Antonov to design indigenous heavy strike drone for Ukraine
Antonov met with representatives of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, the state conglomerate Ukroboronprom and other Ukrainian companies to discuss the possibility of developing a heavy high-altitude strike and reconnaissance unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).
“Today, only a few countries in the world produce UAVs of this class: the United States, Israel, Turkey, and China,” Antonov explained in a statement. “The main idea of the meeting is the development of an innovative product by the aircraft industry of Ukraine.” In partnership with the Ukrainian engine manufacturer Ivchenko-Progres, the project was presented to obtain the support of other local manufacturers. The meeting was fruitful, according to Antonov, as participants agreed to study a draft project and submit it to the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine and other potential customers.
Ukraine already has accumulated some experience in developing drones. A light multirole drone, the AN-BK-1 "Gorlytsia" (Dove), has been in development at Antonov since 2016. On October 5, 2020, the director of the Ukrspecexport state arms company Vadim Nozdrya said that Ukraine would order a new batch of Turkish-made Bayraktar TB2 drones, which would be produced locally under license.
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