The government of Ukraine has announced its decision to liquidate the national aircraft manufacturing company Antonov’s manufacturing plants and has set up a special commission to manage the company. The manufacturer is most known for its transport planes — the An-124 Ruslan and the An-225 Mriya, built during the time of the Soviet Union. The factories in Kiev and in Kharkiv will be closed, and Antonov will continue to operate as an enterprise after the liquidation. Antonov Airlines will continue operations, however, the future of Antonov Airport is not yet known.

The government has ordered Deputy Economic Development and Trade Minister Yury Brovchenko to head the commission and ensure that within two months that, the implementation of measures related to the liquidation of the concern,” has taken place, and that the creditors of the enterprise have been paid off.

According to a decree published on the official website of the Ukrainian government, the commission “should submit within three months the liquidation balance sheet” to the Cabinet of Ministers.

Antonov and Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation signed a deal to form a joint company in 2010. They agreed to cooperate in marketing, sales, design, and production of military, civilian and cargo aircraft as well as modifying new Antonov airplanes.

The Antonov An-158, one of the aircraft developed in consortium with Russian aerospace companies. Photo Credits: Oleg V. Belyakov – AirTeamImages

Ukraine’s government decided to liquidate part of the state-owned company last year after forcing Antonov to sever its contract with Russia’s UAC. The decision was announced by former Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk, which Moscow described as political. All Ukrainian-Russian projects were frozen, and Antonov joined the Ukroboronprom (Ukrainian Defense Industry).

The liquidation of the plant comes after Antonov announced the An-132, a westernized version of the An-32 at the Paris Air Show. The An-132 would’ve been fitted with Pratt & Whitney engines, and a glass cockpit made by Honeywell. Deliveries were scheduled to begin in 2018, with the Royal Saudi Air Force having 6 on order. Antonov has predicted that it would produce to 295 aircraft by 2035, however, the aircraft’s future is unknown.

The second and unfinished Antonov An-225 sitting in the hangers at Antonov Airport. Photo Credits: Antonov

Before that, in 2016, the Chinese Aerospace Industry Corporation signed a cooperation agreement with Antonov to complete a second, unfinished, An-225 and to deliver it to them. However, the aircraft has been in limbo as a number of the parts needed to finish the aircraft are stuck in Russia, and would not be delivered in the current political climate.

Featured image by Vasiliy Koba via Wikimedia Commons.

Categories: Industry Talk