23 December 2014
What do you have to do if you need to conduct a high-risk military operation 1,000-2,000km away from the headquarters, especially if your troops require special equipment such as a heavily armored car? Moreover, soldiers must act swiftly and at maximum discretion. Military command occasionally encounter such problems; its solution depends on particular technological methods. An-74 “flying SUV” aircraft may become the most effective platform for fulfilling such tasks. The airplane’s payload is 10 tons, it can take off and and on short runways in ill-pepared and poorly equipped airfields, given its history of use in deserts and in the Arctic and the Antarctic ices. This makes An-74 more adaptable for such kind of missions. Furthermore, the aircraft engines placed atop of the wings demonstrate not only the Coandă effect, but such design makes it harder to take down the plane from firing a Manpad on the ground. The engine leaves a trace of heat which is mirrored by the wing. C-27J Spartan or CASA C-295 turboprop airplanes can hardly beat An-74 in this niche despite their cutting-edge technologies.
Medical equipment is an important element of An-74 Air Spyker, so that troops could get a qualified medical help on the plane. This set of equipment allows to conduct regular surgeries and can win precious time to get the wounded to hospitals after the mission.
A light armoured vehicle is located in the cargo section of the airplane (vehicles fit for use are indicated in the table below). The car drives into the aircraft. A winch can be used as an auxiliary device to get the car in and out of the plane. The place above the cargo ramp at the back of the plane can be utilised to transport large-scale cargo with the total weight of 600 kg. The aircraft crew consists from 2 pilots + 1 load master responsible for loading the airplane.
«Air Spyker»: Die Another Day
The main idea behind the Аn-74 («Air Spyker») concept for the air assault troops is a combination of three working modules in the An-74 cabin: Mission Control area + Intensive Care Medical area + cargo section. All personnel is transported in the main module (mission control zone) where they can seat on passenger seats. The mission control is conducted through the digital communications panel.