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Prototype Military Transport Plane Crashes Outside Moscow

MOSCOW — A prototype military transport plane crashed while performing a test flight outside Moscow on Tuesday, Russia's United Aircraft Corporation said. 

The new light military transport plane, Il-112V, crashed in a forested area as it was coming in for a landing at the Kubinka airfield about 45 kilometers (28 miles) west of Moscow, spokespeople of the corporation told the Tass news agency.

Two test pilots and a flight engineer were aboard the plane, and their fate is still unclear, the corporation said. A rescue operation is underway. 

The Baza online news outlet posted a video on its channel in the messaging app Telegram of an airplane crashing into the woods after one of its engines caught fire. 

Police opened a criminal probe into the incident, as is usual in such cases. 

The plane flew to the Moscow region last week and was set to be unveiled at the Army-2021 forum later this month. It is the first military transport plane developed in Russia from scratch since the Soviet Union collapsed. 

Il-112V has turboprop engines and is designed to transport personnel, military equipment and weapons. It is capable of carrying up to 5 tons of cargo. 

The plane's first flight took place in March 2019, but it was reported to be too heavy and in need of improvements. Testing of Il-112V resumed only in March 2021. 

Serial production of Il-112V is expected to begin in 2023 at the Voronezh Aviation Enterprise, which can produce up to 12 such planes a year.

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