Saudi Arabia has decided not purchase Ukrainian An-132 aircraft, the CFTS portal reports, citing the UNIAN news agency. The Antonov aircraft manufacturing enterprise’s President Oleksandr Donets announced this in a statement.
"Such a project exists and it has not been shut down, but the situation has changed somewhat. We presented the program to the leadership of Saudi Arabia and demonstrated the prospects for building a plant. A site was allocated for its construction. The KACST (the King Abdulaziz City Science and Technology) fulfilled its obligations under the first contract by paying for construction of a demonstrator aircraft. In turn, Antonov built the An-132D aircraft and began testing it. The Saudi company Taqnia Aeronautics became our partner in promoting the An-132 on the market. To assess the project’s prospects, we asked a reputable Spanish company to perform a feasibility study. The result was positive, but the Saudi partner for the program changed for reasons not related to the Antonov state enterprise and the process was suspended," Donets said.
According to him, the military customer for the plane decided that it "needed a slightly different machine."
“They had a military customer who decided that a slightly different machine was needed. In general, negotiations with a customer are always very difficult. However, I can tell you that Antonov has not frozen the An-132 project. We are looking for a customer and partner. We recently demonstrated the An-132D aircraft in India. The aircraft made a good impression, largely because it is based on the An-32 aircraft, which has proven itself very well in operation in the Indian Air Force. The new model is more modern, has a fully digital cockpit, and it is equipped with imported engines," said Donets.
According to him, India is ready to consider participating in the project under the “Make in India” program, on the mandatory condition that part of the work must be performed in India. "We accept this condition. We have signed the relevant document. We are waiting for the end of the elections in India. I think that the situation will clear up soon," he said.
As the CFTS portal reported earlier, the Spetstekhnoexport state enterprise has offered new forms of transport and military cooperation to India.
The CFTS portal reported last spring that the Antonov aircraft manufacturing enterprise planned to complete the construction of an aircraft manufacturing plant in Saudi Arabia in autumn 2019.