Antonov is developing a jet-engined version of the An-70 strategic transport aircraft, the An-188, company officials announced on 15 June at the Paris Air Show 2015.
Dmytro Kiva, Antonov’s president and general designer, said that following the acceptance of the turboprop powered An-70 into Ukrainian service in January, “this aircraft has become the basis of the new An-188 with jets.”
The company is positioning the An-188 in a similar niche to the An-70 or the Airbus A400M, with its maximum take-off weight of 140 tonnes and maximum payload of 40 tonnes, sitting in between that of the Lockheed Martin C-130 (79/20 tonnes) and the Boeing C-17 (255/75 tonnes).
Kiva said that the “aircraft [will be] able to operate from unpaved airfields [and] short airfields” of 915 m in length. As the aircraft used turbofan engines it “would provide “high economic efficiency and small fuel consumption”, he added. Antonov specifications state the aircraft will have a fuel consumption of 4,600 kg per flight hour.
With the Ukrainian firm keen to move away from its previous relationship with Russia, and to try to increase the export potential of the aircraft, the An-188 is intended to be fitted with “western avionics and equipment, including engines”.
Asked by IHS Jane’s if and when the company would begin building a prototype An-188, or when it might even be ready to fly, Kiva said the company was now working and negotiating, but “we are not ready to say exactly when it will be ready to produce. But it’s fair to say we have changed the An-70 considerably, because it’s not only another engine, it will be another construction of the aircraft including in particular an enlarged wing.”