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Friday, October 28, 2016

The plans of the Ukrainian aviation industry look unscientific fiction

The new leadership of the legendary Ukrainian aviation enterprise “Antonov” dreams to reach the release level of the USSR – 200 aircraft per year, in cooperation with the West. Such statements seem obvious fiction, but real benefits from joint projects with Europe for Ukraine a little bit. The next reform of the Ukrainian aviation industry will end, most likely its final liquidation.

The leadership of the Ukrainian aviakontserna “Antonov” at the air show “Le Bourget” announced the ambitious plans of the company. Their essence is to ensure that instead of diminishing the historic cooperation with Russia (because of the ban of Kiev to carry out military-technical cooperation with the neighbor) “Antonov” is trying to survive at the expense of cooperation with other countries and not only European.

“No doubt the intellectual potential of Ukrainian aviation industry, but the material and managerial capabilities of top management obviously got excited”

The President and the government of Ukraine has identified the aviation sector as strategic for the security and economy of the state,” said the new General Director of state concern “Ukroboronprom” (which includes, Antonov company) Roman Romanov. The main goal is to increase the annual production of aircraft to 50 units per year, and “then to reach the level of manufacture of the USSR – 200 cars a year,” seriously, said Romanov.

Given that in the period from 2000 to 2013 in Ukraine produced annually from zero to six aviacar, the plan to reach the level of 50 aircraft per year already looks very ambitious. As for the Soviet figures, and they did incredible.

“To enter the power of the Soviet years, that is about 200 boards a year, the company required at least a similar infrastructure, power and the ability to obtain parts and components in the conditions that win on price with its competitors. It is difficult, even with the support of European and American manufacturers. And given the high level of political instability in the country, foreign investments are unlikely to flow in the next years”, – says Dmitry Lepeshkin from QB Finance.

But the cooperation of Ukraine and Russia after the collapse of the USSR was based on the fact that Ukraine remained strong scientific basis, the developers and engines, and Russia – production of power, money and demand.

No less surprising were made following words protege of the new government: “Ukrainian citizens will fly aircraft of Ukrainian origin”. Plans even more fantastic, considering that Ukraine does not have the full range of civil aircraft needed for modern airlines.

Romanov said that “Antonov” today has a powerful intellectual, financial and managerial capabilities to become a world leader in the field of aviation. No doubt the intellectual potential of Ukrainian aviation industry, say, no, but with the material and managerial capacity top Manager obviously got excited. Orders from the Russian Ukraine had to be abandoned, and the budget a lot of money not to find: the country itself is in debt, and at the exit from the crisis and restore the financial system will take years, and at least a decade.


Long promised and many times postponed the presentation of the new aircraft marks An held in Kiev. The an-178, as stated, will replace the old Soviet-time model of the An-12. The aircraft was presented with great fanfare, but is not sure if there are any market Announced new projects “Antonov”, designed to be implemented without cooperation with the Russian aviation industry, look no less fantastic or threatening the loss of intellectual property and technology.

First, Antonov stated on the project development of the Antonov An-132, which exists only on paper. In fact, it will be upgraded An-32, created back in Soviet times. This project is amazing because it is not about the establishment of production on the territory of Ukraine, and the fact of the sale of technology abroad, and not even in Europe, and the middle East.

At Le Bourget, the company “Antonov” announced with pride that it has agreed with Saudi Arabia and promised to build on Arab territory a plant for the production of this aircraft. Technologies will provide German experts will supervise the construction of the Ukraine, and to build mostly local. According to the laws of Saudi Arabia, their employees in such a scheme should not be less than 70%.

The essence of the transaction: science and technology center named after king Abdul Aziz (KACST) and the local investment company, Taqnia Aeronautics along with “Antonov” will perform the revision to the existing model of the Antonov An-32. In fact, the Saudis give money to the Ukrainian engineers brought the characteristics of the aircraft to mind in the part of payload, range and takeoff parameters, but also reduced fuel consumption by 30 %. This will be the new model of the an-132. At the same time Saudi Arabia will receive the intellectual property rights in aircraft together with its drawings.

The Saudis want to lay the first stone of the plant in 2016, and in 2017 at “Le Bourget” has to show brand-new An-132 in the metal.

