MOSCOW, March 2. /TASS/. Russia's Defense Ministry has excluded the Antonov An-70 transport aircraft developed jointly by Russia and Ukraine from the state defense program, reported the Izvestia edition citing the ministry.
The ministry was to purchase 60 An-70 by 2020 but the Ukrainian side has suspended the joint development project, runs the article. The Kiev-based Antonov design group has completed the development and testing of the plane on its own, and Ukraine is to adopt the new aircraft for service this year.
Russia and Ukraine started the joint work on the project in 2010 when Russia transferred 2.95 billion rubles to the Antonov design bureau (over $48 million at current exchange rates) for developing project designs. The Russian Defense Ministry is considering the possibility of file action for damage.
An-70 is a new generation medium-haul transport aircraft planned to replace the Antonov An-12 aircraft. 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.