- The new Antonov An-132D transport aircraft has made its international debut at the Paris Air Show
- The aircraft is a collaboration between Ukraine's Antonov and Saudi Arabia's Taqnia Aeronautics and King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology
The Antonov An-132D has made its international debut at the Paris Air Show, following the aircraft's first flight in March in Ukraine.
The aircraft – developed by Antonov and Saudi Arabia's Taqnia and King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) – has been developed as a modernised, westernised version of the Antonov An-32 ‘Curl’, featuring new Pratt & Whitney PW150 engines, Honeywell avionics, and Dowty R408 propellers.
According to Dr Alexander Los, Vice-President and Head of Design at Antonov, the new design has retained the cross-section and ramp of the original Antonov An-32. The rear ramp in particular gives the aircraft the ability to load pallets and equipment using an installed onboard hoist system, as it can fold underneath the outside of the fuselage. In addition to cargo missions, the aircraft can be equipped to carry 75 troops, 46 paratroopers, or 27 wounded patients on stretchers.
The aircraft has the capability to transport a maximum payload of 9.2 tonnes, with the company trying to position it as an alternative to the Leonardo C-27J Spartan and Airbus C295W.
Development of the aircraft has expanded in recent months, with Ukraine, Saudi Arabia, and Turkish firm Havelsan signing an agreement at the IDEF 2017 trade fair in May to create a maritime patrol variant. At present the Saudi government has signed for six aircraft – four for search-and-rescue and two for electronic warfare.
Saudi industry has been a keen partner in the programme, with KACST General Director for the Office of Special Programmes Dr Khaled A Alhussan stating that the project forms a key part of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 development programme.
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