UKRAINE TRIES AGAIN WITH NEW MILITARY TRANSPORT.
Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 2
Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma attended the December 24 roll-out of the second prototype of the An-70 turbo-prop military transport, declaring that the occasion proved that Ukraine "holds a place of honor in the world’s aircraft industry…" The new plane replaces the first test aircraft, which crashed in February 1995 following a mid-air collision. (Interfax, December 24)
There is a lot riding on the An-70 both for Ukraine and for Russia. The aircraft will be jointly produced in both countries, with some components possibly also to be built in Uzbekistan. The Russian military is in dire need of a new medium-range transport such as the An-70 and plans to buy 400-500 if it is a success. The Russian air force was originally to have received the new plane in 1996, but the loss of the first prototype placed the whole project in doubt. Ukraine’s air force will also need approximately 100 of the aircraft, but Kiev hopes that the plane will also be a hot export item, especially in Asia.
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