President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky announced his intention to build another Mriya aircraft, dedicating this project to the memory of the pilots who died in the war, including during the defense of Mariupol.
During an online meeting with Ukrainian students on Thursday, he recalled that at one time there was an idea to build a second copy of this unique aircraft.
“We wanted to build it, we needed 800 million dollars. I turned to the President of Turkey with a proposal to build the 2nd MRIYA, but we did not find the money,” he said,
“But in this case, this is not a matter of money, it is a matter of ambition. Ukroboronprom, the Antonov team contacted us. This is a matter of the image of our state and all the excellent professional pilots who died in this war,” Zelensky also said.
He called them “heroic people”. “How much they did, today you can already say how much they saved the lives of people who remained in Mariupol, especially at Azovstal … How many pilots gave their lives to bring everything there, from weapons to water. And how many wounded they took from there A large number of these people died heroically,” the president said.
“Building MRIYA for the sake of the memory of heroes is the right state position,” Zelensky stressed.
The world’s largest transport aircraft “Mriya” was destroyed during the battles for the airport “Gostomel” at the end of February 2022.
An-225 “Mriya” is an aviation giant, which holds records for the transportation of the maximum commercial cargo and the longest and heaviest monocargo in the history of aviation, carrying capacity.