Following an agreement with the French industrialist Turgis & Gaillard, Antonov will be able to produce a consumable version of the MALE Aarok drone. Although little information is known, Antonov has already refocused part of its activity on supporting Ukrainian industrialists who develop and build drones for the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
On the occasion of the visit of the Minister of the Armed Forces, the French company Turgis & Gaillard signed a cooperation agreement with Antonov. This cooperation will allow the manufacture, directly from Ukraine, of a consumable drone based on the MALE (Medium Altitude Long Endurance) Aarok drone. As a reminder, the latter was one of the stars of Le Bourget (video below).
The formalities are not yet known: the size of the future drone and its capabilities? What types of weapons/systems: Ukrainian? French ? NATO standards? And that’s without mentioning the location of the future assembly plant and the Ukrainian personnel to be trained!
Antonov and drones
Antonov is a Ukrainian aeronautical company renowned for having built numerous aircraft, particularly heavy transport aircraft, including the An-225 Mryia. However, in June 2023, during a trip by Ukrainian officials to Washington DC (United States), they learned that Antonov had built a drone center. Its objective is to support the many small Ukrainian drone companies producing many machines for the Ukrainian Armed Forces. For obvious security reasons, the location of this center is top secret. Note that although Antonov has increased its share of production in drones, the production of transport aircraft still remains relevant (Reuters). To see if this center will be expanded with an assembly line for the future Turgis & Gaillard – Antonov drone.