The Antonov state enterprise has begun construction of a prototype of the An-178 cargo jet, the press service of the manufacturer announced this to the Center for Transport Strategies.

"The preparatory work for the construction of the assembly jig for the fuselage has been completed. The F-1 (nose) and F- 2 (middle) sections have been manufactured. The first components – the cover, stringer, and the canopy of the F-1 frame – have already been added to the assembly jig for the An-178. The cover, stringer, and the frames for assembly of the F-2 are in the production stage,” the press service of the manufacturer said.

As reported, the Antonov state enterprise recently announced plans to perform the maiden flight of the An-178 aircraft in 2014. The An-178 is being developed on the basis of the An-158 passenger airplane, and it will replace the An-12 turboprop transport airplane. One of the closest competitors of the An-178 cargo aircraft is the Russian-Indian medium-range transport aircraft MTA. The MTA, in its variant as a military transport aircraft, is intended primarily to replace the An-12 and An-26 aircraft in the Russian Air Force and the An-32 military transport aircraft in the Indian Air Force.