Air Transportation: Another Casualty Of The War in Ukraine


August 19, 2015: Because of its undeclared war with Ukraine Russia has been forced to halt manufacture of its new An-140 twin turboprop military transports. In 2012 Russia ordered twenty more military versions of the An-140, to be built in Russia using a lot of Ukrainian made components. In 2011 the Russian Air Force ordered seven An-140s from Ukraine and liked what they got.

Since introduced in 2007, the An-140 has been mainly used as a civilian aircraft (it can carry 32-52 passengers). The An-140s sold to Russia in 2011 were modified for military use. The civilian version sells for about $9 million each, but a militarized version (sturdier landing gear, more electronics, configured to carry cargo) could increase the price to about $12 million. This is about half the price of a similar Western aircraft. That economy comes at a cost, as four of the 28 An-140s delivered so far have crashed. However, two of those were An-140s built under license in Iran.

The 19 ton An-140 has a range of 1,300 kilometers and a cruise speed of 460 kilometers an hour. The military version can carry about five tons of cargo. There are about fifty An-140s ordered so far from several countries and so far most of those ordered have been built.

Russia bought An-140s, in part, to improve diplomatic and economic relations with Ukraine. Since Russia went to war with Ukraine in early 2014 a growing number of Russian manufacturing operations have had to shut down because they can no longer import components from Ukraine. This is an aftereffect of the 70 years of communist rule in Russia and Ukraine. During this time the economies of Ukraine and Russia became very intertwined. Russia seized control of Ukraine in the 17th century and Ukrainians considered that conquest, not a merger.



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