Antonov Trying Hard To Gain Access To The Indian Market
Antonov is promoting the An-178 and An-132 aircraft designs in India, during the DelfExpo 2016 exhibition. The aim of the company's presence in India is to start cooperation with the Indian businesses, and to find new customers within the Indian market.
The first of the potential areas of cooperation may be seen in the offer made by the company to replace the An-32 airframes used by the Indian Air Force, with the modernized An-132 design, developed by the Ukrainians, in collaboration with the Saudi aviation industry. The aircraft is going to make its maiden flight this year. An-132 is going to offer better performance, it is also going to be capable of carrying a heavier payload (of more than 9 tonnes), and at the same time its universality is and operational capacities (also within the scope of austere runway operations) are expected to be maintained at the same level, as those of its predecessors.
READ MORE: An-132 Expected To Fly in 2016. 9 Tonnes of Payload and More Than 4 Thousand Kilometers of Range.
Another direction for potential cooperation is seen in joint realization of the An-178 programme, the aim of which is to develop an airframe which would be able to carry loads of up to 18 tonnes. The aircraft is well suited to meet the requirements of the Indian armed forces, when it comes to this class of cargo platforms. It is also possible to initiate a wide cooperation within the scope of production and operational support, in India and in the neighbouring states.
READ MORE: Ukrainian Cargo Aircraft for Saudi Arabia. License Manufactured An-178? [Video]
Antonov is also involved in a promotional campaign in India, pertaining specialized variants of its airframes, such as SAR or patrol aircraft, based on the An-148/158 designs. These aircraft are, at the moment, in production. They feature many elements that are common with the An-178 airframe. Currently An-148-300MP is the latest version of the aircraft from this family. It is a maritime patrol aircraft, cost-effective to operate, with cruising speeds equivalent to a jet-liner. In comparison with its turboprop counterparts, the aircraft is able to carry out maritime surveillance operation within the given area in a shorter period of time. Its range is also expanded, in comparison with the designs utilizing a turboprop engines.