The Turkish side at the recent negotiations between the presidents of the two countries in Ankara announced its interest in the possibility of completing the second unit of the world’s largest transport aircraft An-225 Mriya, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Strategic Industries of Ukraine Oleh Urusky has said.
“The situation was quite strange for me when, during the visit, President of Turkey and me raised the issue of completing the second Mriya and even despite the sum I said it would cost, the Turkish side said that we would continue discussion,” Urusky said at a press conference in Kyiv.
According to him, experts’ negotiations on this issue are expected.
“We cannot either complete the manufacture of Ruslan (An-125) or build new ones. However, we can complete the manufacture of Mriya both theoretically and practically,” the deputy prime minister said.
He added that the matter concerns the possibility of purchasing the An-178 medium transport aircraft, since Turkey has an interest in strategic transport aircraft.
The An-225 Mriya is the largest and most powerful transport aircraft in the world, created by Kyiv Antonov Design Bureau. The An-225 with a maximum curb weight of 640 tonnes is the heaviest aircraft in the world. In November 2004, the World Air Sports Federation included the An-225 into the Guinness World Records for its 240 records.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky believes that Ukraine and Turkey could jointly do a lot in the field of aircraft construction and the creation of unmanned aircraft systems.
“As for the Antonov aircraft, we are certainly pleased with the interest in this enterprise. It is just as logical that in the field of aircraft construction, we can do a lot together with our Turkish friends,” he said in an interview with the Demirören Turkish news agency, answering a question whether there are new joint projects that the two countries plan to implement in the defense industry, and whether it is possible to start joint production of Turkish unmanned aircraft and the Antonov aircraft.
Zelensky said that Turkish unmanned aircraft have proven to be the best. “This is exactly the type of hardware that can completely change the situation on the battlefield. We are certainly interested in joint production. There is nothing special to explain, everything is simple. Turkey is showing serious success in this sector, and we purchase these products. Ukraine, in turn, produces engines for unmanned aircraft. Therefore, the launch of a joint venture is a natural move,” he said.
The president also said that these are far from all areas in which Ukraine can and expects to cooperate with Turkey in the context of the defense industry. “Engine building, development of air defense systems, joint production of a corvette-class ship. The potential for cooperation is huge,” Zelensky said.
The Antonov State Enterprise (Kyiv) plans to enter the final stage in terms of testing, certifying and creating a new configuration of the An-178 medium cargo transport aircraft without Russian components, State Enterprise President Oleksandr Los has said in an interview with the Ekonomichna Pravda edition.
“Beginning from January 1, 2023, we are to expand the production of An-178 to 12 aircraft per year alongside developing financial framework, expanding markets, and processing state orders from Ukrainian companies,” he said.
“This is what we obtain from the potential marketing analysis that is needed by Ukrainian state authorities and meets the demands of our potential customers,” he added.
Los explained that due to the historically existing dependence on Russian components, the An-178 is the only immediately prepared serial production to date.
“Passenger An-158 aircraft is in order, since both models are related in terms of equipment. We are also starting to work on the aircraft under the working name of An-188,” the Antonov president said.
According to him, three An-148 and ten An-158 aircraft are currently in the Antonov serial production workshops at different stages of completion.
The president of the state enterprise said that for the time being COVID-19 pandemic complicates the work of Antonov, but plans are implemented as scheduled.
“As soon as I tried to increase the number of employees, the number of COVID cases immediately increased,” Los said, adding that the chief engineer of the enterprise had recovered from coronavirus.
Austria has canceled the ban on landing aircraft from Ukraine since August 1, but the general regime of entry for Ukrainian citizens into this country remains unchanged – entry for tourism purposes will remain banned, Ukrainian Ambassador to Vienna Oleksandr Scherba has said.
“I have two news – good and bad. The good news is that starting from August 1, Austria will lift the ban on landing aircraft from “at-risk countries,” including Ukraine. The bad news is that it looks like the general regime the entry of Ukrainians into Austria remains unchanged, that is, there is no tourism. Those who have a residence permit, those who fly for special family reasons (wedding, family reunification, funeral…), as well as for urgent treatment can enter. They must have a fresh COVID-19 test taken,” he wrote on Facebook on Friday.
According to Scherba, an official note on the new regime is expected on Saturday.
“I know that there are a lot of questions from Ukrainian students who have just entered Austrian universities, therefore they do not yet have a residence permit. I don’t have an answer about the order of their arrival yet. If I have, I’ll write,” the diplomat said.
Turkey showed interest in the Ukrainian An-178 aircraft, this issue was discussed at a meeting of Interior Minister of Ukraine Arsen Avakov and Interior Minister of Turkey Süleyman Soylu.
“Our An-178 aircraft is presented at the modern technology exhibition in Istanbul, which we are honored to attend. The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine plans to purchase 13 such aircraft for the State Emergencies Service to eliminate fires and for the National Guard. I hope the Turkish side will pay attention to our An-178,” the press service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs quoted Avakov as saying.
In turn, the Turkish interior minister praised the An-178 and expressed interest in this aircraft.
“The An-178 is a very good aircraft. In addition, our Mi-17 helicopters are being modernized in Ukraine, six of which we have already received. For us, this is an example of very successful cooperation with you,” Soylu said.
Avakov invited him to visit Ukraine. “I really hope that you will visit Ukraine at the end of the month. We will have large-scale exercises that you should see. In addition, I will show you new modernized models of the Mi-8 helicopter. And Airbus will present the helicopters that they supply for the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine,” he said.
In response, Soylu suggested that he would most likely come to Ukraine.
The multi-purpose transport aircraft An-178 was developed at the Antonov state-owned enterprise, which is part of state-run Ukroboronprom. About 200 companies from 15 countries are involved in production cooperation under the An-178 program.
The flight altitude of the An-178 is 12 km, the range is 5,500 km, and the maximum speed is 825 km/h. The aircraft has a modified fuselage shape, a ramp for loading and unloading oversized cargo and is capable of transporting up to 18 tonnes of cargo, including heavy sea containers. It can land and take off from any airdromes, including unpaved ones.
The An-178 made its first flight on May 7, 2015. In July 2018, Ukroboronprom presented the An-178 at the Farnborough Airshow international aerospace show, where the aircraft performed a demonstration flight.
Ukraine International Airline (UIA) jointly with ATASS-Boryspil bus operator (earlier it carried passengers from the Boryspil international airport to the central railway station of Kyiv) launched intermodal transportation between Vinnytsia and Boryspil International Airport, the press service of the UIA has reported.
The UIA combined services connecting Vinnytsia and Kyiv are operated daily on Neoplan buses. Buses depart from Terminal D, Boryspil International Airport, at 20:25, and Terminal Square, Vinnytsia airport, at 03:00.
“UIA baggage and hand baggage allowance applies to this type of travelling. Meanwhile, passengers are not required to check-in their luggage for the bus service. Animals, bulky sporting equipment, non-folding wheelchairs, and weapons are not permitted for transportation by bus,” the press service said.
The press service said that this is the first time UIA launches an intermodal service. The intermodal service is successfully provided by some European airlines.