Ukraine Cooperates with Russia on $4 Billion AN-70 Project
Ukrainian company Antonov together with Russian United Aircraft Corporation will participate in manufacturing Antonov An-70 transport airplanes. Russian defense ministry already placed an order for 60 such machines, USD 67 million apiece. Developed since 1978, An-70 can carry heavier cargo than existing transport planes and land on ill-equipped runways.
An-70 can carry 300 troopers, or 200 injured persons, or 47 tons of freight. Comparably, the closest alternative to An-70 - Airbus A400M Atlas - can carry 37 tons of cargo. Market price of the Spanish A400M is EUR 145 million, whereas the Ukrainian An-70 costs less than USD 70 million.
Planes An-70 will be produced at JSC Gorbunov Kazan Aviation Production Association in Kazan, Russia. The plane can fly at a speed of 780 kilometers per hour at distances of up to 7,800 kilometers. An-70 is capable of landing on 600-800 meter runways with earth surfaces. Onboard navigation equipment allows the plane to land and takeoff at airports lacking special earth-based equipment.
The four engines Progress D-27 make it possible for shorter takeoff and landing of An-70. By the end of August 2012, Ukraine plans to finalize testing of the three-shaft propfan engine. Ukrainian state enterprise Ivchenko-Progress developed the engine, while PJSC Motor Sich, Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, will produce D-27.
An-70 will be built in compliance with the AP-25 norms of the Interstate Aviation Committee - Airworthiness Standards for Category Airplanes. This will allow certification of An-70 for civilian aviation in Western Europe and North America.
The planned amount of An-70s to be produced by 2020 is 80 machines. Specifically for the purposes of An-70 production Russia will build a separate plant at JSC Gorbunov Kazan Aviation Production Association, according to the Prime Minister of Russia Dmitry Medvedev.
Besides Russia, Ukraine is currently cooperating with China (AI-222-25F turbofans), Iran (An-140, An-148) on aircraft production projects. Additionally, in July 2012, joint Ukraine-Russia Ruslan SALIS GmbH won NATO air transportation bid.
Ruslan SALIS will provide An-124-100s for air transportation services for the Strategic Airlift Interim Solution project. Within the framework of previous cooperation with joint Ukraine-Russia enterprise, NATO uses An-124-100s to transport troops to and from Afghanistan and peacekeepers in and out of Darfur, as well as to deliver aid to the victims of October 2005 earthquake in Pakistan.
Source: KYIV, Ukraine | Worldwide News Ukraine (WNU) News - 21 August 2012
Photo: The Ukrainian Antonov An-70 Transport Aircraft (Photo by MAKS)