India and Russia signed an agreement on Thursday night to set up a joint venture to design and develop a Multirole Transport Aircraft (MTA). The shareholders agreement will establish a joint venture between India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation and Rosoboronexport for this purpose. The company will headquartered in Bangalore.
According to the Indian Ministry of Defense, the twin-engined aircraft is envisaged to be a 15-20 ton payload capacity that will service the requirements of the air forces of both countries. It’s expected to have a maximum take-off weight of 65 ton, a cruise speed of 800 kilometers per hour (almost 500 miles per hour), a range of 2,500 kilometers to 2,700 kilometers (between around 1,500 miles to 1,700 miles), a service ceiling of 12 kilometers (over seven miles).
Both countries will equally contribute to the expected cost of around USD 600.70 million to develop the aircraft, of which 205 are planned for manufacture so far, with an equal workshare between both countries.