Azerbaijan is interested in expanding cooperation with Ukraine in aircraft building.
The country is working on the organization of assembly of new Ukrainian transport aircraft An-178 with a carrying capacity of up to 18 tonnes designed by Kyiv-based Antonov State Enterprise at own production facilities.
President of CJSC Azerbaijan Airlines (AZAL) Jahangir Askerov told reporters last week in Hostomel (Kyiv region) that his government is mulling the issue of organizing cooperation assembly of promising transport aircraft An-178 in Azerbaijan.
"On behalf of the government I am authorized to say that Azerbaijan is interested in assembling An-178 on the territory of Azerbaijan," he said.
Askerov said that in May 2015 Antonov and Azerbaijan's Silk Way Airlines signed a contract to assembly 10 transport aircraft An-178 in Ukraine and ship them to the airlines. The first two planes are to be delivered by late 2018 under the contract and the rest of eight planes will be shipped upon a mutual agreement of the parties.
"We hope that by the middle of 2018 when we receive the first plane, production facilities [for assembling An-178 in Azerbaijan] would be ready," he added.
Antonov President Mykhailo Hrozdev said that the plans to expand cooperation under the An-178 program worked out with Azerbaijan do not foresee the sale of An-178 technologies to the foreign partner. This is cooperation production. The plane will be finally assembled in Azerbaijan, he said.
The An-178 is suggested as a replacement of medium four-engine turboprop transport aircraft An-12. The An-178 could also replace the C-160 European two-engine turboprop transport in some regions.
Around 200 companies from 15 countries are involved in production cooperation under the An-178 program.
An-178 aircraft was first exhibited at Le Bourget 2015 (Paris, France) and then at Dubai Air Show 2015 (the UAE). The plane participated in the flight program of ILA Berlin Air Show 2016 (Germany).