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.