The An-124 long-range heavy military transport aircraft is intended to airlift troop forces with organic combat materiel and armament from the interior of the country to theaters of operations, reinforce airborne troops with heavy combat materiel, deliver cargoes for fleet forces on the ocean theaters of naval operations, and also airlift heavy and large-size civilian cargoes. The aircraft is provided with two cargo hatches (front and rear) to facilitate and speed up cargo loading/unloading operations. Para dropping/cargo-handling equipment, an on board complex for automated check-out of aircraft systems and equipment for technical condition, and two auxiliary power units equipped with electric generators and turbo pumps ensure an independent operation of the aircraft from concrete and unpaved runways. The on board equipment enables the crew to execute airlift/paradrop missions by day and at night in VFR and IFR weather conditions, in hostile air defense opposition environment as well as during the prolonged operation beyond the main basing airfield. The equipment comprises a flight control and aiming/navigation complex, standard communications facilities, and paradropping/cargo-handling equipment.
The flight control and aiming/navigation complex comprises an autonomous navigation system, combat formation flight control equipment, short-range radio navigation and landing system, long-range radio navigation system, astronavigation system, ground surveillance radar, forward-looking weather radar, optical/TV sight and other systems. The paradropping/cargo-handling equipment comprises two travelling cranes, two winches, rollgang and tiedown facilities.
The aircraft can airlift the entire range of armament and combat materiel of organic elements of fighting services.