The Antonov An-12 is a four-engine turboprop short-to-medium range cargo aircraft capable of transporting 18,000 kg of mixed freight. Cargo pallets require a forklift to access its main deck. The Antonov AN-12 has a rear loading ramp, ceiling mounted gantry crane and onboard winches and hoists to assist with loading oversize or bulk cargo.
History and Features
For more than three decades the AN-12 was the standard medium-range cargo and paratroop transport aircraft of the Soviet air forces. A total of 1,234 were eventually built.
In addition to its basic cargo transport role, the AN-12 was adapted as a platform for a wide variety of specialist tasks and some 30 different variants were produced. Upgrades included increased take-off weights and additional fuel capacity.
The upgraded variant AN-12BP became the standard tactical transport of the Soviet and other air forces. In 2019, it was announced at the military “Army-2019” Forum that Russia started working on an armed ground-attack and close air support variant of the AN-12, similar to the AC-130.
On 12 January 2009, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) issued a temporary ban of the AN-12 from flying over their airspace following runway incursions at Sharjah International Airport and the GCAA has advised operators to stop using the aircraft.The ban was made permanent in Feb 2010.
Procharter has operated several hundred AN-12 cargo flights in Afghanistan and Iraq, in a variety of roles and cargo configurations, and the robust workhorse has performed admirably in the hot and challenging conditions.
In Iraq, Procharter operated the AN-12 in a role more commonly operated by the C-130, and the success of the project received laudatory praise from senior Military Commanders on the ground and at Headquarter locations.
The AN-12 is similar to the Military C-130 ‘Hercules’ and C-160 ‘Transall’ in capability and performance, but a lot less expensive to operate than the Lockheed.