09 Oktober 2009

Russia and Ukraine Will Continue An-70 Program

9 Oktober 2009

Antonov An-70 (photo : KievUkraineinfo)

Ukrainian, Russian Delegations to Discuss An-70 Program in October

The Ukrainian and Russian defense ministries will start to coordinate terms of the joint Antonov An-70 military cargo aircraft project by the end of October, a high-ranking military representative told Interfax in Kyiv on Wednesday.

"Tactical and technical parameters of the prospective plane, test flights and pricing will be discussed in October. The Antonov Aeronautical Design and Production Center, the designer of the An-70, will take part in the conference," he said.

An-70 able to carry 35-47 tonnes and max weight 130 tonnes can compared with Airbus A-400M which have a maximum capacity of 37 tonnes (photo : Airliners)

As for Ukrainian state funding of the project in 2010, the source said the sum would be announced once the draft budget for next year was complete. "This year's allocations from the stabilization fund were set at UAH 200 million. The funding has not yet begun," the source said.

This August Moscow and Kyiv amended the intergovernmental agreement on the An-70 and An-70T with D-27 engines of June 24, 1993.

Cockpit of An-70 (photo : Airliners)

According to the document, the sides will jointly design and test the An-70 aircraft with short takeoff and landing and its modifications, including the civil jet with D-27 engines.

The sides also pledged the joint financing of the project from national budgets.

Interior of An-70 (photo : Airliners)

The completion of state tests and the beginning of serial production have been adjourned until 2011.

Russia and Ukraine will invest about $1.5 billion in the project, while about $100 million are necessary for research and development. Russia's acknowledged debt to Antonov is $48.2 million. The debt has not been repaid.

An-70 (photo : Airliners)

The An-70 modification, An7X remodeled to meet NATO standards, was viewed as the platform of a new European medium-range cargo jet, but the European A400M was eventually preferred. The A400M release date has been delayed for several reasons, and Europe is considering the possible use of An-70 in NATO and EU operations.

Ukraine said it was ready to present a commercial modification of An-70 by 2013. The jet may be equipped with Western-made avionics.

(Kyiv Post)

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