircrafts

Flight of seven An-124 airplanes
Flight of seven An-124 airplanes
Images source: ©

6:03 PM EST, December 17, 2023

This undertaking was primarily a tactical exercise to train the young military personnel in the operation of transport aircraft. During this operation, the seven aircraft were flown simultaneously over a distance of approximately 621 miles at an average speed of approximately 310 mph, reaching an altitude of about 13,123 ft. The personnel involved in the exercise were outfitted with standard military weapons and equipment.

The transport aviation division of the Russian Aerospace Forces says that the pilots practiced taking off, following a specific route, and landing during the exercise. All these maneuvers were executed in challenging weather conditions, which included precipitation, low cloud cover, and strong wind gusts.

Among the world's largest aircrafts

The An-124 Ruslan never fails to draw attention every time it takes to the skies or lands at an airport.

The milestone An-124 dates back to 1979, marking its inception. The aircraft made its debut flight on December 24, 1982. Ruslan remains one of the most significant transport aircraft globally to this day, owing to its ability to transport cargo weighing up to 165 tons.

The An-124 is powered by four Progress D-18T engines that generate 51,587 pounds of thrust. This power can accelerate the Antonov to a top speed of 537 miles per hour. Additionally, the aircraft boasts a range of up to 7,144 miles thanks to its fuel tanks with a capacity of 68,680 gallons.

The An-124 spans nearly 230 feet in length, stands about 65 feet tall, and has a wingspan of 240 feet. The aircraft features an onboard crane capable of moving payloads up to 33 tons. One standout feature of the An-124 is its landing gear, which is designed to enable touch down on uneven runways. This feature allows the Ruslan to deliver its cargo to even the most remote places.

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