KYIV, Ukraine – 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.