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Antonov An-30 (Clank) - Soviet Union, 1968

Detailing the development and operational history of the Antonov An-30 (Clank) Transport / Reconnaissance Aircraft.

 Entry last updated on 8/29/2017; Authored by Staff Writer; Content ¬©

Just over 100 Antonov An-30 aircraft were completed by the company for service with the Soviet Empire during the Cold War period.

The Antonov An-30 was developed by Beriev of the Soviet Union during the 1960s as an aerial survey platform. The design was based on the framework established by the earlier Antonov An-24 airliner of 1962. A first-flight, by way of prototype, was had on August 21st, 1967 and service introduction began in July 1968. From the period of 1971 to 1980, some 123 were built covering both civilian and military operators from Bulgaria and China to the Soviet Union and Vietnam.

The An-30 was known to NATO under the codename of "Clank".

Design-wise the An-30 retained much of the form and function of the An-24 that it was originated from. The nose section was obviously reworked for the new role but the aircraft carried a high-wing mainplane arrangement, each seating a turboprop engine at the leading edges. The fuselage was tubular and tapered noticeably at the rear to which a single vertical fin was mounted with low-set horizontal stabilizers. The undercarriage was of a tricycle arrangement and fully-retractable.

As built, the An-30 featured a crew of seven and a length of 79.6 feet, a wingspan of 95.9 feet and a height of 27.2 feet. Empty weight was 34,400 lb against an MTOW of 50,705lb. Power was from 2 x ZMKB Progress AI-24T turboprop engines developing 2,803 horsepower each. Maximum speed reached 335 miles per hour with a cruising speed of 265mph. Range was out to 1,635 miles and the aircraft's service ceiling was 27,230 feet.

The An-24FK served as the only prototype of the An-30's development and this was based on the existing An-24B with a slightly elevated flight deck and navigator's position in the glazed-over nose section. The An-30A was the first in-service production form and introduced into the civilian market through the Ministry of Civil Aviation (Soviet). Some of the stock was also sold off to export customers. The An-30B was the follow-up, militarized model for service in the Soviet Air Force and differed in its avionics suite. Later versions also had countermeasures kits fitted.

The An-30D "Sibiryak" was a long-range development of the An-30A production model. The aircraft were given increased range through larger fuel stores and were equipped with more modern and mission-specific systems. These served in the civilian market.

The An-30FG was a one-off Czech Air Force An-30 which carried Western radar. The An-30M "Meteozashchita" was a weather research platform. The An-30R became an NBC (Nuclear, Biological, Chemical) reconnaissance platform for Soviet Air Force service. This mark served handily in the Chernobyl crisis of 1986.

The An-30 series serves in a limited capacity today (2017) with civil operator Aero-Fret in the Congo and Bulgaria, Romania, Russia and Ukraine being the only known military operators.

Antonov An-30 (Clank) Specifications

Service Year: 1968
Type: Transport / Reconnaissance Aircraft
National Origin: Soviet Union
Manufacturer(s): Antonov OKB / Beriev - Soviet Union / Russia
Total Production: 123

Structural (Crew, Dimensions, Weights)

Operating Crew (Typical): 7
Overall Length: 79.56 feet (24.25 meters)
Overall Width: 95.80 feet (29.20 meters)
Overall Height: 27.30 feet (8.32 meters)

Weight (Empty): 34,392 lb (15,600 kg)
Weight (MTOW): 50,706 lb (23,000 kg)

Power / Performance (Engine Type, Top Speed)

Engine: 2 x ZMKB Progress AI-24T turboprop engines developing 2,803 horsepower each.

Maximum Speed: 292 knots (336 mph; 540 kph)
Maximum Range: 1,420 nautical miles (1,634 miles; 2,630 km)
Service Ceiling: 27,231 feet (8,300 meters; 5.16 miles)

Armament / Mission Payload


Global Operators (Customers, Users)

Afghanistan; Bulgaria; China; Cuba; Czech Republic; Czechoslovakia; Mongolia; Romania; Russia; Soviet Union; Sudan; Ukraine; Vietnam

Model Variants

An-30 "Clank" - Base Series Designation
An-24FK - Prototype; converted from An-24B model; revised / glazed nose section.
An-30A - Civilian market variant; 65 examples.
An-30B - Soviet Air Force model; 26 examples.
An-30D "Sibiryak" - Long-range cold-weather service variant.
An-30FG - Czech Air Force model; Western weather radar system installed; single example.
An-30M "Meteozashchita" - Weather research platform.
An-30R - NBC (Nuclear, Biological, Chemical) reconnaissance platform.