The Ukrainian state enterprise Antonov (based in Kyiv) has offered the United States to organize cooperation to develop a program for a medium-size military transport aircraft, An-77, an upgraded version of the An-70 short takeoff and landing aircraft.

The offer of cooperation was made during a visit to the company’s facilities by a delegation from the U.S. Congress House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, the Antonov spokesperson said on July 4.

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By the Ukrainian estimate, the An-77 could take up the niche between the C-130 (payload up to 21 tons), and the C-17 (up to 76 tons).

“The state enterprise Antonov proposed organizing cooperation on this project, with a broad participation of U.S. aircraft making enterprises and equipment suppliers. Implementation of this project will require interaction with the bodies of aviation regulation and management – the State Aviation Administration of Ukraine and the U.S. FAA [Federal Aviation Administration]. An important step here will be to conclude an intergovernmental agreement, BASA (Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement),” the Antonov company said in a statement on its website.

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It was reported that the An-7X, an An-70 variant unified for NATO standards, with a maximum lifting capacity of 47 tons, received high praise from specialists, and was at some point considered as a base variant for a new European medium-haul transporter.

The state enterprise Antonov is the leading Ukrainian aircraft designer and manufacturer and the world-renowned leader in the niche of transport aircraft for the widest range of uses. Under a government decision, Antonov has been part of the state concern Ukroboronprom since 2015.

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