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Thursday, March 22, 2018

Blackmail about the An-124 is able to hit the Ukraine

The Ukrainian concern “Antonov” threatens to ban flights of Russian An-124 abroad – and all because Russia is trying to avoid repair of these devices in Ukraine. We are talking about big money for the service. Meanwhile Ukraine itself is engaged in exactly the same repairs and sells aircraft owned by Russia.

Ukraine intends to achieve a ban on international flights of aircraft grade “An”, which are used in Russia, if the Russian side will refuse to service aircraft at Kyiv state enterprise, said President of the Ukrainian state enterprise “Antonov” Alexander Kotsyuba.

“The mirror story is about Bulgaria, which refused to service their MiG-29 in Russia, preferring services of Poland, a partner in NATO

“Our company as a developer has the right to raise the issue of ban on flights of Antonov aircraft which are operated in the Russian Federation”, – he said, claiming that this is possible in case if the Russian side will refuse service at Kyiv plant. “Now companies are exploiting the “Academy” in Russia, trying to get away from the service of “Antonov” and these functions to shift to the Russian companies, in particular, Ilyushin,” said Kotsyuba, reports TASS. “They can internally to correct these rules, laws, whatever. Another issue is that we as a developer have the right to put a ban on the flights of their aircraft outside of Russia”, – said Kotsyuba (quoted by RIA “Novosti”).

Previously, “Kommersant” with reference to unofficial sources reported that a Russian company operating cargo aircraft An-124 “Ruslan” developed in Kiev, intend to abandon service in Ukraine. Technical support transport aircraft An-124 “Ruslan” can engage Aircraft complex named after Ilyushin.

Still maintenance was engaged in the Ukrainian concern “Antonov” jointly with the Russian company Aviastar-SP” (the latter engaged in “Rulename”, released in Ulyanovsk).

“Ruslana” fly the airline “Volga-Dnepr”, in its fleet of 12 aircraft. Nine An-124 in the Park of Tajik air state air company “224 Flight detachment”, a part of the defense Ministry. From aerospace forces also have military transport An-124, which is planned to convert for commercial needs “224 Flight detachment”. Another operator of “Ruslan” are the Ukrainian “Antonov Airlines” which fly to seven of these aircraft.

Flight resource of the An-124 is 50 thousand, 10 thousand flights and 45 calendar years. However, under the terms of a developer extension of the resource should be carried out quite often – every 4 thousand flight hours.

Later on Wednesday, the press service of “Antonov” has denied the information on intention to prohibit Moscow to use any Antonov aircraft outside of Russia, transfers TV channel “Zvezda”. He explained that we are talking only about the aircraft An-124-100 “Ruslan”, as Kotsyuba asked it to service of these aircraft in Russia. “He said that in this case we will not be able to provide their support and ensure their safety. The corresponding statement we voiced earlier,” – said the press service.

In an official statement “Antonov” do not directly say that the company will require to ban flights “Ruslan”, but it is implied. “Any attempt to transfer the functions of the organization responsible for the type design, another company in the presence of a functioning developer grossly contrary to ICAO standards, aviation rules and regulations of the European Union, the USA, Ukraine and Russia”, – stated in the message, Antonov company.

If the civil aircraft an-124-100 will be withdrawn from supervision, Antonov company, the Ukrainian company will turn to international aviation organizations “a statement to absolve themselves of responsibility for ensuring the safe operation of these aircraft on international routes”, said the Ukrainian state-owned enterprises. There are warning about the possibility of accidents.

Legal aspect

From a legal point of view the action of “Antonov” can really lead to suspension of operation of Russian planes, said the Advisor to the law office A2 Farid Babayev. The supply contract usually stipulates that the operator of the aircraft must apply for renewal of airworthiness only to the manufacturer. The installation of unlicensed equipment can lead to termination of warranty obligations.

However, the Ukrainian “Antonov” does not directly prohibit international flights for freighters operated by Russia. “For companies using the plane “Ruslan” in Russia, Ukraine is not a state of the operator or the state of registry. Accordingly, Antonov company may not revoke the air operator certificate of the Russian carriers”, – says the newspaper VIEW lawyer Vladimir Postnik.

