Ukrainian aircraft maker Antonov may surrender intellectual property rights to one of its aircraft in a bid to secure access to the Russian market.
The plane builder, which is owned by the Ukrainian government, is on the verge of signing a deal with Aviakor, part of Oleg Deripaska’s Russian Machines group, to create a joint venture that will take over intellectual property rights to the An-140, Vedomosti reported Thursday.
Aviakor began serial production of the An-140 at its Samara factory in 2005, but Antonov has hitherto retained the rights to the aircraft.
Passing the rights to a joint venture will allow the companies to develop the An-140-100, the basic model of the twin-engined turbo-prop, without Ukrainian consent.
It was a condition set by the Russian Defense Ministry, which is considering purchasing the 140-T transport variant of the aircraft.
Antonov vice president Alexander Kiva told Vedomosti that the question of intellectual property rights was “politically motivated,” adding that failure to reach an agreement on the project would have seen Antonov miss out on a market where foreign competitors including SAAB are already operating.
The Defense Ministry is said to be in talks about buying up to 50 modifications of the 140-T for roles including transporting paratroopers and serving as airborne hospitals, but has argued that the $18 million price tag is unfairly inflated by intellectual property royalties paid to Antonov.