For five years the Ukrainian aircraft manufacturer has not finished building an aircraft or handed one over to a customer. But now there is one plane in production.
The giants of the Antonov brand are currently in the spotlight. In the corona crisis, An-124 are just as often seen on airports as the gigantic An-225, which is flying again after long maintenance work. Besides their dimensions, Antonov aircraft have something else in common: they are not very young anymore.
And the Ukrainian aircraft manufacturer has not been producing any new planes for a long time, as Aivaras Abromavichus recently revealed. The head of the state corporation Ukroboronprom of which Antonov is part told TV station Kanal 24 that for five years its daughter Antonov had not finished a single aircraft. Nor did the manufacturer hand over any more to a customer.
An-178 for Peru in production
At present, however, Antonov is working on completing an aircraft – an An-178 transporter ordered by the Peruvian Ministry of the Interior. Work on the fuselage has been underway since May, while the tail unit and large wing sections have already been completed. Abromavichus explained that they also hope for a follow-up order from the South American country.
According to the head of Ukroboronprom, negotiations are also ongoing with potential customers from Azerbaijan, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and India. Above all, however, efforts are currently being made to place at least two An-178s with the Ukrainian military and police.
Russian parts are replaced
Antonov is currently focusing on resuming series production of the An-1X8 family, which includes the An-148 and An-158 passenger jets and the An-178 transport aircraft. One challenge is to replace Russian parts that Antonov no longer receives.
In November 2019, the then head of Antonov, Oleksandr Donets, who was recently deposed, had declared in an interview with aeroTELEGRAPH «that the selection of Ukrainian and Western articles to replace the Russian ones is complete». Nevertheless, it seems that not everything is going well with imports yet. This is another reason why a closer cooperation with Boeing is being discussed.
An-148 still built in Russia
The conflict between Ukraine and Russia also ensures that the aircraft manufacturer Antonov has not built an airplane anymore, but this is said to have happened in Russia. For example, there are reports that the Voronezh Aircraft Production Association Vaso has produced more An-148s in order to process a 2013 order from the Russian military. The last of these planes was therefore built in 2018 and handed over in early 2019.
The final 2 An-148-100E aircraft for the Russian Air Force (as part of a May 2013 contract for 15 aircraft) have joined the Central Military District’s 32nd Separate Transport Mixed Aviation Regiment stationed at the Koltsovo airfield in Yekaterinburg. https://t.co/GqaD8kKmAN pic.twitter.com/kh6IOVxhoQ
— Rob Lee (@RALee85) January 20, 2019