AN 38-100 For India –– Lets think Big!

An IDC Analysis 


New Delhi, 25 January 2002

Media reported that the Indian Army?/Indian Armed Forces are contemplating to purchase some Transport planes and the choice was on the AN 38 -100 from Russia's Anantov. If this is true then this is a welcome sign as the Indian Army needs three things very badly. 

The first is attack helicopters and the Kargil war was a great lesson where we fought with man fodder and lives cost money. This message has not got across and IDC feels that the Army did pitch for this very important front line need under Gen V P Malik but the Inter Services battle/turf protectionists and reliance on the ALH did not let matters proceed. HAL has also been pushing the Ranger and IDC saw the Army Aviation Corps brass scouring equipment that can be fitted on to Alouettes at the Paris Air Show and a LAH Light Attack Helicopter was displayed by HAL at their stall. The Army Chief on 11th said I have mobilised for war and attack helicopters could ward off a Pakistani Armour thrust in Rajasthan and on the IB as T 80s are formidable and the Pakistan Army has US Attack helicopters. 

The second is the Raytheon Fire Finder Weapon locating radars and it seems in the list of 20 this is included for USA and 5 sets have been asked for. 

Finally the Army needs medium range 30 seater transport aircraft for their mobility and the Senior Officers tend to use helicopters which shoild be restricted and LTAs used. The Navy is lucky it has the Dorniers which senior officers use within their Naval Commands but they too need this facility as it is not a robust aircraft. 

Hence if the media report is correct IDC gives details of this aircraft and says it is a good choice and there is commonality with the Garret engines. IAF and HAL can maintain the aircraft. An expert's opinion is given below and India can bargain for a cheap price. Generals,  Air Marshals and Admirals need them and can be used by Ministers also to go to their constituencies within reason --- perks of the post! USA is also likely to gain from the US Engines.

Now to turn to the AN 38, which was displayed at Aero India 2001. It is essentially a 26-seat, high-wing twin-engined STOL turboprop like the Dornier Do-228, except that it has greater pax and payload capability and a much more robust airframe. However, one must bear in mind that the AN-38 comes in various versions. The best one is the AN-38-100 that is equipped with Garrett TPE331-14G/H engines (an advanced version of the engines now powering the Do-228) and Rockwell-Collins avionics. The second version, AN-38-200, comes with Pratt & Whitney Canada engines and Honeywell avionics while the AN-38-300 is now being developed with Russian engines and avionics. 

In our opinion, the AN-38-100 will be the most suitable as it is well on its way towards achieving FAA certification, which is a very big deal as far as airworthiness and flight safety is concerned.

AntonoW An-38-100

Type: Multi-role light transport

Country (Land) Russia / Ukraine

Manufacturer (Hersteller) Antonow ASTC (Aeronatical/Scientific Technical Complex)
Tupolev Str. 1 252062 Kiev Ukraine

Phone: 38-044/443-0209 

Fax: 38-044/442-7098

Though the An-38-100 is an Antonov design, actual production takes place at the Novosibirsk Chkalov Aircraft Production Association.

General (Allgemeine Angaben)

Crew (Besatzung): 2

Passengers (Passagiere): 27 (at 75 cm seat pitch)

Power plant (Antrieb): 2 x AlliedSignal TPE331-14GR-80E1

Power (Leistung): 2 x 1100 kW (1500 shp)

Dimensions (Abmessungen)
Length (Länge): 15,54 m
Height (Höhe): 4,30 m
Span (Spannweite): 22,06 m

Weights (Massen)

Operating weight empty (Einsatz-Leermasse): 5090 kg

Max. payload (Nutzlast): 2500 kg

Max. fuel (max. Kraftstoff): 2210 kg

Max. take-off weigth (max. Startmasse): 8800 kg

Performance (Flugleistungen)

Cruise speed (Reisegeschwindigkeit): 380 - 405 km/h at 3400 to 4200 m altitude

Runway length required (Startstrecke): 900 m

Range (Reichweite): 900 km with 27 passengers

Customers (Kunden)

There seems to be two orders from Vostik Avia and Chukotka, for a total of eight aircraft. More interest is claimed by the manufacturer.

Cost (Preis) Around 4,5 million US-Dollars

Competition (Konkurrenz): Beriev Be-32Sukhoi S-80 CASA C-212

Remarks (Bemerkungen)

Work on the An-38 began in 1989 under the direction of Kmitri Kiva, with the aim of producing a stretched and updated version of the An-28. Due to "conversion" considerations in the then Soviet Union, the Novosibirsk plant became involved. Prototypes were built there and the first flight was on June 24, 1994, with Aleksei Khrustitski at the controls. Due to difficulties with funding, certification to Russian AP-25 standards was not achieved until 25 April 1997. Deliveries will now begin this year with about eight to be built in 1998. Antonov and Chkalov have set up a joint venture company, Antonov Siberian Aircraft, aimed at sales and after-sales support.

The An-38 is available with AlliedSignal engines and Bendix/King avionics, but can also be fitted with Omsk TVD-20 engines (An-38-200), though this configuration has not yet flown. It is claimed to offer "on-condition" maintenance with four manhours per flight hour. Apart from the basic passenger version, an 8 to 10 seat VIP variant is on offer as well as a cargo version for four containers and a patrol/paradrop version.

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