The Russian-Ukrainian transport plane An-70 will not be a stronger competitor for the Russian transports Il-76MD and Il-76MF, Rosaviakosmos (the Russian Space Agency) chief Yuri Koptev told the Thursday briefing at the MAKS-2003 airshow.
"All the three have their own niches in dual-purpose transport aviation and are mutually complementary", he said.
To him, the An-70, capable of carrying up to a 43-tonne cargo, had several faults in its D-27 engine. "The Ukrainian side promised to eliminate them and, we think, state tests of the plane will be continued. After the trials we will see if mass production can be launched", Koptev said.
He was critical of the high price of the An-70. "Neither Russian or Ukrainian armed forces, nor their airlines can afford buying the An-70 for $45-50 mln. It is the main roadblock for its promotion to the new markets", Koptev stressed.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba believes that "Crimea has already become a" suitcase without a handle” for Russia