The Indian company Reliance Defence Limited and Ukrainian state-owned enterprise “Antonov” signed a memorandum of cooperation with the purpose of placing on the market of India of aircraft of different purposes on the basis of the AN-148 / AN-158 aircrafts.
ANTONOV or An class of aircraft have long served the Indian Air Force and Navy for over five decades. Currently, the IAF has more than 100 An-32 aircraft on its inventory having completed its last life cycle upgrade will be due for replacements. The partnership agreement would provide the benefits of quality and low cost solution for 50-80 seater aircraft through its core competencies.
The partnership of Reliance Defence and Antonov envisions design of fixed wing Military Aircraft configured for use in tactical as well strategic roles. Powered by two turbofan high fuel-efficiency jet engines, the medium lift aircraft is capable of short field runways operating from remote airfields with unpaved surfaces.
In the Indian civil aviation market, this medium category aircraft could effectively plug the gap in regional air transport connectivity to around 350 unused airstrips currently available across the country and is in consonance with the new draft Civil Aviation policy by MoCA.
Reliance Defence Limited, together with Antonov will participate in the tender of the Government of India for supply of aircraft. In case of winning the tender, which is scheduled for this summer, it plans to create a joint venture with the further localization of production in India.