ANKARA, Turkey — Turkish and Ukrainian aerospace and procurement officials are in talks to finalize a program for the co-production of An-188 military transport aircraft.
“Talks have been ongoing over the past couple of years,” a Turkish aerospace official said. “We are hoping to make quicker progress in the next year.”
Antonov, maker of the An-188 and part of the Ukrainian aerospace holding group Ukroboronprom, showcased the aircraft at the 2018 aerospace exhibition Eurasia Airshow in Antalya, Turkey, from April 25-28. The air show was the first exhibition where Antonov unveiled the new An-188 short takeoff and landing aircraft.
A Turkish procurement official said discussions focused on what each country’s industries would take up, work share, technology transfer and know-how, licensing, and exports to other countries.
“That makes a long list of topics, but there is intention to go ahead for both Ukraine and Turkey,” the official said. “Also, there is political support in both partner countries.”
For any co-production deal to go ahead, the aircraft must be brought to full compliance with NATO standards, Turkish officials said.
The An-188-100 will be equipped with four D-436-148FM three-shaft high-bypass turbofan engines developed by the Ukrainian company Ivchenko-Progress.
The variant with four AI-28 new-generation engines also developed by Ivchenko-Progress will be called the An-188-110. And An-188-120 will be equipped with four LEAP high-bypass turbofan aircraft engines made by CFM International.
Antonov officials said all new aircraft of the An-188 family would be capable of basing on different airfields, including airstrips, and of landing on short runways of only 600-800 meters in length.
The aircraft will have an advanced glass cockpit with the latest flight navigation and communication equipment. The An-188 features a flight distance of up to 7,700 kilometers, a cruising altitude of up to 12,100 meters and a speed of up to 800 kph depending on aircraft and engine type and variant.
The An-188 can carry up to 50 tons of military equipment, including construction equipment, helicopters, infantry combat vehicles, tanks, artillery systems, and humanitarian cargoes, pallets and containers, as well as up to 300 soldiers.
Burak Ege Bekdil was the Turkey correspondent for Defense News.