The Ministry of Defence, on behalf of the Government of Ukraine and the State Enterprise Antonov, signed a memorandum of cooperation on the construction of new An-178 transport aircraft for the needs of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The document was signed with the participation of the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky.

According to the press service of the President’s Office, the Head of State stressed that Ukraine has ordered new planes from Antonov for the first time since independence. They can be used for the delivery of personnel, weapons, and light military vehicles by landing and parachuting methods, as well as for the transportation of goods.

“These new aircraft will be built by Ukrainian citizens, with Ukrainian components, and in the interests of Ukraine. In fact, this is how it should be,” Zelensky stressed before the signing ceremony.

He also noted that many international partners are showing interest in the Antonov aircraft, particularly military transport models.

“But at the same time, and this is logical, they always ask me whether these planes are already in service in Ukraine. That is why this step is especially important. It strengthens Ukraine’s defence capabilities and will help attract Ukrainian and foreign investments,” the President said.

In his opinion, in the future, such state orders should be the norm, not a sensation. Therefore, Zelensky expects a full-fledged comprehensive plan from SE Antonov’s management to restore and strengthen the company’s staff potential, return lost professionals, and attract new specialists. In addition, the Head of State instructed the Government to work on the establishment of a Ukrainian airline that will use Antonov aircraft in 2021.

Bohdan Marusyak

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