In Ukraine, Jan 27, 2016  (and background analysis further below)

World famous airplane maker Antonov is no more. Ukraine’s government has liquidated the state company, assigning its remaining divisions to the state-owned arms production conglomerate Ukroboronprom, according to the Ministry of Economic Development.

Antonov-225 Mriya (Flikr Commons)

Antonov-225 Mriya (Flikr Commons)

“The Government has adopted a resolution on the liquidation of the State Aircraft Manufacturing Concern Antonov. The manufacturer’s three divisions were transferred to Ukroboronprom,” the Ministry statement said.

Antonov’s assets were assigned to Ukroboronprom[1] in the spring of 2015, and in July Kiev replaced the group’s management.

Last year, Kiev forced Antonov to sever its ties with Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation (UAC). The decision was likely linked with Kiev’s move to include Antonov as part of Ukroboronprom, Ukrainian media reported.

In October 2010, Antonov and UAC signed a deal to form a joint company. The firms agreed to cooperate in marketing, sales, design and production of military, civilian and cargo aircraft as well as modifying new Antonov airplanes.

Antonov An-225 Mriya cargo jet carrying the Buran reusable space shuttle (Igor Kostin, RIA Novosti )

Antonov An-225 Mriya cargo jet carrying the Buran reusable space shuttle (Igor Kostin, RIA Novosti )

Antonov manufactures passenger, cargo, special purpose and military transport aircraft.  Established in Novosibirsk in 1946 as a top-secret Soviet aviation design and research bureau, Antonov was relocated to Kiev in 1952. Among the company’s best-known aircraft are the giant An-124 Ruslan and An-225 Mriya cargo planes. The An-225 is the world’s largest airplane, built to carry the Soviet Buran shuttle orbiter.

[1] From Wikipedia: Ukroboronprom (Ukrainian Defense Industry) is an association of multi-product enterprises in various sectors of the defense [arms] industry of Ukraine.

Read also:
Aviation giant Antonov is nearly grounded in Ukraine, By Neil MacFarquar, New York Times, Oct 12, 2014

KIEV, Ukraine — The sprawling campus where the Antonov company once designed and built prototypes of the world’s largest transport aircraft — flying whales whose very bulk symbolized Soviet might — lacks buzz these days. A few derelict airplanes sit along the weed-choked apron connecting its huge construction hangars; cats saunter through the muted assembly shops; flight simulators sit empty..

Interview with the new president of Antonov: We have reached agreement on a consortium with the Poles, published by Centre for Transport Studies (Ukraine), Aug 3, 2015

The appointment of Mykhailo Hvozdev as the acting president of the Antonov state enterprise was a real surprise. Previously, Hvozdev was a parliamentary deputy for the Petro Poroshenko Bloc political party and occupied a fairly high 53rd place on the election list of this political party. At the time of his election to the parliament, he was the general director of Trans-Group Ltd and the general director of Audi Center Khmelnitsky. In other words, he was a dealer in German automobiles…
The An-188 is a new program. Antonov’s many years of experience in creating military transport aircraft lie at its foundation. According to plan, the An-188 will be equipped with Western-made equipment and engines… It is too early to talk about the date of launch of the An-188 into production. The aircraft is under development…

A Polish-Ukrainian forum on “Westernization of Antonov Aircraft” was held in June. Among other things, the possibility of creating a consortium with Poland for production of Antonov aircraft was discussed. Is this a preliminary project or some sort of agreement already exists?

It must be said that Antonov has a long experience of cooperation with Poland. We are entering a new stage of cooperation today. Certain agreements have been reached on the issue of creating a consortium, and an entity is in the formation stage. It will be possible to speak more concretely after the signing of the relevant document.

How do you plan to build future relations with Russian partners? Will the company continue the policy of rejecting Russian components?

As you know, we have completely stopped cooperation with Russia in the military-technical sphere at this time. For all modern programs, we are implementing an import-replacement and import-substitution plan. We are placing the main emphasis on Ukrainian and Western suppliers. The main criterion is quality. However, this process requires a certain amount of time and funding because if engines or systems are replaced, it will be necessary to install them on airplanes, perform the relevant tests, and obtain supplementary certificates. We are actively working on this.

It was recently reported that PricewaterhouseCoopers would audit Antonov’s 2014 operations. When will its results be made public?

For now, it is difficult to give specific dates because it is a long and laborious process. We will await information from the experts. We hope it will be completed by the end of the year.


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