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An-132D programme stalls

30 April 2019
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Progress on the Antonov An-132, seen here at the Paris Air Show in 2017, has stalled. Source: IHS Markit/Patrick Allen

The development of the Antonov An-132D twin-turboprop transport has been put on hold following a breakdown between the Ukrainian and Saudi Arabian development parties.

In an interview with Ukraine's Unian news agency, Antonov president Alexander Donets revealed that the collaboration with Saudi Arabia over the development and manufacture of the aircraft had been suspended.

According to Donets, the company had fulfilled an initial contract with King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) for a demonstrator aircraft and had been approved to undertake construction of an assembly facility in Taif in conjunction with Taqnia Aeronautics. However, a change in programme partner took place in Saudi Arabia, leading to the suspension of the programme.

Donets added that a military customer had also changed the requirements for the aircraft, thereby leading to the preference of another platform to fulfil the acquisition. The Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) had previously committed to six aircraft - four in a search-and-rescue configuration and two for electronic warfare - with Antonov hoping for further orders for configurations such as military transport and gunship.

Despite the setback, Donets said that the company had been working to pitch the aircraft to India, which already operates the predecessor aircraft, the Antonov An-32 'Cline'. A major upgrade of the Indian Air Force's An-32 fleet began in 2009 but experienced delays following Russia's annexation of Crimea and its effect on the component supply chain.

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