KIEV, Ukraine, Dec. 21 (UPI) -- Antonov, a subsidiary of Ukraine's state-owned Ukroboronprom, formally rolled out its multipurpose AN-132D military transport aircraft.
The plane was rolled out during a ceremony attended by high-ranking government officials, including Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko and Saudi Prince Turki bin Saud bin Muhoammed Al Saud. Poroshenko presented an optimistic vision for aircraft during a speech.
"We are confident that this aircraft has a great future. We are confident that it will have 260-290 aircraft by 2035. And I thank all aircraft manufacturers and all our partners for this celebration and for this victory," he said.
In a separate speech, Ukroboronprom general director Roman Romanov praised his company's production process, saying the project was completed quickly and effectively.
"An-132D was created in a very short time," he said. "The decision to implement this project was made in May 2015 when the agreement was concluded with Taqnia Aeronautics, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Today the aircraft is ready for testing and will perform its first flight in spring 2017."
The AN-132D is designed for transporting cargo over short- and medium-range routes, and is capable of carrying a maximum payload of 9.2 tons.
IHS Janes reports Saudi Arabia plans to procure two of the new planes for electronic warfare roles, and 4 additional aircraft for search-and-rescue missions.