Saudi signs MoU to take Antonov deal to the next stage with 10 aircraft
The partnership between Ukraine and Saudi Arabia was boosted at the final day of the Dubai Airshow by the signing of MOUs for ten Anotonv aircraft that are being developed in the Kingdom
VIP visitors to the Antonov display on Thursday included HH Prince Turki bin Saud Mohammed Al−Saud, president of King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) and other official KSA representatives including the Kingdom’s Air Force Commander, Ministry of Defense official delegations, and the aviation commander for the Ministry of National Guard.
Prince Turki paid tribute to the advanced programme of development and construction of the new light transport AN−132 being developed jointly by Antonov, KACST and Taqnia Aeronautics.
Antonov and Taqnia Aeronautics company signed two MoUs for four AN−148−100EM medevac variant l aircraft, four ISR (intelligence search and rescue) and two Jamming versions of the AN−132 for the market of the KSA.
Retired Major General Ali Mohammed Al−Ghamdi, CEO of Taqnia Aeronautics company, said: “Signing of these Memorandums is the next step in our cooperation with Antonov. We see the demand for aircraft of AN−132, AN−148−100EM and AN−178 types in Saudi Arabia. These airplanes can be efficiently used in our country and also be assembled and manufactured for a number of other customers.
“Promotion of new versions of the AN−132 will assist us in study of the potential customers’ requirements to ISR and Jamming aircraft. So, we would develop the new airplanes in strict accordance with their needs. Also we are starting work with Antonov on the composite and metallic aerostructure materials to develop technical cooperation in the future.
Mykhaylo Gvozdov, acting president of Antonov, said: ”Cooperation with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is very important for us. The joint experience, we are gaining together on fitting the AN−132 with Western engines and avionics, should be continued on other modern Antonov aircraft including AN−148, AN−158 and AN−178,” he said.