Antonov, An 124-100, with fighter helicopter cargo being off loaded at NAF Base, Makurdi, Benue State, Nigeria
The world’s magnificient aircraft – Antonov transport plane has touched down on the runway at the Nigerian Air Force Base, NAF, Makurdi, Benue State, at exactly 12.20pm, Monday, 3rd August 2020, with its precious cargo – Nigeria’s newest and one of the world’s most sophisticated attack helicopter unloaded
Nigeria’s military had further been strengthened to check the menace from various groups within, that have made peace to elude some of the patriotic citizens in the Northern part of Nigeria.
Meanwhile, as the military cargo, Antonov 124-100, was being off loaded in Makurdi, the world’s largest aircraft, Antonov An-225, was taking off from Israel’s Ben-Gurion Airport, late Monday evening.
The Antonov, An-225, had delivered in Israel, US military Oshkosh trucks to be fitted with Iron Dome missile defense systems. While the United States had its THAAD anti-ballistic missile defense system designed to intercept and destroy short, medium, and intermediate-range ballistic missiles in their terminal phase, the American military does not have any short-range air defense solutions. Hence, Washington wanted the military hardware delivered by 2020
It can be recalled the Israelis Defense Ministry and the US Department of Defense signed an agreement in August 2019, to purchase two Iron Dome batteries for short-term needs for an Indirect Fire Protection Capability of the United States Army. They will be used to defend US troops against a range of ballistic and aerial threats.
The Antonov An-225 is the largest aircraft ever produced with over 30 wheels, six engines and a wingspan of 290ft. The aircraft has a range of 5,400km when unloaded, and 4,500km, when fully loaded.
The (Antonov) An-124-100 Aircraft
The An-124 was designed by the Antonov ASTC in Kiev, Ukraine. It is a very large cargo aircraft with a payload capacity of up to 150t. It is manufactured by the Aviant State Aviation Plant, Kiev, and Aviastar, Ulyanovsk, Russia.
The aircraft is designed for long-range delivery and airdropping of heavy and large-size cargo, including machines, equipment and troops. An-124 is the standard Russian military transport in service in the Russian Army, which has the NATO reporting name Condor
An-124-100M-150 with four engines is developed with a payload of 150t, has take-off weight of 402t and the flight range with 120t cargo at 5,400km
The large cargo aircraft is designed for a maximum crew of four. It comes with a digital anti-skid braking system fitted with monographies’ wheel brake disks. The aircraft features a new avionics suite.
As a testament to its ruggedness, the US Air Mobility Command since 2003 has been consistent in chartering An-124 aircraft from Volga-Dnepr, for the transport of oversize cargo.
An-124 aircraft serves several nations in the transportation of economically important, and strategic military cargoes. For example, 90t hydraulic turbines, large size Liebherr auto cranes, American Euclid dump trucks, the fuselage of Tu-204 passenger transporter, a 109t railway locomotive and a sea yacht more than 25m long, among others.
** High rough-field capacity multileg landing gear and the loading equipment ensure self-sufficient operation of the aircraft on prepared concrete runways and on poorly equipped unpaved strips at forward airbases close to the areas of operations where the cargo is needed.
** The landing gear functions automatically and incorporates a kneeling mechanism which allows an adjustable fuselage clearance to assist the loading and unloading of self-propelled equipment.
** The on-board equipment provides the capability to execute airlift and para drop missions by day and at night, in Visual Flight Rules and Instrument Flight Rules (VFR and IFR) weather conditions and in prolonged operation beyond the main basing airfield.
** Equipment in the flight deck include an integrated flight control and navigation system, communications facilities and para dropping and cargo-handling equipment. There are 34 computers functioning aboard the aircraft, combined into four main systems, which are navigation, automatic piloting, remote control and monitoring.
** The integrated flight control and navigation system comprises an autonomous navigation system, altitude and airspeed indicating system, short-range radio navigation and landing system, global positioning system, automatic radio compass, integrated flight control system, ground surveillance radar, forward-looking weather radar, optical and TV sight and IFF equipment.
** Standard communications facilities include an aeronautical-space communications radio station, HF radio set, VHF/UHF radio set, intercom, voice warning and documentation system
** The onboard system of cargo handling equipment makes it possible to load and unload the aircraft without the help of ground facilities.
** The para dropping and cargo-handling equipment comprise two travelling cranes, two winches, roll gang and tie down equipment.