Antonov’s An-132 makes maiden flight
Gareth Jennings, London – IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly
03 April 2017
Antonov flew the maiden flights of its An-132 transport and special mission aircraft from its Kyiv Svyatoshin facility in Ukraine on 31 March.
The AN-132D demonstrator of the twin-engined turboprop flew for 1 hour and 50 minutes before being personally greeted by Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko on its return.
With Saudi Arabia signed up as the type’s launch customer, the chiefly Ukrainian flight test crew included a test pilot from the Kingdom’s Taqnia Aeronautics Company, and there were a number of dignitaries from the country also in-attendance also. As noted by the chief of the programme, Alexander Kotsyuba Antonivtsi, this first flight of the demonstrator aircraft will be followed by a flight test programme in Ukraine before the aircraft is flown to Saudi Arabia at an undisclosed date.
First revealed in 2015, the An-132 is essentially a modernised version of the Soviet-era An-32 ‘Cline’ transport aircraft that features a number of Western systems, including its Pratt & Whitney Canada PW150A turboprop engines. Once development is complete, the aircraft will be jointly manufactured in both Ukraine and Saudi Arabia, with the latter expected to field up to 80 of the type (though the Royal Saudi Air Force has to date only committed itself to buying six, with four to be used for search and rescue and two for electronic warfare).
The first production aircraft is anticipated to be delivered to the RSAF sometime in 2018.
As well as equipping the RSAF with a new tactical transport and special mission platform, the An-132 has been acquired to further the Kingdom’s industrial defence aerospace capabilities. The deal involves extensive domestic collaboration from Saudi Arabia’s Taqnia Aeronautics Company, and the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology.
Original post janes.com
Main image airlinersnow.com
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