The Kyiv-based Antonov State Enterprise, Taqnia Aeronautics and WAHAJ have signed a memorandum of understanding for the manufacture of the An-132 multi-purpose transport aircraft.
According to Antonov’s press service, under the agreement, the initial set of An-132 serial aircraft will be constructed at Antonov’s production facilities in cooperation with Taqnia and WAHAJ. At this stage, Antonov will serve as the prime contractor, while Taqnia and WAHAJ will construct components and units. WAHAJ will be responsible for the manufacture of landing gear and its qualification.
During the next stages, the companies will establish Antonov aircraft production facilities in Saudi Arabia.
Oleksandr Kryvokon, president of Antonov, said: ‘This memorandum of understanding is the next step to develop our interaction on the An-132 programme. We appreciate this cooperation. It is mutually beneficial for all the parties and all the companies involved in the project. Our new product has to take a proper place in the global market.’
In March 2018, a delegation led by Antonov president Oleksandr Kryvokon visited Saudi Arabia to familiarize themselves with the project. The facility will incorporate an international airport, an aircraft building facility complete with an airfield, a solar panel factory, and a solar farm. At the moment, the Ukrainian aircraft manufacturer and Taqnia Aeronautics in cooperation with western experts are working on the feasibility study for the future aircraft plant.
The An-132 is designed to carry up to 8t of cargo at altitudes up to 28,000ft. It comes equipped with a suite of updated technologies, including Dowty propellers and a Liebherr air management system.
For Saudi Arabia, the program is part of a larger effort to develop an indigenous aerospace industry ranging from supply parts to assembly aircraft.