The Antonov state aircraft manufacturing enterprise, which is part of the Ukroboronprom state concern, signed a contract for the supply of an An-32P firefighting aircraft to the State Emergency Service on 17 December.
The aircraft manufacturer announced this in a statement, the CFTS portal reports.
The supply of the aircraft will be financed with government-guaranteed loans.
In addition, according to the statement, Ukroboronprom and the Ministry of Internal Affairs signed a memorandum of cooperation on the creation of a “European aviation fire safety hub.”
According to the memorandum, Ukroboronprom and the Ministry of Internal Affairs intend to support the upgrade of the An-32 aircraft to the An-32P fire-fighting variant, using exclusively Ukrainian-made components and parts, as well as provide technical support for their subsequent operation.
"The Antonov state aircraft manufacturing enterprise signed a contract for three An-178 aircraft for the Ministry of Defense … in December last year, the Ministry of Infrastructure recently expressed interest in using the An-158 for the needs of the national air carrier, and we are starting large-scale cooperation with the Ministry of Internal Affairs today," Ukroboronprom’s General Director Yurii Husev said.
Ukraine’s Minister of Internal Affairs Denys Monastyrskyi noted that Turkey, Italy, and Greece have requested firefighting aircraft from Ukraine in 2021.
"Based on the outcome of such cooperation, the Ministry of Internal Affairs decided to buy another aircraft for effective firefighting. Therefore, we want to order the production of another An-32P aircraft," said Monastyrskyi.
The An-32P is designed for extinguishing forest fires and transporting and airdropping firefighters and special aids, as well as equipment and cargo for firefighting work. According to Antonov, the aircraft can also be used to artificially induce precipitation over a fire zone.
The aircraft is capable of transporting approximately 8,000 liters of fire-extinguishing fluid in four external, removable tanks. The fluid can be discharged from all the four tanks simultaneously or each one separately over a specific period. The An-32P has a cruising speed of 450 km/h and a range of 150 kilometers.
"We, as the developers, are confident in the reliability and high efficiency of these aircraft. We have now signed a contract for the supply of one An-32P, but we hope that we will conclude an agreement for a larger number of such aircraft over time, which our enterprise is ready to implement," Antonov’s General Director Serhii Bychkov said.