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Ukraine cannot build the D-27 propfan, used on the An-70, without Russian components. The D-27 fan is produced by Russian firm Aerosila. Antonov is developing a jet-engined version of the An-70 strategic transport aircraft, the An-188, company officials announced on 15 June 2015 at the Paris Air Show. This is increasingly a crowded market. The An-188 would be competing against the Airbus A400M and the Kawasaki C-2, with Airbus and its national partners working hard to secure more foreign buyers.

Dmytro Kiva, Antonov's president and general designer, said that following the acceptance of the turboprop powered An-70 into Ukrainian service in January 2015, "this aircraft has become the basis of the new An-188 with jets." The company is positioning the An-188 in a similar niche to the An-70 or the Airbus A400M, with its maximum take-off weight of 140 tonnes and maximum payload of 40 tonnes, sitting in between that of the Lockheed Martin C-130 (79/20 tonnes) and the Boeing C-17 (255/75 tonnes).

Kiva said that the "aircraft [will be] able to operate from unpaved airfields [and] short airfields" of 915 m in length. As the aircraft used turbofan engines it "would provide "high economic efficiency and small fuel consumption", he added. Antonov specifications state the aircraft will have a fuel consumption of 4,600 kg per flight hour. With the Ukrainian firm eager to move away from its previous relations with Russia, and to increase the export potential of the aircraft, the An-188 is intended to be fitted with "western avionics and equipment, including engines".

The An-188 will be powered by four turbofan engines and although Kiva mentioned possibly using a western engine on the An-188, current plans are to use a Ukrainian engine from Motor Sich. Kiva said, "As far as the An-188 [is concerned], we are at the negotiation stage and in particular we are considering the possibility to equip it with Ukrainian engines made in Zaporizhia", that is, Motor Sich. He added that "there are two possible variants of engine, the D-436-FM, the new one, or I-28". It is unclear what engine he referred to as the I-28, but the D-436-FM is a new version of the Ivchenko-Progress D-436 turbofan that powers the An-158 civil airliner. According to Kiva this new version "will be ready next year".

The Kiev-based Antonov presented the Antonov-188 project at the annual aerospace show at Le Bourget. Earlier reports said it would not have any component elements manufactured in Russia and would be fitted out with the engines of Western make.

Russia and Ukraine began joint efforts on the Antonov-70 project in 2010, with Moscow including the propfan in its state programme for armaments but media reports said the project ran into serious complications in the wake of developments in Ukraine.

Antonov decided to create a new aircraft on the basis of Antonov-70. The modified version will hopefully occupy a niche between the Herculs and the Globemaster III models. The corporation says the new planes will have a capability to take off from grass fields, to transport all types of defense and civilian technologies, including helicopters, and to take up to 300 passengers aboard.

Ukraines Antonov aircraft manufacturing company does not have the right to position the Antonov-188 propfan plane as a fully Ukrainian one, since it is an extension of the Antonov-70 propfan project designed in close cooperation with Russia, Sergey Kornev, a senior official Russia's state arms exporter Rosoboronexport said on 18 June 2015. "From the legal standpoint, Russia invested quite some money (in the Antonov-70 project) and it aspires to rights to about 50% of intellectual property in it," Kornev said. "Thats a serious contradiction. If truth be told, they dont have the right to do it."

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