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Antonov may assist with MA700 development

Ukrainian aircraft company Antonov may be involved in development of the Xian Aircraft MA700 turboprop and is also speaking to China about helping develop 30-seat turboprops.

Antonov deputy general designer Oleksandr Kiva says Antonov already has a memorandum of understanding with Xian Aircraft for development of the MA700.

"We are discussing now how we can start joint co-operation" on the MA700.

"The idea is to produce the most advanced and efficient developments for local and international markets," says Kiva, who made the remarks at an Antonov press conference at the Zhuhai Airshow today.

"We are studying the different possibilities and one possibility is involvement of existing product and platform" offerings and the other is all-new development, he says.

"No decision [has been made] yet on which way we will go but we are in the process," he adds.

He also says Xian Aircraft's parent China Aviation Industry Corporation (AVIC) wants to build 30- to 35-seat multi-purpose aircraft that can be used by government agencies and commercial airlines.

Antonov has at the airshow had "a few meetings with the new AVIC" to discuss this topic, says Kiva.

He says there will be more meetings in the coming days and Antonov will later announce the results of these meetings. He adds that Antonov wants to be involved in more than just development of these aircraft but also the production process.

Antonov has a long relationship with AVIC companies. It helped design China's 50-seat turboprop which today is called the Xian Aircraft MA60. It also designed the wing of China's 90-seat ARJ21 regional jet.

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