Ukrainian aircraft manufacturer Antonov State Enterprise (part of Ukroboronprom) has unveiled the country’s An-178-100R military aircraft to transport weapons, personnel, and light military equipment.
The An-178 is a high-wing transport aircraft that features a lightly swept wing, winglets, and a T-tail. It is equipped with a dual duplex fly-by-wire control system with an emergency mechanical cable backup system.
The developer stated that the aircraft can also perform medical evacuation for up to 100 people and land paratroopers.
During a recent event marking the rollout of the aircraft, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov explained that the creation of the new transport reflects the country’s ability to produce planes to defend its interests.
“All of us in our childhood dreamed of being pilots, flying, but the most difficult thing is to build a plane,” he told Ukrinform. “It seems to me that it is symbolic that Ukraine is demonstrating its defense capabilities through joint efforts. This synergy is the key to our victory.”
Reznikov revealed that Ukraine would manufacture at least three An-178 transport aircraft to show its improved production and defense capabilities.
‘More Work To Do’
Ukrainian military deputy commander-in-chief Yevhen Moisyuk stressed that the European nation needs more modern military equipment to bolster its firepower and maintain national stability.
Air Force commander Mykola Oleshchuk added that the service has waited nearly 30 years for a locally-produced military aircraft.
“We still have to go through a difficult path: preparing the flight crew, specialists of the aeronautical engineering service, so that we can master this aircraft, repair it and perform combat missions with quality,” he explained.
Ukroboronprom general director Yuri Gusev added that the recent introduction of the An-178 transport aircraft confirms the company’s ability to deliver vital military equipment under contract.
He also expressed his belief that the defense firm and the Ukrainian military still have a lot of work to produce more An-178s and provide maintenance services.
“This year, Ukroboronprom’s production numbers have increased by more than 20%, primarily due to the construction of aircraft. That is why I would like to sincerely thank them for their work,” he said.