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An-225 flies to the East: how Kiev sold to China for a pittance
Material posted: Publication date: 01-09-2016
Trying to attract foreign investors, the Ukrainian government goes to desperate measures and pays for a pittance technologies that, if the Soviet Union is unlikely to be sold for a fortune. Along with developments in the field of missile technology in the near future, Chinese Industrialists will get drawings, developments and research results on the largest freight aircraft An-225, developed in Soviet Union for participation in the space program.

Impossible to take back

Over the years that have passed since the collapse of the Soviet Union, is that Australia and New Zealand was not interested in military secrets, of which the archives of the Ukrainian KB have remained a great variety. To condemn the desire to purchase unique technology, the likes of which will not be for a long time can not be, because after independence, Ukraine received the right to dispose of suddenly acquired technological wealth alone.

Ukraine sold China the largest aircraft in the world An-225 "Mriya"

In the Ukrainian "Antonov" commented the sale of the An-225, China

In addition to the weapons depots, sell right and left, began to sell the most valuable - the results of the mental work of thousands of engineers, namely, the drawings and the results of R & d in almost all types of military equipment and products of dual use". These documents, printouts, drawings and test results were interested in the foreign industrial companies, which are affiliated with the military and intelligence services for many years. For anybody not a secret that Chinese companies, including foreign representatives, actively studied the accumulated Soviet designers decisions and create conditions to attract specialists from countries of the former USSR - primarily from Russia and Ukraine.

In General, Asian countries have managed on a par with the West to carry out a large outflow of "brains" from the former USSR. According to experts, at the time South Korea even promoted a special program that virtually any unclaimed engineer from the former Soviet Union only had to apply to the Embassy of the country to report data on place of work, and almost immediately this man was preparing the documents for departure, visa and impressive in the perestroika times the amount of cash for the first time. Of course, the rights on the technology or payment for the use of "Soviet brains could not go and speeches. What is gone is gone.

The Soviet dream

Contrary to popular opinion, a masterpiece of Soviet aircraft industry of the An-225 has never been created and, moreover, was not originally conceived as a commercial cargo plane with ultra-high capacity. The an-225 can fully be called a product of the cold war, because we developed it in order to carry the Orbiter-a space Shuttle for the Soviet reusable space transportation system "Buran". And the "Buran", as we know, only on paper was the product of civil.

In fact reusable spacecraft had to perform military tasks in the interest of security of the Soviet Union - from the withdrawal of military satellites to the use of nuclear weapons from outer space. In addition, it was assumed that the An-225 will serve as a platform for program air-launched the "Buran" - this circumstance, as well as the need from time to time to transport the Shuttle was due to high carrying capacity of the aircraft and the ability to carry heavy objects as in the transport compartment and on top of the fuselage.

After the An-225 once moved Buran to the exhibition in Le Bourget (after the last landing in fully automatic mode) happened the collapse of the Soviet Union about the intended use of the aircraft, as well as about the space program, "Energiya-Buran", it was necessary to forget. For many years after an absence of a "target boot" the An-225, being the only serviceable flying a freighter with ultra-high capacity, used for commercial transportation of non-standard and very heavy loads. The aircraft has set a record by weight of cargo - 253 tons. This is still no repeated.

Ukrainian big sale

The interest of the Chinese to create their own fleet of aircraft is quite understandable - the largest and most armed army in the world somehow have to transfer troops and equipment to where you want her. According to various estimates, the implementation of military and civilian traffic, it was requested about a thousand units of cargo aircraft. Of course, to build a number of planes from scratch in a short time own the Chinese could not, therefore, the first private freighter Y-20 was created in a wide cooperation with Russian and Ukrainian specialists. The Russian company gave the Chinese the engines D-30KP-2, and Ukrainian experts worked on the wings. However, a blind purchase of Russian or any other foreign equipment, Chinese speech were not and, most likely, to will never be.

The same Y-20 only at the initial stage equipped with a Russian engine - Chinese representatives announced almost immediately that the question of creation of own engine WS-18 is only a matter of time. Sensational deal of the Chinese company, CB "Antonov" on the transfer of technology and documentation, and the completion of the second aircraft An-225 under the jurisdiction of today's Ukraine, not that other, as a continuation of the good Chinese traditions for the purchase of necessary technology. Only in the case of the Sino-Ukrainian agreements, the situation is slightly more complex than claimed by the Ukrainian side.

