The upgraded Ukrainian military-transport An-70 aircraft performed its first flight on September 27th 2012. The flight was successful; its duration was 32 minutes, a source reported with reference to the head of Antonov State Enterprise, Dmitry Keeva. The flight testing of An-70 will be started in August 2012, Lenta.ru reports.
The development of Аn-70 was being carried out by Ukraine since 1990s. Russianspecialistsjoinedtheprojectin 2002. The project was put on hold in 2010 due to some problems discovered during flight testing. Afterwards the decision to upgrade this turboprop was taken. Ukraine intended to allocate $43,3 million in 2012 for implementation of the project; Russia should invest $85,1 million.
The aircraft will cost $67 million. Russia intends to purchase 60 An-70s, Ukraine – only three ones. The first An-70 was acquired by the Russian Ministry of Defense in 2011.
Kommersant reports with reference to Dmitry Keeva, that the primary production will be transferred from Ukraine to KAPO (Kazan Aviation Production Association, Russia). As explained by Keeva, Ukraine will be manufacturing engines, wings and empennage for An-70, while Russia will be manufacturing the airframe and performing the final assembly.