Saturday, January 03, 2015

Russian Government Presidential Aircraft Fleet

One of the more fascinating things for me as a radio monitor t1o study, research and catalog are other government and military organizations (I really should have been a spook).

The one that fascinates me the most is Russia. Their military, space program, Navy, Air Force, Air Defense Networks, government and all the rest I find fascinating from a monitors point of view. Heck, I even get a big kick working Russian hams and collecting their oblasts and QSL cards.

So when I run across some stuff on their government presidential aircraft fleet I can't pass it up and thought I would post something here in the hope to get some discussion going in various radio circles out there.

According to an article I found at Wikipedia:

"Rossiya Airlines OJSC, operating as Rossiya — Russian Airlines (Rossiya — Rossiyskie avialinii) is a secondary national airline with its head office in Saint Petersburg, Russia, resulting from the 2006 merger of the Moscow-based company of the same name and Saint Petersburg-based Pulkovo Aviation Enterprise. The airline operates scheduled and charter passenger flights from Saint Petersburg and Moscow, and VIP flights on behalf of the Russian government, including the operation of the Russian presidential aircraft fleet for the President of Russia. Rossiya maintains an operational base at Pulkovo Airport in Saint Petersburg."

Rossiya Government Aircraft Fleet

According to the Wikipedia article mentioned above, the Rossiya government fleet consists of the following aircraft (August 2014) (my number varies slightly for the TU-214s and TU-204-300s):

Aircraft Type: In Fleet-Orders-Stored
Airbus ACJ319: 2-0-0
Ilyushin Il-62M: 1-0-0
Ilyushin Il-96-300: 8-0-0
Tupolev Tu-154: 1-0-0
Tupolev Tu-204-300: 2-0-0
Tupolev Tu-214: 10-2-0
Total: 24-2-0

Below is my latest list with a few Mode-S codes that I could find. I hope to add to this list in the future and if you have anything you would like to share, please contact me at the email address in the masthead. My numbers are a bit off from those listed above but as with any secretive style of government I have come to expect that. Here is the best info I have to date. I haven't been able to find anything on the Airbus aircraft. * May not part a current member of the fleet

RA-64057 Tupolev TU-204-300 14FA39
RA-64058 Tupelov TU-204-300 14FA3A*
RA-64059 Tupolev TU-204-300
RA-64515 Airborne Relay Aircraft Tupolev TU-214SR
RA-64516 Airborne Relay Aircraft Tupolev TU-214SR
RA-64517 Command Post Tupolev TU-214PU
RA-64520 Command Post Tupolev TU-214PU
RA-64522 Command Post Tupolev TU-214SUS 14FC0A
RA-64523 Command Post Tupolev TU-214SUS
RA-64524 Command Post Tupolev TU-214SUS
RA-64525 Command Post Tupolev TU-214PU
RA-64526 Airborne Relay Aircraft Tupolev TU-214SR
RA-64527 Airborne Relay Aircraft Tupolev TU-214SR* May still be on order
RA-64528 Airborne Relay Aircraft Tupolev TU-214SR* May still be on order
RA-86570 Airborne command customized for emergency response agency EMERCOM  Il-62M 
RA-85655 Tupelov TU-154M Possible Open Skies aircraft?*
RA-96012 Russian equivalent of AF1 Ilyushin Il-96-300PU
RA-96016 Russian equivalent of AF1 Ilyushin Il-96-300PU 157710
RA-96017 Russian equivalent of AF1 Ilyushin Il-96-300PU 157711*
RA-96018 Russian equivalent of AF1 Ilyushin Il-96-300PU 157712
RA-96019 Russian equivalent of AF1 Ilyushin Il-96-300PU 157713
RA-96020 Russian equivalent of AF1 Ilyushin Il-96-300PU 157714
RA-96021 Russian equivalent of AF1 Ilyushin Il-96-300PU 157715

And then there is this from the Russian Take-Off website:

"On 27 October 2011, the airfield of the Kazan Aviation Production Association named after S.P. Gorbunov (KAPO) witnessed the maiden flight of the new Tupolev Tu-204SUS special-purpose aircraft (RA-64522) built on order by the Russian Presidential Property Management Department. The aircraft was piloted by a crew led by KAPO test-pilot Alexey Ryabov. The aircraft carrying a “special communications centre” (SUS in Russian), is the fifth airliner out of the six special Tu-214 derivatives ordered by the Presidential Property Management

"The first two aircraft the department ordered from the Kazan-based aircraft manufacturer – Tu-214SR relay aircraft (RA-64515 and RA-64516) – were built in 2008 and handed over to the Rossiya special air detachment in a ceremony on 1 June 2009.

