Antonov State Enterprise, which is part of Ukroboronprom state concern, at the end of last year demonstrated the first military transport aircraft An-178-100R No. 001 designed for flight certification tests. “Ukraine demonstrates its defense capability thanks to synergy, united efforts… The synergy of [the relevant parliamentary committee who fully support the Armed Forces, representatives of the command of the Armed Forces, the leadership of Ukroboronprom, the leadership of the plant and the Ministry of Defense] guarantees our exact victory with you, and it will not only be three such planes, but more,” Minister of Defense of Ukraine Oleksiy Reznikov said at the plane’s roll-out ceremony in Kyiv on December 28.
Director of General Antonov State Enterprise Serhiy Bychkov said that the aircraft was transferred to a flight test base for ground and flight tests.
According to him, the state, through Ukreximbank, allocated an almost interest-free loan to the Antonov to manufacture the aircraft for the Ministry of Defense, and the company has already received about UAH 1 billion from the Ministry of Defense.
Bychkov said that this is the first aircraft of this generation in design, ergonomics and management, which was created in the post-Soviet space. “Such an aircraft in this class has not yet been on our territory, so it will require very careful, reliable testing in all parameters to make the first flight. I will not sign the acceptance act if I am not convinced that the first flight will be completely safe and reliable. Such a control system has not yet existed and does not exist. You are present at the opening of a new era. In the Soviet Union, there was no such aircraft, and now Russia certainly doesn’t have,” Bychkov said.
At the same time, the director general of the Antonov State Enterprise said that the auxiliary power unit for the aircraft was manufactured in Italy.
“There is not a single product, the equipment of which is Russian-made, I declare with all my authority… I have nothing to hide, nothing to deceive, especially from the Ministry of Defense,” he said.
An-178-100R is a next generation aircraft that can be used for the transportation of personnel, the delivery of weapons and light military equipment by landing and parachute methods, as well as for the transportation of goods. The aircraft is designed to transport up to 100 people in total, people in need of medical evacuation (40 people on standard sanitary stretchers, 38 people on the side seats, accompanied by 4 paratroopers), and paratroopers up to 86 people.
More than 30 Ukrainian enterprises take part in the An-178-100R program, which produced 177 types of components for this aircraft. In particular, for the first time in Ukraine Antonov, scientific and technical complex Ekran, PJSC FED, SOE Kharkiv Aggregate Design Bureau have developed and implemented a modern electronic control system for aircraft and a control system for wing mechanization. SOE Pivdenny (Yuzhny) Machine-Building Plant has launched the production of main landing gear. Foreign suppliers from Europe, the United States and Canada are also involved in the equipment of the aircraft.
Antonov received a state procurement order for the construction of three aircraft with the support of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the end of December 2020.
The airframe of the first of the three ordered aircraft was fully completed. The fuselage, wing, and tail unit of the second An-178-100R were assembled ahead of schedule.