Antonov’s production schedule affected by Russo-Ukrainian conflict
Ukrainian aircraft manufacturer Antonov will not deliver a single airplane in 2016. In an interview to the Ukrainian radio station Vesti, deputy head of the advanced development division Andrey Khaustov said the breach of cooperation with Russia has critically affected the company’s production schedule.
“Several of our airplanes are still not finished. For now we need to find alternatives to all Russian components,” says Khaustov. This also includes avionics, which will most likely be substituted with products by Canaian OEM Esterline.
However, Antonov estimates the company will still be able to launch commercial production of An-148/158 passenger jets on its own in 2017. The manufacturer’s ambitions are to commercialize the new An-178 transport aircraft in 2017, as well as to finalize the first An-132D (D stands for demonstration airplane), exclusively designed for Saudi Arabia, by the end of this year. The company emphasizes that the aircraft will not contain any Russian-supplied components.
“The two aircraft in 2015 – an An-148 and an An-158 – were the last ones to leave the company’s assembly facilities,” Khaustov confirms.
The idea of Antonov’s rejecting Russian-made components was for the first time articulated in late 2015 in the context of Ukraine’s deteriorating relations with Russia. Although by that time, it was supposed to affect the wide-body An-124 transporter only.
Russia has also faced the consequences of the bilateral relations breakdown. With the reference to Antonov’s unwillingness to cooperate, Russia’s largest An-124 operator, Volga-Dnepr, suggested the designer supervision for the type (needed for service life extension) should be ceded to Ilyushin. Antonov responded that they might no longer bear responsibility for the safe operation of the aircraft. Should that be the case, the Russian company will not be able to operate the type outside Russia.
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