Antonov has emerged as a clear winner to partner Indian state-run Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) to manufacture medium military transport aircraft.
HAL had received five proposals on its proposal to select a partner to manufacture a 50-80 seater aircraft in India. Out of the five bids, Antonov emerged as a clear winner as it met all the requirements set by HAL, BusinessLine quoted sources as saying Tuesday.
Antonov had signed an agreement with Reliance Defense in April for joint production of their platforms in India. It plans to make aircraft that can play both civil and military roles.
Apart from Antonov, GKN Aerospace, IAI, Ilyushin and ATR had also placed bids for the project.
According to estimates, the demand for 50-80 seater aircraft is expected to increase owing to the focus on tier II and III cities under the new Civil Aviation Policy. “HAL intends to leverage this opportunity through a partnering arrangement with an OEM under the Make in India programme,” officials said.
Antonov or AN class of aircraft have been part of the Indian Air Force (IAF) for over five decades. The IAF has more than 100 AN-32 aircraft recently upgraded on its inventory.
HAL is also looking at Antonov for additional military functions such as troop carrying and cargo, maritime patrol and reconnaissance, search and rescue operations.