Turkey and Ukrainian aircraft manufacturer Antonov (now under the direction of Ukroboronprom) signed an agreement to jointly produce airliners and transport aircraft. According to the Daily Sabah, Antonov will manufacture An-158 airliners at its Ukrainian facilities for Turkish use. A new transport aircraft based on the An-178 will be developed and produced as well.
Comment and Analysis
Prior to this deal, Turkey signed an agreement to jointly develop satellites as well as explore areas where they cooperate in upgrading legacy tanks.
Given that Turkey’s An-158s will be manufactured in Ukraine, it is not known if this is a temporary measure until such time the aircraft can be built under license in Turkey. Regarding the An-178, it will be interesting to see if the design is enlarged (akin to the C-130); given its advertised cost (which is lower than that of its competitors), the An-178 could emerge as a competitive alternative in the expensive cargo-lift market.
Turkey may also be interested in Ukraine’s missile technology, especially tactical applications in the form of propulsion for cruise missiles. While Ukraine has had trouble investing in its defence industry, there is no doubt that the country possesses a strong scientific base; Turkey has the capacity to engage with it and acquire a lot in terms of not only technology, but valuable expertise for its own scientists as well.