Ukraine, Turkey in talks to produce military cargo plane

Published 20.07.2018 00:00

Ukraine's state-owned defense industrial group Ukroboronprom announced in a statement that it has held talks with Turkey for the joint production of the new AN-188 military cargo plane. The aircraft will be produced by Kiev-based defense company Antonov with a capacity of 50 tons and the Turkish delegation will visit its facilities in Kiev in this regard, according to Ukrainian media.

"In the near future, a Turkish delegation will visit the state-run Antonov to finalize the drafting of legal documents on establishing a joint venture to develop, build and test the AN-188 aircraft. According to the legislation, the documents will be submitted to the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine for consideration. The Turkish side will carry out the relevant procedure as well," the press service of Ukraine's state-run military, Ukroboronprom, said in a statement on July 17.

Ukroboronprom said that they aim to establish a partnership with Turkey to bring together the Antonov aircraft manufacturing company operating under its roof and Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) for the design, production and test flights of the AN-188 military cargo plane. Ukroboronprom General Director Pavlo Bukin and the Undersecretary for Defense Industries İsmail Demir came together in April at the 2018 Eurasia Airshow in Antalya to discuss this issue. It was noted in the statement released by Ukroboronprom that the company and TAI officials met again on July 16 at the Farnborough International Aviation Fair in the United Kingdom, and that the interest in maintaining cooperation in this direction has continued.

According to the statement, a TAI delegation will soon visit Antonov's facilities in Ukrainian capital city Kiev to prepare official documents to form a partnership for the AN-188 military cargo plane.

Antonov aims to develop the AN-188 military cargo plane through the ongoing AN-178 platform in line with NATO standards. The AN-188 turbojet military cargo aircraft, with a capacity of 50 tons, can carry a wide range of loads including military equipment, military and construction equipment, helicopters, humanitarian aid and containers with up to 300 soldiers.

Equipped with precision landing gear and with four turbojet engines, the aircraft will be capable of landing and departing on all kinds of runways up to 600 meters long.

Turkey aims to carry out joint projects with Ukraine, which has significant knowledge and experience in the defense field. To this end, while negotiating for the Altay tank engine, ASELSAN and ROKETSAN also signed two agreements in Ukraine last year.

ASELSAN signed a contract agreement with SFTE Spets Techno Export to supply Zaslon-L'Active Protection Systems, while ROKETSAN signed a collaboration agreement with the same company for the joint development of explosive reactive armor (ERA).

Active Protection System Pulat to be manufactured by ASELSAN and its Ukrainian partner has begun to be integrated into tanks after successfully passing tests in recent months.

ASELSAN signed a $44 million contract last year with the state-owned foreign trade company Spets Techno Export for the ASELSAN software-based military radio family products in order to meet the needs of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

In addition, during Ankara session of the joint commission of military-technical cooperation established between Turkey and Ukraine, the Ukrainian and Turkish authorities signed a memorandum of understanding to supply Ukraine with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and to open a joint venture.

A week ago, the First Deputy Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Oleg Gladkovskyi visited Baykar Makina's Istanbul center, which produces the Bayraktar TB-2 armed UAVs. During the visit, the issues of shipping to Ukraine and the opening of a joint UAV construction center were discussed.

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