Ukraine, the price of survival: From civilian aircraft to attack drones


by Tina Schivatcheva

Is the end of an industry also the end of an era? The Ukrainian aviation conglomerate Antonov was more than an industry; it was a legend. The symbol of an era, Antonov has been Ukraine’s industrial national champion for 70 years, so the recent news that it now may be closed has been distressing for many. Most of the Ukrainians lament: “Antonov is Ukraine’s calling card. The aircraft conglomerate built the most powerful transport planes that beat all the world records. Losing it would be like cutting off an arm”.  Yet the news that Antonov could possibly be “saved” for the time being but will now be producing combat attack drones has also caused distress. At a recent press-conference (26.01.2016) the Ukrainian National Security and Defence Council’s (NSDC) Secretary Oleksandr Turchynov announced that the drones “will be tested in the complex combat conditions of the conflict…

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