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KIEV, July 17 (Itar-Tass) - Russia and Ukraine have agreed to establish a joint venture for the production of the world’s largest aircraft - AN-124 Ruslan, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Boiko said on Channel Five television on Wednesday.
“The decision has been made to establish a joint venture to build the An-124 Ruslan plane. It is the largest plane in the world. We have received instructions from the prime ministers of the two countries to sign the founding documents in September at a meeting of the Ukrainian-Russian Committee on Economic Cooperation,” Boiko said.
The An-124 plane is attractive for partners in Ukraine and Russia, the deputy prime minister noted. “It is a very large aircraft that can lift about 100 tonnes of cargo, take off from short runways,” he stressed.
The Antonov An-124 Ruslan (NATO reporting name: Condor) is a strategic airlift jet aircraft. It was designed by the Antonov design bureau in the Ukrainian SSR, then part of the Soviet Union. The An-124 is the world’s largest serially manufactured cargo airplane and world’s second largest operating cargo aircraft, behind the one-off Antonov An-225 (an enlarged variant of the An-124) .
Earlier, Boiko said that “the most realistic project is the construction of the An-124 plane by a joint venture with the contribution of each party.” According to him, the Ukrainian side could bring to the joint venture the technological base and innovative component, and Russia - the financial component and the sales market. “In this case, the JV intellectual property should be protected by the relevant documents from the transfer to a third party,” the deputy prime minister added.
According to Boiko, the establishment of a joint venture by Ukrainian and Russian aircraft manufacturers will allow them to avoid competition with each other and promote the joint venture’s products in third country markets. “We are interested in launching the joint venture as soon as possible. Russia has its own knowhow, and we have our own. If the efforts in this sphere are combined, this will certainly give a positive effect,” he noted.
The Ukrainian deputy prime minister also expressed confidence in the success of projects for the construction of aircraft, developed by Ukraine’s state-run Antonov enterprise. “All Antonov planes, currently over 5,000 of them are used in the world, are very reliable aircraft. And projects for their production will be only developing,” Boiko added.
“Our proposal, which was supported by Russian colleagues - is to make a pilot project for the production of the An-124 plane, to show how it works, and then proceed to deeper integration on the development of other planes: both passenger and specialised,” the Ukrainian deputy prime minister said.