by Richard Tomkins
Kiev, Ukraine (UPI) Mar 02, 2016
Antonov, the Ukrainian aircraft manufacture, is to open a facility in Saudi Arabia with Taqnia Aeronautics and produce AN-132 multi-purpose transport planes.
The cooperation agreement signed last week in Saudi Arabia sets certain plans for organization of the operation, production of AN-132s and after-sale support of the plane and other Antonov aircraft, such as the AN-148 and AN-178.
"It is very important event in our cooperation with partners from Saudi Arabia," said Antonov President Mykhaylo Gvozdov. "Today [Friday] we made the certain step in our relations based on the preliminary agreements. This document could be considered as the roadmap for our interaction by joint programs."
The two companies have also signed a cooperative agreement for joint development of metallic and non-metallic materials in Saudi Arabia for use in production of Antonov aircraft.
The AN-132 is a twin-engine multi-purpose turbo-prop, based on the AN-32. The AN-32 can carry 42 paratroopers, has a maximum speed of 329 miles per hour and a maxium range of 1,553 miles.
Sustainment deal for Iraqi planes approved
The proposed deal -- through the U.S. Foreign Military Sales program -- is worth an estimated $350 million and has been approved by the U.S. State Department.
Iraq operates five KA-350 ISR planes for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions against al-Qaida affiliates and Islamic State forces. According to the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency, the purchase of a sustainment package will allow the Iraq Air Force to continue using the plane after its current sustainment package ends.
Sustainment work to be performed under the contract includes operational and intermediate depot level maintenance, spare parts, component repair, publication updates, maintenance training, and logistics.
The DSCA, which manages the FMS program, told Congress no government or contractor personnel would need to deploy to Iraq if the sale was implemented.
State Dept. approves $225 million military sale to UAE
The anti-missile systems, together with logistical support, would be acquired through the U.S. Foreign Military Sales program at a value of $225 million.
"This proposed sale enhances the foreign policy and national security of the United States by improving the security of a partner country, which has been, and continues to be, an important force for political stability and economic progress in the Middle East," the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, which manages the FMS program, told Congress.
Covered by the proposed sales package are eight AN/AAQ-24 (V)N Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures, or LAIRCMs, for the UAE's C-17 aircraft; Guardian laser transmitter assemblies; Ultra-Violet missile warning system and other major equipment, as well as non-major items, such as control indicator unit replacements and user data modules.
Boeing would be the prime contractor for the deal, while Northrop Grumman would be the main sub-contractor, DCNS said.
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