ZHUKOVSKY (Moscow Region), August 20 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's Defense Ministry has decided to resume production of one of the world's largest cargo planes, the An-124 Ruslan (Condor), the country's Air Force chief said on Thursday.
Col. Gen. Alexander Zelin told reporters at the MAKS-2009 air show outside Moscow that the aircraft would be used both for commercial domestic flights and for carrying NATO troops to Iraq.
The An-124 was designed by the Antonov Design Bureau in 1982, and was produced in Kiev and Ulyanovsk until 1995. The plane has a maximum payload of 150 metric tons with a flight range of around 3,000 kilometers (1,864 miles).
The cargo jet is the world's third largest after the An-225 and the Airbus A380F.
Russia and Ukraine reached a preliminary agreement to resume production of the An-124 in April 2008.
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The main event of the third day of the 11th meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi was the closing session with President Vladimir Putin. The atmosphere was calm and open, despite the current political tensions and the Russia-West confrontation. The Russian president said that it corresponded to the spirit of the Valdai Club.