Kazan aircraft maker hopes An-70 program will contribute to personnel recovery

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Aug. 21, 2012, 3:53 p.m. | Russia and former Soviet Union — by Interfax-Ukraine

Kazan Aviation Production Association (Russia, Tatarstan) hopes that the assembly of An-70 military transport aircraft at the plant will contribute to the revival of its production and ensure personnel recovery.

Kazan Aviation Production Association (Russia, Tatarstan) hopes that the assembly of An-70 military transport aircraft at the plant will contribute to the revival of its production and ensure personnel recovery.

"We have high hopes for the An-70 program. This ambitious project will give a new impetus to the development of the enterprise, in particular, the recovery of its personnel," the press service of the Kyiv-based Antonov State Enterprise quoted the plant's director general, Vasil Kayumov, as saying during his visit to the stand of the Ukrainian company at an international exhibition entitled "Space technologies, advanced materials, and equipment. Kazan 2012."

The press service of the Antonov State Enterprise told Interfax-Ukraine that during the exhibition that was held in Kazan on August 14-17 the stand of the Ukrainian aircraft developer was visited by President of the Republic of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov and the heads of the aviation industry and aviation companies, who familiarized themselves with Antonov's promising programs, including those on the An-70 short takeoff and landing military transport aircraft and the new An-148/158 regional jet.

According to the press service, during the exhibition a number of meetings were held with the Tatar aircraft operators who expressed interest in expanding their aircraft fleet with An-148/158 regional jets.

In August 2009, Ukraine and Russia signed a protocol to amend the Russian-Ukrainian intergovernmental agreement on further cooperation in the development, and joint commercial production and commissioning of the An-70 tactical military-transport aircraft and the An-70T airlifter, which was signed on June 24, 1993.

Russia's state defense program foresees the procurement of 60 An-70 aircraft by 2020.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said earlier that the An-70 military transport plane would be manufactured at the Kazan Aviation Production Association (KAPA).

The issue of the enterprises that will be involved in mass production of the aircraft was unresolved until recently. The most likely candidate was first Aviastar JV (Ulyanovsk), then Voronezh Joint-Stock Aircraft-building Company (VASO).

The An-70 aircraft beats all existing competitors as of today in terms of its technical specifications. For example, the European A400M cannot compete with it in terms of the weight-lift ability and cargo hold size: the maximum weight-lift ability of the An-70 is 47 tonnes, while the declared announced weight-lift ability of the A400M is 37 tonnes; the cargo hold size of an An-70 is 425 cubic meters, while that of the A400M-is 340 cubic meters. The cost of the A400M is EUR 145 million at present and the cost of An-70 is $67 million.

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