Ukraine and China have signed a deal to manufacture the world’s largest and heaviest plane -the Antonov AN-225 Mriya.
The deal that has been signed by Ukraine’s aircraft manufacturer Antonov and China’s Aerospace Industry Corporation facilitates the serial production of the giant AN-225 Mriya strategic airlift cargo planes.
Negotiations between the two enterprises have been held since May 2016 and the deal was signed on August 30 in Beijing, RT.com reported.
The cooperation between the two companies include the projected construction of the second aircraft of its kind in Ukraine and its handover to China at the first stage of the project, as well as the creation of an aircraft production line under a Ukrainian license in China at the second stage.
Each stage of the project will be implemented under a separate contract, the media reported.
Earlier some Chinese media reported that China had acquired the right of ownership of the An-225, including the use of blueprints and licenses, under the agreement. However, Antonov denied out-licensing for the Mriya aircraft.
The Antonov AN-225 Mriya (NATO reporting name “Cossack”) is currently the biggest aircraft in the world. It is powered by six turbofan engines and is the longest and heaviest airplane ever built, with a maximum takeoff weight of 640 tons and a working load of 250 tons. It also has the largest wingspan of any aircraft in operational service.
The Cossack was developed in the former Soviet Union in the 1980s and was initially designed as a carrier for the Soviet Buran (Snowstorm) space shuttle.
The only existing AN-225 aircraft took its first flight in 1988 and is now operated by Antonov Airlines, which is a part of the Antonov Company.