The Saudis attracted by the fact that this transport aircraft can land in the sand dunes, fly in the face of dust storms and heat to 50 degrees, it is distinguished by practicality and cheapness. And the demand for such aircraft in the global aviation market is available. Because such aircraft (subject to revision) is indispensable for military aviation, and cargo, and for emergency services.

Earlier it was stated that Saudi Arabia is ready to invest $ 3 billion in this project. That’s just pragmatic the Arabs are not going to invest in the Ukrainian manufacturing and Kiev why-that looks the other way and even happy.

Why “Antonov” and Ukraine needs to create aircraft in a foreign country, and not to revive – at home? “If the production will be organized in the other country taxes will be paid in Saudi Arabia, jobs will be created in Saudi Arabia, and the “Antonov” is likely to receive only royalties, license fees and fulfill orders for the manufacture of a certain percentage of nodes”, – says the newspaper VIEW Dmitry Lepeshkin from QB Finance. Possible payments from the Saudis sold for each aircraft – this is clearly not the scale of the income that Ukraine would have.

Thus, announced the project itself looks promising, but that’s the budget of Ukraine, and, therefore, ordinary Ukrainians from him get crumbs.

Another project, which is proudly presented “Ukroboronprom” in Le Bourget – transport An-188, which has to carry loads up to 40 tons. In fact, this redesigned An-70 with the new engine. As the engine considered several options: the Ukrainian jet (which is also provided for use on An-178), or until the development of AI-28 (both produced by “Motor Sich”). As an option we also offer the use of Western-made engines. Equipment and systems An-188 should be “Ukrainian and Western production.”

And finally, the “Antonov” intends to develop a “westernized” version of the aircraft An-178, equipping it with completely Western equipment and engine series General Electric CF34-10 or Pratt & Whitney PW1500. The goal of Westernization – to replace Russian components in Europe. To do that Kiev is going through Poland. Recently, the Ukrainian-Polish forum “Antonov” announced that together with Warsaw will hold the Westernization of the entire family of the “Academy” and organizes joint manufacture of aircraft models “An”.

However, in addition to the discussion of real business agreements have not yet reached and is unlikely to reach. “Firstly, Poland – no aircraft power, which could help the Ukraine. Ukraine is much better, it is in fact aircraft power. And all that was built in Poland, was a Russian license due to the Soviet history. There’s nothing not self-created, and a school of aviation, as in Ukraine, there is no,” says the editor of the portal Avia.<url>” Roman Gusarov. “All they could to help Ukraine – it’s money, if they Poland had. But it would be very loose ends”, says aviation expert.

A project of Westernization of the aircraft “An” means that he has to go the same way, a long and difficult path, which at one time was Sukhoi SuperJet 100. Because to replace Russian components and assemblies to the European means in practice to create an aircraft from scratch, which will need to undergo further certification.

For example: only tests and certification of Russian SSJ 100 aircraft took four years (2008 to 2011). Investment in this project from the beginning to develop a commercial flight in 2011 is estimated at $ 7 billion, almost half of which was provided by the state. In Kiev there is no money, a potential partner – Poland – too. On the other willing to invest in the Ukrainian “Antonov” and Westernization of the family, “An” – can not hear anything.

“If to speak about manufacture of commercial jetliners, here to “Antonov” is not as stable as the market for turboprop aircraft. The main customer today is Russia, to which the “Antonov” has already done a significant portion of orders. On the world market, which dominate the European Airbus and American Boeing, “Antonov” will be extremely difficult to get out.

Even with the support from Europe and the United States, “Antonov” is shining to take away from the titans for a significant share of the market, said Dmitry Lepeshkin. While Europe and the United States desire to help the Ukrainian aircraft industry do not show.

And the translation of the European aircraft components again is extremely disadvantageous for Ukraine itself. “If the major sites, and even the engines are of foreign manufacture, it is, in fact, we are talking about SKD, and not the full production,” – said the expert. Not to mention the fact that the growth of imports will make the cost of production in Ukraine high, and the final product will lose its competitive edge. Meanwhile, with the financial support of “Antonov” to afford to establish full-cycle production of the aircraft at its own facilities with a minimum share of imports, says Lepeshkin.

However, the deal announced to pursue the opposite goal. And that means only one thing – they are extremely disadvantageous for the country. Kiev literally sells the competence of Ukraine as one of the powers thanks to the legendary aircraft designer Antonov. In the end she’ll just lose the title.



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