MOSCOW, June 6. /TASS/. The Antonov An-124 aircraft can be manufactured in Russia without Ukraine’s participation, Viktor Bondarev, Chairman of Russia’s Federation Council (upper house) Defense and Security Committee, told reporters on Wednesday.
"I believe it is expedient to resume serial production of the An-124 aircraft. Of course, it will have a different name. That will be a completely new aircraft, Russian-made, developed by our designers," he said.
According to the senator, the plane will have a new navigation system and new engines. The use of such aircraft by Russia will meet both the efficiency and safety requirements, Bondarev stressed.
He noted that the Ulyanovsk aircraft-building factory has sufficient capacity, intellectual and technical resources to resume production of the An-124 aircraft, which were manufactured there during the Soviet era.
"Ukraine wants to illegally privatize the right to manufacture these aircraft, and therefore claims we cannot produce them," Bondarev added.
Military Transport Aviation Commander Lieutenant-General Vladimir Benediktov earlier told the Echo of Moscow radio station that Russia was studying an option to resume the production of such aircraft.
According to Vice-President for Transport Aircraft at Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) and CEO of the Ilyushin Aviation Complex Alexei Rogozin, the production of a modified An-124 Ruslan heavy long-range transport plane could be resumed.