Aviant Considers Completing An-124 for Libya
Moscow, Dec 21, 2000 -- (Concise Aerospace) 270 Apparently, now that UN sanctions have been lifted from Libya, it has just agreed to buy an An-124-100 produced by Kiev-based Aviant.
A report in the Independent Military Review stated that Pyotr Balabuyev, Antonov's General Designer, had confirmed that Antonov had already reached an agreement with the Libyans. He was reluctant to discuss the matter further.
It is unclear, as yet, which airframe is to be used for production, but in all likelihood it will be the last of the 19 airframes produced in Kiev between 1993-1994, which had still not been flown by the earlier part of this year. The condition of the airframe is not known. Nevertheless, such is the confidence of Vasily Pelykh, the newly-appointed General Director of Aviant, that he has set the following immediate goals for the factory: to complete a nineteenth Ruslan airframe; to set up the Tu-334 assembly line; to prepare for launch of the An-70 production; and to master production of the An-32-100.
Ruslan production in Kiev encompassed the first of the An-124s. After the assembly of the eighth aircraft, Aviastar, at Ulyanovsk, then started a line. Production at Aviant was stopped between 1991 and 1993 finally ceasing in 1994, with only three aircraft produced in the latter period. Apparently, Aviastar has been recently examining the possibility of restarting the manufacture of the An-124, due to the supply of aircraft and parts having dwindled since the halt in production in 1995. Recent reports have also suggested that Aviastar has been lobbying for An-70 production, on the basis that there is high commonality between the An-124 and 70.
(C) 2000 Concise B2B