An-178 is a product of the modernization of the An-158 (An-148). These transporters with a carrying capacity of 18 tons should replace the obsolete An-12, which still fly in many countries of the world. It is interesting that during the contest for the “popular name”, the plane could well get the name “Cyborg” or “Stepan Bandera,” but the company management prudently rejected these options.
The characteristics of the aircraft interested the Ministry of the Interior of Peru. This Latin American country already has experience in operating the An-32B. Peruvian pilots have to fly at once through several climatic zones: among the Andes and the Amazonian lowlands, where tropical rain often occurs. Such conditions impose special requirements on transport aircraft.
It would seem that one can be glad that Antonov, once created by a great power, defeated the products of Western competitors in a fair fight. However, certain questions arise.
Representatives of the Ukrainian company announced the availability of a sales market for their aircraft, which they estimated at 800 units over the next decade. Among the potential buyers were the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, Saudi Arabia, Azerbaijan, the Persian Gulf countries, and China. But in 2017, the Mirror of the Week edition dispelled this optimism:
To date, with a certain degree of optimism, we can only talk about the contract for the supply of Silk Way (Azerbaijan) airline 10 An-178 aircraft ... In fairness, it should be noted that there is an agreement on joint serial production of 12 copies of An-178 for Beijing A-Star Science & Technology Co., Ltd (China) not yet implemented as a contract. You can put an end to this ... That's all.
It turned out not very beautiful with Azerbaijan either. Ukrainians took an advance of $ 1 million, but Baku still has not received anything in return. The originally announced price of $ 25 million for each aircraft, they increased to 45 million. As a result, the deal fell through, and the million dollar transferred was either “mastered” or “assigned” by a Ukrainian company.
The fact that Kiev can now "throw" the Peruvians also indicates Dmitry Kiva, the ex-general designer of Antonova, and now an adviser to Azerbaijani airlines:
No documentation has been issued on the plane. How can an airplane for which documentation has not yet been tested be tested?
There is another curious aspect. Suppose Antonov intends to conscientiously fulfill his obligations to Peru. There are clearly no fools in Lima, as they carefully examined all the possible nuances of the transaction before contacting Square.
But how is Kiev going to supply the An-178 to Latin America if about 50% of its components are manufactured in Russia? Import substitution is an extremely expensive and lengthy process. In its present state, Ukraine will not pull it. To rely on the help of the West, to put it mildly, it is not worth it, especially after the “Antonov” outperformed its competitors.
Let's face it, deliveries of the An-178 to Peru are possible only with the assistance of Moscow. This is a double edged sword. On the one hand, Russian enterprises will receive orders for the supply of components. On the other hand, this is direct support for the hostile regime, which officially accused our country of aggression and introduced sectoral sanctions.
In addition, problems in the Ukrainian aviation industry led to the labor migration of qualified specialists to Russia. Resuscitation "Antonov" can lead to the opposite effect. So is it worth doing in the current environment?