Saudi Arabia has started preparations for organizing batch production of new An-132 multipurpose aircraft with a carrying capacity of 9.2 tonnes being designed by Antonov State Enterprise (Kyiv) in cooperation with King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) and Taqnia Aeronautics Co. (both based in Saudi Arabia).
KACST Director Khalid A. Almalki said at the Farnborough International Airshow Trade 2016 said that Saudi Arabia is preparing the required infrastructure under the An-132 aircraft program.
"Today we are focused on building test aircraft An-132 to present it on the market. We are also designing and preparing infrastructure required for it, including composite materials," he said.
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The press service of Antonov Enterprise said on Wednesday that Almalki expressed satisfaction with the level of cooperation and the course of works to produce test aircraft An-132D at the facilities of Antonov Enterprise.
"We intend to start An-132 aircraft's tests by the end of this year, and we hope to find potential customers for the plane," Almalki said.
An-132D is the first prototype of a new light transport An-132 aircraft, which will replace An-32 and An-26 in the market. The An-132 program is implemented by Antonov in cooperation with KACST and Taqnia Aeronautics Co.