Ukraine has suspended a joint venture with Saudi Arabia to produce the An-132 military transport aircraft.
President of Ukraine Antonov State Company, Alexander Donets, which manufactures the aircraft, announced on Friday that the company will continue to build the vehicles but with a new partner.
“In the framework of this project, an An-32D was built and tests began, but for reasons not related to the Antonov company, this process has stopped. There have been changes in the project partners in Saudi Arabia,” Donets said.
In February 2016, Saudi Arabia signed agreements with a number of companies including Ukraine’s Antonov to establish five organisation specialised in the transfer and localisation of advanced technologies in the fields of military and civilian aircrafts, satellites, radars and clean energy.
King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) and the Antonov company planned a joint venture to build a total of 80 aircrafts, some of them in Ukraine, and the others in Saudi Arabia.
The Antonov An-132 is an advanced version of the An-32 cargo plane.
In December 2016, the first model of An-132 flew over Ukraine in the presence of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Saudi representatives.
Observers believe the suspension of the joint venture is a result of the Kingdom’s rapprochement with Russia.