The An-148 series of regional jets with two engines is being created at the Antonov complex in cooperation with companies from Ukraine, Russia and other countries. An-148 is designed for transportations on regional and main lines. The new planes are called to replace in the air An-24, Tu-134, Yak-40 and Yak-42. As a base model, the plane can carry 80 passengers over maximum 5,000 kilometers at a cruiser speed of 820 - 870 kmph. In 2008 - 2009 Ukraine is planning to produce six An-148 planes. In its basic modification, the An-148 is designed to carry 70-90 passengers up to 5,000 kilometers. It costs an estimated $20 million to build, less than Sukhoi's Superjet 100 (around $28 million).
Russia's Antonov aircraft manufacturing company and Ilyushin Finance aircraft leasing company are promoting a new Russian-Ukrainian An-148 regional medium-haul passenger jet at the Iranian air show. "The next step is talks and future licensed production of the An-148 plane which we are showcasing at the air show and will show to the Iranian leadership," Antonov's general director Dmitry Kiva said. "Iran has already expressed interest in purchasing and setting up licensed production of this aircraft in broad cooperation with the Ukrainian and Russian companies," he added. Iranian officials stated, though, that the [An-148] negotiations had just started and the outcome would depend on the competitiveness of the Ukrainian-Russian plane on the Iranian market. In its basic modification, the An-148 is designed to carry 70-90 passengers up to 5,000 kilometers. It costs an estimated $20 million to produce, which is cheaper than Sukhoi's Superjet 100 (around $28 million).
Representatives of Iran's aviation industry planned to buy Ukrainian An-148 planes and arrange their batch licensed production in that country. Representatives of Iran Air and Iran Air Tour disclosed these plans following presentation of An-148 at Iran Air Show' 2008. In the course of the meeting, Mohammad Alizadeh, managing director of Iran's HESA production company, noted if Iranian air industry makes a final choice in favor of An-148, there will be no problems over its production, the Antonov aircraft engineering complex press service reported. "We have the experience of cooperation with the Antonov on An-140, and we are sure our new joint program will also be a success," he emphasized. According to Dmytro Kiva, general designer of the Antonov complex, Iran distinctly expressed the intention to buy An-148 and launch its production in a broad cooperation with Ukraine and Russia.
Iran's state-owned aircraft manufacturing company HESA signed a letter of intent with Antonov for 50 An-148 regional jets for delivery in the next eight years. The bulk of the 70-seaters will be assembled locally from kits, although an initial few are expected to be supplied directly from the KiGAZ Aviant plant in Kiev and the VASO factory in Voronezh. The contract, which was expected to be finalised in 2009, called for an increasing level of local production as the program progressed.
The Iranian defence ministry has expressed interest in special versions of the An-148 to undertake roles such as troop transport, border patrol, medical evacuation and air tanking.
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