Russian airframer Aviakor is set to resuscitate serial production of the Antonov An-140 twin-turboprop through a contract with the nation’s military.

The defence ministry has placed an order for up to nine An-140s in a cargo configuration, with Aviakor having committed to supplying the entire batch over the next three years, said managing director Alexei Gusev. Funding will come from the state arms procurement programme until 2020.

“This deal is strategically important for the plant,” Gusev said. “Apart from helping create new jobs, it will allow us to carry out a partial retooling and implement modern technologies.”

The An-140 is powered by Klimov TB3-117MA engines supplied by Ukrainian manufacturer Motor-Sich.

Motor-Sich director general Vyacheslav Boguslayev said first deliveries are scheduled for the end of this year.

The military has opted for the An-140 rather than the Ilyushin Il-112 light transport as was planned originally. “There are a dozen flying An-140s whereas the Il-112 is still on the drawing board,” said Boguslayev. “Obviously, it is much easier to develop a cargo variant on the basis of the existing and certified passenger aircraft than build a new turboprop from scratch.”

Samara-based Aviakor manufactures An-140s in co-operation with Ukrainian airframer KSAMC. The type is also built under licence from Antonov by HESA in Iran. Aeroflot has tentative plans to acquire 25 An-140s before 2016.

Source: Flight International