The Ukrainian government plans to place a much-anticipated order for three new Antonov An-178 planes, the country’s ministry of strategic industries announced.

The minister of Strategic industries, Oleg Urusky, said that this is Antonov’s first governmental order in 29 years – since the creation of independent Ukraine.

The order is not yet signed, but according to the ministry’s press release, the authorities and Antonov are “preparing to sign it”.

It was not announced what the new planes will be used for or what governmental institution will use them. In June 2020, state company Ukroboronprom, to which Antonov belongs, hinted that there were plans to purchase two An-178s in 2021: one for the army and one for the police.

In 2019, the Ukrainian company broke the four-year-streak of not manufacturing a single aircraft by beginning the construction of the first serial An-178.

The new transport aircraft was announced in 2010 and first flew in 2015. It is based on the An-158 regional airliner and can carry a payload of 18 tonnes. 

Antonov’s first customer for the An-178 was the national police of Peru, which ordered one plane in 2019.