Ukraine starts liquidation of legendary aircraft manufacturer Antonov

Ukraine starts liquidation of legendary aircraft manufacturer Antonov
The government of Ukraine has set up a special commission to manage the process of liquidating aircraft maker Antonov. The manufacturer is famous for producing Soviet-designed transport planes like the An-124 Ruslan and An-225 Mriya.

The government has ordered Deputy Economic Development and Trade Minister Yury Brovchenko to head the commission and ensure that within two months "the implementation of measures related to the liquidation of the concern," and to pay off the creditors of the enterprise.

According to a decree published on the official website of the Ukrainian government, the commission “should submit within three months the liquidation balance sheet” to the Cabinet of Ministers.

Ukraine's government decided to wind up the state-owned company last year after forcing Antonov to sever its contract with Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation (UAC). The decision was announced by former Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk, which Moscow described as political. All the Ukrainian-Russian projects were frozen.

Antonov and UAC signed a deal to form a joint company in 2010. They agreed to cooperate in marketing, sales, design, and production of military, civilian and cargo aircraft as well as modifying new Antonov airplanes.

Established in Novosibirsk in 1946 as a top-secret Soviet aviation design and research bureau, Antonov relocated to Kiev in 1952. It manufactured passenger, cargo, and special purpose aircraft.

Among the company's best-known aircraft are the giant An-124 Ruslan and An-225 Mriya cargo planes. The world's largest airplane An-225 was built to carry the Soviet Buran shuttle orbiter.