Australia interested in cooperating with Ukraine's Antonov aircraft company

The Ambassador of Ukraine to Australia, Mykola Kulinich, noted that the Australian Ministry of Defense and the Antarctic Division are interested in the possibility of using Antonov transport aircraft.

After the debut of the An-225 Mriya strategic airlift cargo aircraft, Australia showed a keen interest in establishing ties with the Ukrainian State-Owned Enterprise Antonov. In an interview with Ukrinform news, Ambassador Kulinich said that "We have already proceeded to the first concrete steps towards the implementation of the possibility of cooperation of our state enterprise Antonov with Australian partners. As for the ooperation itself, it can take different forms. They may be air travel services, both domestic and international, chartering of aircraft, and their outright purchase."

Kulinich noted that the possibility of using Antonov transport aircraft interests local government and business organizations, including the Ministry of Defense and the Australian Antarctic Division.

The An-225 Mriya was designed by the Oleg Antonov Design Bureau in Kyiv in the 1980s and first flew on December 21, 1988. Initially, it was intended for transporting a space shuttle and sections of missile systems. However, since the 2000s, it has been used for commercial shipping operations.

The Mriya’s maximum take-off weight is 600 tons, making it the heaviest in the history of aviation. There is only one Mriya in the world today. Construction of a second, similar aircraft was begun at the Antonov enterprise in Kyiv but it was not completed.

The An-70 military transport plane was designed and rolled out in Ukraine in the first half of the 1990s. It made its first flight on December 16, 1994. The aircraft tests were completed in April 2014. In January 2015, the An-70 entered service with the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine. The aircraft can carry up to 300 paratroopers.

  Ukraine, Antonov, Australia