Antonov signs jv to assemble An-140s in Kazakhstan

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Antonov has concluded a joint venture agreement to assemble its An-140 turboprops in Kazakhstan.

During a bilateral business forum in Astana, the airframer signed a deal with a specially-established company called AeroKZ.

The two sides intend to invest $150 million in the construction of a production facility in Kapchagai, near the country's commercial centre Almaty.

AeroKZ managing director Vladimir Kuropatenko said this would comprise the An-140 assembly line as well as the runway and testing amenities.

The plant is to come on stream next year with the aim of producing three An-140s from kits supplied by Antonov.

According to AeroKZ, the output target is eight aircraft in 2013 and 12 in 2014. "Eventually, we'll raise the production rate to 20 a year," said Kuropatenko.

Antonov chief Dmitry Kiva said the locally-assembled An-140s would be marketed as a replacement for a substantial number of An-24 and An-26s that are used by Kazakh operators.

He added: "Naturally, we'll also provide after-sales support for them."