UAE is interested in the An-70 military transport aircraft and may work together with Antonov on its upgraded version – An-77, ATO.Ru informs.

Ukraine presented the An-70 aircraft during the Dubai Airshow 2017 in UAE. The aircraft is in service with the Ukrainian Air Force and was able to fly to Dubai after a special permission from the military department of Ukraine.

The representatives of the Ukrainian exporting company Ukrinmash noted that the aircraft arrived in Dubai after the invitation from UAE.  Earlier, UAE officials visited Kyiv to look at the aircraft and after asked Ukraine to present the plane at the Dubai Airshow 2017.

Ukrainian representatives confirmed to ATO.Ru that UAE is interested in An-70, but they also noted this type of plane is not produced anymore and cannot be sold to anyone.  According to them, the An-70 is the result of the Russian-Ukrainian intergovernmental agreement. Therefore, “it is impossible to speak about the promotion and sale of the AN-70” as Ukraine suspended its cooperation with Russia because of political tensions between the countries.

However, in order to continue its cooperation with UAE, the Ukrainian manufacturer is planning to create a new aircraft on the basis of An-70 – the An-77. The Ukrinmash representatives said that the prospects for the An-77 project are in the stage of discussion with the UAE. Most likely, the new aircraft will be built in Kyiv. To start its work on the An-77, the Ukrainian manufacturer has to replace the Russian components which were used for the building of the An-70. If there will be no further difficulties, the first An-77 will take its first flight in the early 2020s, ATO.Ru reports. Also, developers are planning to produce a civil version of the An-70.

The An-70 is a four-engine medium-range transport aircraft, and the first aircraft to take flight powered only by propfan engines. The aircraft develop speed over 466 mph and flies to a distance of 7.8 thousand miles. In 2015, Russia excluded An-70 aircraft from its state military program and the producing of the plane was suspended.