Ukrainian Antonov and Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) have signed a cooperation agreement to build a second prototype of the An-225 transport aircraft.
The agreement gives China access to the aircraft's designs and technologies to facilitate the serial production of the aircraft in China, UNIAN news agency reported.
Though negotiations between the two enterprises have been held since May 2016, the deal is being signed on August 30 at Beijing. The cooperation includes 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.
Representatives of Antonov said, each stage of the project will be implemented under a separate contract.
Antonov Company sold all manufacturing rights and technological documents for the super-heavy air freighter AN-225 Mriya to the China Aerospace company, earlier China’s CCTV Channel had said on its Facebook page. It also had added that the first AN-225 could be produced in China as early as in 2019. However, Antonov’s press service dismissed these reports as false.
The An-225 aircraft, which is named Mriya in Ukraine, is powered by six progress D-18T engines and have demonstrated a payload of 253.82 tonnes.
Having been originally built to carry the Soviet Buran orbiter, the aircraft made its maiden flight in 1988. The 28 year-old aircraft was originally designed to carry the Soviet Union's Buran Space Shuttle, but following the collapse of the USSR in 1991, the aircraft was subsequently converted to commercial use.