At the same time, the Ukrainian manufacturer can take advantage of a “window of opportunity” for which he provides the materials of Annex 6 to the Convention on international civil aviation. “If Antonov refuses to guarantee the safety of operation of aircraft, it will give rise to individual States to suspend flights “Ruslan” over its territory until the end of the consultations with Moscow,” – says Postanak.

While Russia has no formal basis in order to expand the repair and maintenance of the Ukrainian aircraft “Antonov” did not sell Russia the relevant rights, and in the absence of a license, such actions would be a gross violation of the law.

The simplest solution would be to sell Ukraine a license for the service of “Ruslan” the Russian side, however, this outcome looks at the current political environment rather fantastic. Another option – Russia could make a significant change to the design of “Ruslan”, but it requires a significant investment. Should I go to such expense for a little more than 20 cargo planes?

Russia has still the opportunity to prevent the imposition of the ban on flights of “Ruslan”. “It is necessary to prove that the service boards by the manufacturer is impossible due to compelling reasons. For example, to use a legislative ban of Ukraine on military-technical cooperation, especially as most boards are owned by the MOE and the Ministry of defense,” says Farid Babayev.

The moral aspect

Russia has the ACE in the sleeve that she can use if the Antonov will carry out his threat and hurt the Russian freighters abroad. There are several mirror aviation history, where Ukraine and the EU violate the rights of Russia.

Firstly, the Ukrainian “Motor Sich” holds the engine replacement and repair of helicopters Mi-2, Mi-8 and Mi-24 that are at the disposal of the air force of Ukraine, without the participation of Russian developers. And of KB. Mile, recall, is in Russia and is the owner of all of these models. Moreover, Ukraine resells these Soviet production helicopters abroad after repair. If Kiev will hit the business of the company “Volga-Dnepr” and “224 Flying squad”, that Moscow might go off on business “Motor Sich”. Creating artificial conflict over maintenance of the An-124 can be costly for Ukraine itself.

The future of “Motor Sich” after the Ukrainian side broke off cooperation with Russia, was under threat. The plant, of course, can long exist, but mainly due to repair and maintenance of already released engines, mass production of the factory provided primarily Russian customers. After the introduction of Kiev’s ban on military-technical cooperation between countries in Moscow in the face of the United engine Corporation come to grips with the import substitution of Ukrainian engines and has already made the first successes.

Russia can gradually become completely independent from Ukrainian parts, but the Ukrainian enterprises to find other customers for its products will be difficult. This means that the development of new technologies and products the company simply did not have the means. Can end all sad – the sale to the China and engine technology of Ukraine. Antonov, for example, is ready to sell technology to the world’s largest transport aircraft “Mriya” people’s Republic of China. And although Kiev says that the law and documentation of the Chinese do not get to Beijing determined to obtain them. Any other format of the transaction will not be simple. Considering the rich experience of Ukraine for the sale of the inherited from the Soviet Union of technology and art, Antonov is likely to buckle under the pressure of Chinese money.

The second story is about Bulgaria, which refused to service their MiG-29 in Russia, preferring services of Poland, a partner in NATO. While Poland, of course, has no license for repair of MiG-29 third countries or the updated technical documentation for repair works on the engines of the MiG. This is a violation of Russian companies as a developer and manufacturer of aircraft.

Russia, of course, was against such a turn. The General Director of RAC “MiG” Sergei Korotkov said earlier that “in case of signing the Bulgarian party to the agreement with Poland on the repair of RD-33 engine installed on MiG-29, we will have no choice but to refuse to support and maintain the technical exploitation of the MiG-29 of the Bulgarian air force. It will put into question the lawfulness of the further use of these aircraft, and the safety of the lives of pilots. We regret that this decision is made on the basis of considerations solely political situation and, most likely, is the result of pressure from outside.”

Concluded between Bulgaria and Poland agreement exactly also violates international law and contravenes the principles of safety.

However, NATO members ignored the rights of the Russian company. And Ukraine, the military doctrine which is the main task – to deepen cooperation with NATO, is to accept and acknowledge that disregard for Russian Ukrainian rights legitimately. Otherwise it looks like a manifestation of double standards.

Antonov’s been so upset because he didn’t want to lose the profits from the service of the Russian “Ruslan” and lose status as a monopoly in this niche market, says Postanak. However there may be hidden and political background. “The slow pace of repair of aircraft on Russian orders, the official Kiev can be regarded as successful economic sabotage, which brings the company significant reputational dividend” – does not preclude Postanak.


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