The Antonov state enterprise (Kiev), a Ukrainian aircraft designer, will help Saudi Arabia to develop and organize production of a Saudi version of the AN-32 multipurpose aircraft - AN-132 with a load carrying capacity of 9.2 tons. The Interfax Ukraine news agency reported this, citing the press service of the company.

The corresponding partnership agreement was signed by the Antonov state enterprise and Taqnia Aeronautics (Saudi Arabia) in Kiev on Wednesday, 6 May.

Under the agreement, the Ukrainian side will facilitate transfer of the technology for production of An-32 to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and training of specialists. In addition, KACST, Taqnia Aeronautics, and the Antonov state enterprise will redesign the aircraft to increase its payload, range, and takeoff parameters.

The cockpit will also be redesigned, using navigation equipment manufactured in the United States. Other elements of the aircraft will also be redesigned to increase its capabilities. The owner of the intellectual property rights and design sketches for the new An-132, according to the agreement, will be Saudi Arabia.

According to the press service, the Saudis selected the Ukrainian An-32 multi-purpose aircraft with a load capacity of up to 7.5 tons after analyzing the international market of light transport aircraft for military and civilian use to meet the needs of Saudi Arabia for transportation of goods, personnel, soldiers, paratroopers, medical evacuation, reconnaissance, maritime patrol, and other military and civilian tasks.

Taqnia Aeronautic is a subsidiary of Taqnia, a Saudi technology development and investment company owned by the state investment fund and financed by the Saudi Council on Economic Relations and Development. The council is headed by the defense minister, Prince Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. Taqnia Aeronautics deals with transfer and development of technology, as well as in investments in support for and development of the Saudi economy.