First, the mass purchase of aircraft of Ukrainian origin out of the question. To re-start production of the an-225 Ukrainian Industrialists need to restore the entire chain of businesses involved in the Soviet Union. If to speak language of figures, according to experts, the current capacity of the Ukrainian aircraft industry is approximately 1.5% of the resource and research base in the Soviet Union.

"You need to consider first and foremost that the majority of suppliers of parts and components for such aircraft "died" or redeveloped, so in essence you need to develop a new aircraft," - says in an interview with the expert of Center for analysis of strategies and technologies Vasily Kashin.

Secondly, if you believe open source and information professionals, the beginning of production to their own heavy transport in China, even in 2019 to establish it is impossible, since the Chinese experts there is still no engine for this plane, and to study and to recreate the production of all parts of the An-225 is almost impossible. At least, by 2019, to do just will not work. The third item is not difficult to guess, a consequence of the second - the entire history from the beginning of the joint production of the Chinese freighter in the Ukrainian licenses designed to hide from the Ukrainian public of the real situation.

Experts note that the contract is scheduled to be implemented in two stages, first involves the completion in Ukraine of the second copy of the An-225, the readiness of which is estimated at 70%, then the licensed production of these aircraft in China. Due to the fact that the chance to start serial production of the an-225 in China in 2019 is estimated as very low, most likely, the enterprising citizens of China will complete the second An-225 will buy you all the technical documentation and will continue to use it for construction and production of its own heavy transport, where no partners, of course, to attract do not want. Obviously an impossible agreement on the deployment of the production base, apparently, signed with the purpose to demonstrate the far-reaching plans and to convince the Ukrainian Industrialists that last without a job and no money left.

Shipping in Chinese

To ask the question about where and why China needed a transport aircraft with a carrying capacity, there are several answers and all of them upon closer inspection can correspond to the real situation. First, noteworthy was the desire of the Chinese side to intact and able to fly a copy of the an-225, which is currently dead weight in the Ukrainian KB. If we assume that units and components are to this aircraft and is made for years gathering dust in warehouses in anticipation of the installation, then China may soon get a super-heavy freighter, which immediately put to use.

Under the deal experts mean in the first place the implementation of the Chinese space program, and if you take into account the fact that the An-225 was once designed including under the "air launch" the spacecraft, the probability of completed and sold to Chinese aircraft as a flying laboratory for such a project is extremely high.

But the main intrigue, of course, is preserved in relation to their own heavy transport aircraft, pictures of the "purge" which in the wind tunnel date back to 2012. Why the Chinese aircraft with a capacity of 200 or more tons? Yes, at least for transfer of military equipment and large cargoes for military and paramilitary purposes in the territory of their own military facilities.

"The range of tasks for such an aircraft, from civil transport to delivery military equipment and special large equipment to their island bases. Because the aircraft is not primarily a range of flights and capacity," - said in an interview with "Star" military expert Alexei Leonov.

Confusion Ukrainian aviation experts in this case should be considered separately. While the majority of those who can not imagine the consequences of such cooperation and sales technology, is happy with the currency coming into the state budget, the real situation may be completely different.

First of all, it should be understood that the technical documentation and the contract in General can not cost a lot of money. The proceeds from the sale of all developments on the aircraft and the aircraft, it is impossible to revive production of the an-225 in Ukraine. Besides, if Chinese engineers, based on the Soviet design drawings and documentation, build your own heavy aircraft, Ukrainian aviation services engineers there will be no more need and they will bring in the best case as consultants.

It is not excluded and the negative development scenario - "the Dream" will cease to Charter for carrying large loads, opting for cheaper and more modern Chinese transporters. Special mention deserve the Chinese experts on international relations. Have not forgotten the history of the Grand sales of heavy aircraft-carrying cruiser "Varyag" with all supporting documentation and drawings for a couple of tens of millions of dollars, and the sale of Ukraine's landing ships of the project 12322 "bison" suddenly in the hands of the Chinese literally jumped a new major success, with almost nothing.

If the main news on sale, Ukraine defense technologies of the Soviet Union it is already clear, the main intrigue lies in the fact that there is still no official denial of the transfer of ownership of the only serviceable aircraft An-225. If China will get and the Ukraine in one fell swoop lose all at once: and "national" pride, and technologies, and source of decent income. And the day of transfer and all documentation on a unique Soviet heavy plane can be formally written as a mourning date in the history of Ukrainian aviation industry.

Dmitry Yurov


Tags: China , science , Ukraina

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