Antonov Calls for State Aid to Finance Aircraft Production

Ukraine plane producer Antonov needs much money to secure its various aircraft programs. Further financial burdens arise through the politically driven decision, to replace aircraft components contributed by former Russian industrial partners by national Ukraine suppliers. A costly step.

State subsidies totaling US$155.4 million are needed to assure the continuation of the An-132 program  -  image: Antonov
State subsidies totaling US$155.4 million are needed to assure the continuation of the An-132 program - image: Antonov

According to local sources, Antonov has asked the government in Kiev to allocate an equivalent of US$703 million. Tax payer’s money that’s needed, says the manufacturer to support the series production of the different Antonov variants and to replace components stemming from Russian firms by parts coming from local Ukrainian suppliers. This intended decoupling from Russian production and transition to national aircraft subcontractors might cost at least US$77.5 million, estimates the plane maker.

Three aircraft programs would benefit from subsidies
Should the Kiev government give green light to Anotonov’s request and open the national coffers for supporting the plane maker these programs will benefit from the decision: First and foremost, it will be the An-148/158 that according to Antonov requires funds amounting to US$245 million per year for securing the production rate of 24 aircraft each year. A further profiteer from state money would be the An-178 transporter that needs US$225.5 million yearly to reach the targeted output of six aircraft. Finally, subsidies totaling US$155.4 million are required to assure the continuation of the An-132 multiple purpose transport aircraft program which also targets the completion of six units each year.

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Antonov ends cooperation with Russian enterprises
"Despite the fact that the An-132 is a comprehensive modernization of the An-32 and the An-26 which were designed during the Soviet era, using Russian components, our principal position was to abandon cooperation with Russia, not only for political but also purely economic reasons," commented An-132 program director Oleksandr Khokhlov his company’s request for state subsidies. 
Meanwhile, Russian aviation experts doubt that subsidies of US$700 million will suffice to secure the financing of Antonov’s ambitious aircraft programs. This all the more, since sales have been going quite slow so far. In a statement given to business newspaper Kommersant Boris Rybak, head of Russia's Infomost aviation consultancy admitted that Russia’s plane makers and their suppliers also depend on permanent state support to finance their different products. 
By doing so, they are in good company since Boeing and Airbus have repeatedly asked for state support for initial public financing of their programs.

Ganz zu schweigen vom ….) To say the least –… Chinese…. aircraft developing program Comac. 

Heiner Siegmund

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