China and Ukraine to produce world’s biggest aircraft Antonov

Author : Vyacheslav Lysenko

14:20, 2 September 2016

China and Ukraine to produce world’s biggest aircraft Antonov

Author : Vyacheslav Lysenko

Given China's plans in the space sector, Ukrainian Mriya is part of the Chinese space mission, scheduled for 2020

14:20, 2 September 2016

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Ukraine has traded Antonov An-225 Mriya, a strategic airlift cargo aircraft, for Chinese money. Society was astonished by the news that the China Airspace Company and Ukrainian state-owned enterprise "Antonov" signed a cooperation agreement, under which China takes ownership of the An-225, including the use of drawings and specifications of the aircraft. Some sources say that the Ukraine and China will jointly produce aircraft of this model, while the latter argue that China has fully bought the rights.

Related: Ukraine's "Antonov" to supply its jets with Canadian electronics from now on

Chinese media, in particular China Central Television (CCTV), announced the successful conclusion of the transaction. Ukroboronprom, Ukraine’s association of multi-product enterprises in various sectors of the defense, claims about the long-term bilateral cooperation, particularly, modernization of the aircraft and a joint mass production. At the same time, reports that Airspace Industry Corporation of China also signed a cooperation agreement with the city of Luzhou, Sichuan, on the joint construction of the An-225 aircraft production base in Luzhou and Guyana. Meanwhile, the State Enterprise "Antonov" declined to comment on the situation, as the delegation is not back in Ukraine yet.

Related: Ukraine’s world renowned Antonov plane manufacturer revamps AN-22 model (Photos)

The transaction took place in Beijing, behind closed doors, and details of the negotiations are very little. Initially the Chinese were interested in buying all rights. Given the extremely difficult economic situation of our country and the clear interest of the Chinese partners in the acquisition of the project, I can safely assume that China will have full access to unique technologies in the field of aviation.

Why do Chinese need it? Let us remember, when Ukraine had sold the "Varyag" aircraft carrier, and Chinese partners converted the ship into a floating casino. The Chinese are interested in the aircraft not only because of its unique transport potential. It can improve the image of any country, because the project requires a large investment, which indicates economic potential. AN-225 Mriya holds the absolute world records for an airlifted single item payload of 189,980 kilograms. It has been initially developed for the task of transporting the Buran Soviet space shuttle spaceplane. Given China's plans in the space sector, it can be argued that the Ukrainian Mriya is part of the Chinese space mission, scheduled for 2020. This is confirmed by the statement of the Chinese side on the issue of China's first An-225 in the first half of 2019.

Related: Antonov enterprise buys avionics for new An-132 from USA

China is clearly interested in buying the whole government enterprise. "Antonov" is not only a name with a long history, it is a highly skilled and technical development. But the Chinese have the monetary resources, and Ukraine does not have them.

Related: Antonov presents new transport airplane at Dubai Aeroshow 2015

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