Antonov announced on December 22 that it had reached agreements with Aselsan that could see Aselsan integrate its avionics subsystems, such as auto-pilot system, to Antonov’s aircraft.
On December 20-21, Antonov – which is under Ukraine’s UkrOboronProm – and the Turkish electronics supplier Aselsan conducted meetings at the Istanbul Technical University (ITU).
Following those meetings, the two companies signed a set of agreements outlining potential integration work for Aselsan onboard Antonov aircraft.
This meeting follows a memoranda-of-understanding (MoUs) signed by Antonov with Aselsan, Havelsan and Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) in at the 2017 International Defence Industry Fair (IDEF) last May.
In their MoU, Antonov and Aselsan agreed to form working-groups to explore potential areas of bilateral cooperation, which included the prospect of integrating Aselsan subsystems to Antonov’s An-158 airliner and An-178 military transport aircraft.
Notes & Comments:
Currently, one of Antonov’s major programs is the An-132D, which it is co-producing in partnership with Saudi Arabia’s Taqnia Aeronautics Company. The latter will manufacture 18% of the An-132D’s airframe. The An-132D is envisaged as a transport and special mission aircraft platform – Antonov had signed a MoU with Havelsan to develop a maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) variant of the An-132D at IDEF 2017. It appears that fitting the An-132D may become one of Aselsan’s launch programs with Antonov.
If brought to fruition, this would be a manifestation of UkrOboronProm opening a representative office in Turkey in February of last year. It was apparent that Turkish suppliers such as Aselsan and Havelsan were being viewed as potential sources for contemporary electronics subsystems. This is now coming to pass through Aselsan’s engagement with Antonov and its supply of radio systems for Ukraine’s T-72AMT. Kiev likely believes that these partnerships will strengthen the commercial competitiveness of its products.
However, Kiev is also becoming a defence customer of Turkey. In October 2017, Aselsan announced that it signed a $43.6 million U.S. deal for radio systems with UkrOboronProm. In 2016 Kiev released a tender for 600 very high-frequency (VHF) radio systems. In November 2017, the Ukrainian Army’s Signal Corps Chief Maj. Gen. Volodymyr Rapko stated that the Ukrainian Army will equip itself with Aselsan’s VHF radio systems from 2018 through 2020. The radios will be manufactured in Ukraine under license.