"Last year, KAPO assembled two more aircraft under the Presidential Property Management Department order. They were Tu-214PU VIP airborne command posts. The former of the two (RA-64517) was received by Rossiya in October 2010 and the latter (RA-64520) in January this year.

"The government-awarded order for two Tu-214SUS aircraft is to be fulfilled before year-end. The second aircraft of the type (RA-64524) was rolled out right on the heels of the first Tu-214SUS.

"Once it is delivered, the Kazan-based aircraft maker will have fulfilled the order from the Presidential Property Management Department for six special aircraft derived from the Tu-214.

"The aircraft fleet of the presidential air detachment is to be beefed up with other new domestically-built types as well. In October, the Aviastar-SP close corporation in Ulyanovsk rolled out two Tupolev Tu-204-300A airliners (RA-64057 and RA-64059) at once. RA-64057 first flew on 29 October, controlled by a crew led by Tupolev JSC test-pilot Victor Minashkin. According to Tupolev, the Tu-204-300As slated for the presidential air detachment are equipped with “a VIP cabin that has been soundproofed effectively, furnished with up-to-date telephone communications systems and provided with Internet access."

TU-214 Aircraft

For me the most interesting of all the aircraft studied so far are the Tupolev TU-214 variants. They look like the airborne strategic command post structure of the Russian Government. It would be interesting to catch some HF activity from these birds.

Tu-214 is a variation of Tu-204 first flown on 21 March 1996. It is technically a Tu-204-200, one of the differences being that it is built by a different factory. Planes designated Tu-204 are produced in Ulyanovsk by Aviastar-SP; Tu-214 in Kazan by the Kazan Aircraft Production Association (KAPO). Both factories are independent from the Tupolev design bureau and have some control over the design of the variant they produce.

The Tu-214 is essentially a higher gross weight variant of the Tu-204, being fitted with extra fuel tanks and structural adjustments to deal with the heavier gross weight. For this reason, the Russian government prefers to use it as the platform upon which all further modifications for the 'Special Mission' variants will be based. Some of the special mission variants are disclosed to be capable of a non-stop 10,000 kilometre flight range.

Tu-214ON - Observation version of Tu-204-200 equipped for Treaty on Open Skies missions. Two ordered by Russian Ministry of Defence, with a delivery planned for 2012 and 2013.
Tu-214PU - Airborne command post version. Two operated for Russian Ministry of Defence.
Tu-214SR - Communications relay version. Two operated by GTK Rossiya for Russian government, with three more planned.
Tu-214SUS - Communications relay version for Russian Ministry of Defence. Two on order and they were suppose to be delivered planned by end of 2012.
Tu-214R - Special-mission versions of the Tu-214 commercial transport aircraft, developed under the codename ‘Project 141', to replace the ELINT plattform Il-20 Coot. The aircraft are configured to carry the MRC-411 multi-intelligence payload, to include electronic intelligence (ELINT) sensors, side-looking Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) and other Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) and Communications Intelligence (COMINT). In addition, the aircraft will carry multi-spectral electro-optical systems. The aircraft has conducted test flights over the Sea of Japan but the program was experiencing problems as of January 2013 according to Jane's Defense Weekly 16 January 2013. The Tu-214R made it public debut in August 2013 at Moscow Air Show MAKS and is the proposed platform for conducting surveillance of the United States of America in accordance with the open skies treaty to monitor compliance with the relevant treaties.

Tu-214R inflight from Borisoglebskoye airfield (2014) Rimma Sadykova -

Got anything you want to share, you can do so anonymously or whatever via the email address in the masthead.