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Moscow – Russia’s aircraft designers are setting their sights on a huge, supersonic cargo plane capable of transporting tanks to the field in a matter of hours. The general concept of this flying giant is expected to be ready before this year is out.

According to the Sputnik, This heavy transport plane, dubbed the PAK TA (Perspective Airborne Complex of Transport Aviation), will be able to fly at supersonic speeds of up to 2,000 km/h, carry up to 200 tons and have a range of 7,000 km.

Eighty such planes are to be built by 2024, which will make it possible to ferry 400 heavy tanks or 900 lightly armored vehicles to the battlefield much faster than ever before.

The project is being handled by Ilyushin Aviation Complex, whose CEO Viktor Livanov said that “it may be implemented by 2030,” and that the exact specifications were still subject to negotiations.

The PAK TA project, thought to have been underway for several years now, is to replace the current fleet of Russian heavy air freighters – Antonov An-22 Antei with a load carrying capacity  of 60 tons, and Antonov An-124 Ruslan, which can lift 120 tons of cargo.

The only operating aircraft that can carry a comparable amount of weight is the Antonov An-225 Mriya, which was built for the Soviet Buran space shuttle program.