During a visit to Ukraine on 20th January the United Kingdom’s defence secretary Sir Michael Fallon met the staff of Antonov in Kiev.
Sir Michael was shown the prototype An-132D turboprop transport being jointly developed by Antonov and Saudi Arabia’s Taqnia Aeronautics and King Abdulaziz City Science and Technology. Since Russia cut its supply chain of aerospace products to Ukraine, in the wake of the former’s involvement in the Ukraine civil war which commenced in 2014.
Antonov is now looking to source Western equipment for its future aircraft designs. The An-132D is powered by two Pratt & Whitney Canada PW150 turboprops driving a Dowty six composite-blade R408 propeller system. Dowty Propellers assisted in the R408 propeller system’s integration on the An-132D and technical support will continue for the flight test phase and demonstration flights, expected to commence in Spring 2017, according to the company.
Antonov’s president Oleksandr Kotsiuba told the UK delegation: “Our enterprise has been working in cooperation with British companies for about 30 years …We also appreciate participation of our partners from Great Britain in construction of the modern Antonov aircraft.” Sir Michael responded by saying that: “Here at the Antonov Company I am able to see our deep economic and trade relationship first hand. This is a special connection we hope to deepen … and we stand firm with our Ukrainian friends.”