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Ukraine expects first An-70 transports in 2010

Delivery of the first two Antonov An-70 transports to the Ukrainian air force has slipped to 2010 after Russia effectively suspended project funding three years ago.

"Now we are back in the negotiations over resumption of the Russian participation," Antonov general designer Dmitro Kiva said at the show. "We did not waste time and made a thorough modernisation of the operable prototype in the time when the Russian funding was halted," he said.

The aircraft's avionics have been updated and earlier this year the prototype An-70 resumed flight testing, and set six world records in its class. It flew at maximum weight, and also demonstrated the capability to take off from a 700m (2,300ft) strip. Kiva claims the An-70 promises to outperform the yet-to-be-flown Airbus Military A400M, thanks to its D-27 engines that are equipped with counter-rotating propellers.

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