Antonov State Enterprise (Ukraine) and Samara-based Aviacor (part of Russian Machines Holding Company) will establish a joint venture soon, Vedomosti reports.
The JV will have the intellectual property rights on An-140 aircraft, a source close to the Russian party said. It will allow upgrading the An-140-100 aircraft without permission of the Ukrainian manufacturer. The transfer of the intellectual property rights to the JV was demanded by the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD), which may purchase An-140T aircraft (transport version of An-140), he explained.
A representative of the Russian Machines declined to comment the situation. Vice-president of Antonov State Enterprise, Dmitry Keeva, said that the contract should be signed soon. The Russian and Ukrainian lawyers have elaborated the scheme for transferring the intellectual property rights to the JV. Keeva did not specify the date of signing the contract, but he said that the similar JV should be established for production of An-124 Ruslan aircraft.
There is also a policy point connected with the matter of the intellectual property rights, Keeva says, but if Antonov fails to come to an agreement with Russia, then it will lose the market, which is being occupied by foreign companies, for example Saab (they have no problems related to the intellectual property rights, Vice-president of Antonov State Enterprise assured).
At present Aviacor is negotiating with the MoD on deliveries of up to 50 different versions of An-140T, said in the company’s presentation made in November. This refers to aircraft intended for transportation of troops and military personnel, flying hospitals, etc. But the Ministry refuses to purchase the jets at their current price (about $18 million), a source close to the MoD reports. However, the most important expenditure items during production of An-140 are: royalty payments and coordination of any modifications with the owner of intellectual property rights - Antonov State Enterprise.