The An-12 Soviet military transport aircraft (or 'Cub' according to
NATO classification) was produced at the end of the1950s under the
guidance of O.K. Antonov. From the very beginning of its long service
the intended principal mission of this aircraft was transportation;
however, as the years passed, its role in the Soviet Air Force changed
repeatedly due to the fact that this aircraft was capable of performing
so many roles not originally envisaged.
The An-12PP built in 1970 was one of the most interesting (and at the
same time the most secret) modifications. During this period air
defense systems were very dominant and the role of an air force during
the era of the Cold War had somewhat decreased due to the threat of
major losses of flight crew in the opening phases of potential
conflict. The rapid development of air-to-air missiles was also a
negative factor, especially after the introduction of missiles with
In these circumstances the Council of Ministers and the USSR Ministry
of Defense issued a government order for the production of a compact
(for that time) system for radio interference which could be installed
in the aircraft which would perform the task right above the area of
action. Officially declaring a peaceful policy, the Soviet Union
assumed that any likely conflict would be outside the borders of the
USSR. The aircraft most suitable for fitting such equipment in was the
An-12. In 1968 a special electronics suite was installed in an
experimental An-12B aircraft. It consisted of automatic stations
generating spot jamming, as well as active and passive electronic radar
countermeasures which would disable the adversary's air defense system
and anti-aircraft missile guiding system. Apart from those mentioned
above, the aircraft was equipped with special systems for crew
protection in case of possible use of weapons of mass destruction
(including biological ones).
The test flights were successful and shortly afterwards 27 standard
An-12B and An-12BK transports were modified to An-12PP specifications.
In 1971 an An-12PP was modified again: the aircraft was further
equipped with the 'Lilac' system of group defense, installed in
external containers. This modification received the name An-12BK-PPS.
The rapid development of electronic systems demanded constant upgrading
of the special equipment. In 1974 the An-12PP was substituted by the
An-12BK-PPS, the improved version. Automatic equipment for infra-red
interference was installed on this type.
The An-12BK-PPS has long been one of the least known Soviet aircraft
types. Their service was very limited; maybe their only 'real' fighting
experience was gained during the Yom Kippur Arab-Israeli war of 1973
when the aircraft flew with Syrian markings, with Soviet crew.
The An-12BK-PPS (it received the NATO code Cub-C) was not exported to
allied countries, with one exception - the Indian Air Force received 4
aircraft of this type.
The An-12BK-PPS was extensively used in service until the end of the
1980s. The type mostly served along the USSR's borders during military
training. After the break-up of the Soviet Union, the An-12BK-PPS
remained in service only in the Russian Air Force. Several machines are
still in service today.
Thanks to the Roden Website for that historical background
With as much invested into the AN-12 kit as Roden has
done, it was only natural that they'd try to come up with different
variations on the basic kit. This is the first one I'm aware of though I
do note from their website that a civil version will be offered. Choosing
the ELINT version of the An-12 means that there are quite a few
additional fits and pieces added, most of them antennas and various
fuselage bulges and bumps. These are offered on three new sprues shown on
the right of the image above. With a total of 270 pieces, this kit will
be keeping the builder quite busy.
Since it is the same basic kit as their
earlier AN-12BK, all the comments on that
one are germane to this one as well. The instructions are well drawn and
provide all the needed information regarding the application of all the
little antennas and pods. Color information is given with Humbrol and
generic name references. Basically, you have a grey
airplane with two
different numbers. It is a fact that large ELINT airplanes have rarely
carried any sort of fancy designs, preferring to remain somewhat
anonymous. Units covered on the sheet are:
- An-12BK-PPS "red 14", Russian Air Force, Levashovo airfield, 2001.
- An-12BK-PPS "red 90", Soviet Air Force, Far Baikal Military
District, late 1970s.
Decals are well printed and since they won't be put on any convoluted
surfaces, they should prove to be no problems. Though Roden supplies an
anti-glare panel decal for the nose, I'd recommend painting this on as it
will look a lot nicer.
Once again, a very nice kit from Roden. This one will
surely turn a few heads when you show it off at your next meeting or show
Thanks to the fine folks at
for the review kit. Visit
them by clicking on the logo.
If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly by a
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