Please start here.

It appears that Russia is trying to bring control of the AN-124 under Russian control.  The problem with this move is that the AN-124 is made by Antonov which is a Ukrainian company.  As is well known, Russia and Ukraine are no longer as tight as they once were.

Antonov is quite correct in asserting its rights.  Russia does have a lot of AN-124s in operation. Indeed, we understand that Russia may also have some interest in taking control of Volga-Dnepr as this company has a dozen AN-124s.  The AN-124 is a unique freighter, and Russia has made regular use of them airlifting equipment and people to Syria.  Without Antonov support, Russia might be running into operational limits on their AN-124s.

Antonov has kept the aircraft very busy doing contract work in the west – for the UN as well as the OEMs.  Antonov has its own airline (Antonov Airlines) operating their AN-124s.  The company’s interest in keeping the aircraft updated is illustrated by their decision to upgrade its engines.  Were the financial and political impact less onerous, Antonov (and Russian operators) might have considered doing a re-engine with western suppliers.  The current Progress D-18T has 51,600 pounds of thrust.  Western equivalents include a P&W PW4094 or a GE CF6.  We have heard that there is Ukrainian interest in the CF6, but of course they don’t have the funding.  The AN-124 market is also too limited to excite GE to cover the development.

The fact is though that Antonov is clearly still working on their AN-124.  They have not abandoned the program, which would give Russia the right to claim program control.   Unfortunately Antonov is in a tough position, but has to assert its IP.

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Co-Founder AirInsight. My previous life includes stints at Shell South Africa, CIC Research, and PA Consulting. Got bitten by the aviation bug and ended up an Avgeek. Then the data bug got me, making me a curious Avgeek seeking data-driven logic. Also, I appreciate conversations with smart people from whom I learn so much. Summary: I am very fortunate to work with and converse with great people.

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