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Russia-Ukraine An-70 program under strain

July 16, 2014, 15:18 UTC+3 MOSCOW
In 2012, Russia and Ukraine agreed a manufacturing cooperation plan and completed modernization of An-70 electronic equipment
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An-70 military transport aircraft

An-70 military transport aircraft

© ITAR-TASS/Alexander Yakovlev and Yuri Mashkov

MOSCOW, July 16. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian companies can soon entirely wind up participation in the Russian-Ukrainian manufacturing of the military transport aircraft An-70, a source in the military industrial complex told ITAR-TASS on Wednesday.

“Amid the present Ukraine crisis, An-70 project has no future at all,” the source said.

The Russian United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) has confirmed serious difficulties with the project.

“The Russian Ministry of Defense considered buying a consignment of An-70 but the contract has not been signed,” head of the military aviation directorate Vladimir Mikhailov told ITAR-TASS. “Now, as Ukraine is winding up military cooperation with Russia, we have serious problems with this project.”

Last year, Commander of the Russian air forces Viktor Bondarev said the ministry would make a decision on further use of An-70 after successful tests. In the event of a positive decision, the ministry would take into account production of the Russian aircraft Il-476, the general then said.

An-70 is the medium-haul cargo new generation aircraft planned to replace the outmoded and technically obsolete An-12. In 2012, Russia and Ukraine agreed a manufacturing cooperation plan and completed modernization of An-70 electronic equipment. The countries also considered joint manufacturing of the regional aircraft of An-148/An-158 family.

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