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Reuters: Cargo plane manufacturer Antonov moves to drone production

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk September 12, 2023 8:49 PM 1 min read
Visitors view an Antonov A124 aircraft at the Airport Festival at Leipzig-Halle Airport on June 11, 2023. (Photo by Sebastian Willnow/picture alliance via Getty Images)
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The Ukrainian cargo plane manufacturer Antonov is turning to drone production in response to the full-scale invasion, Reuters reported on Sept. 12.

Reuters cited a presentation by the state company Ukrainian Defense Industry, formerly known as Ukroboronprom.

The presentation detailed the opening of Antonov's new drone center, which aims to enhance drone manufacturing capabilities in Ukraine. It was given to officials in June 2023 in Washington, D.C., Reuters said.

"Antonov's previously unreported move is consistent with Ukraine's aim to be a global drone hub," according to Reuters.

Drones have become increasingly important to the Ukrainian military in the fight against the Russian invasion and more reports are emerging about Ukraine's mass production of such weapons.

Reuters added that Antonov did not respond to requests for comment, and an Ukroboronprom spokesperson declined to comment due to security concerns.

In the early days of the full-scale invasion, Antonov was featured in headlines around the world as Russian forces destroyed its Mriya aircraft, the world's largest cargo plane.

In April 2023, the former director of the company, Serhii Bychkov, was charged with official negligence for not ensuring the plane was removed from Hostomel airport outside Kyiv despite the warnings of state authorities and knowledge of the insurance coverage's termination.

Ukraine strikes Russian military base of drone operators
Ukraine’s forces carried out a successful strike against a base of Russian operators of Zala and Lancet drones, the military’s Strategic Communications Directorate reported.
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