ANKARA — Turkish and Ukrainian aerospace and procurement officials made “notable progress” in negotiations for the co-production of the Antonov An-188 military cargo aircraft, an advanced version of Ukraine’s An-178, Turkish officials said.

“This is a complex program for which both sides are keen,” said one Turkish aerospace official. “We are positively discussing several aspects of an optimal modality for co-production.”

Parties involved in negotiations include Turkey’s defense procurement office, SSB in its new acronym, Tusas Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI), Antonov and Ukraine’s umbrella defense entity Ukroboronprom.

Turkish and Ukrainian officials have agreed that the next step of the talks will involve a visit by Turkish delegation to Kiev, Ukraine’s capital, to inspect the Antonov production line.

Antonov, maker of the An-188 and part of Ukroboronprom, showcased the short take-off and landing aircraft for the first time at the EurAsia Show 2018 aerospace exhibition in Antalya, Turkey, Apr. 25-28.

For any co-production deal to go ahead the aircraft must be brought to full compliance with NATO standards, Turkish officials said.

A TAI official said that discussions focused on what each country’s industries would take up, work share, technology transfer and know-how, licensing and exports to third countries.

The An-188-100 will be equipped with four D-436-148FM three-shaft high by-pass turbofan engines developed by the Ukrainian company Ivchenko-Progress. The variant with four AI-28 new-generation engines also developed by the Ivchenko-Progress will be called the An-188-110. An-188-120 will be equipped with four LEAP high-bypass turbofan aircraft engines made by CFM International (CFMI).

All new aircraft of the An-188 family would be capable of basing on different airfields, including air strips, and landing on short runways of only 600-800 m in length.

The aircraft will have an advanced glass cockpit with the newest flight navigation and communication equipment. The An-188 features a flight distance of up to 7,700 km, a cruising altitude of up to 12,100 m, and a speed of up to 800 km/h depending on aircraft and engine type and variant.

Burak Ege Bekdil is a Turkey correspondent for Defense News. He has written for Hurriyet Daily News, and worked as Ankara bureau chief for Dow Jones Newswires and CNBC-e television. He is also a fellow at the Middle East Forum and regularly writes for the Middle East Quarterly and Gatestone Institute.

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