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New Saudi-made plane ’to take off next year’

RIYADH: A new military transport aircraft manufactured locally will be tested next year after 18 months of development and design.
This is according to Prince Turki bin Saud bin Mohammad, president of King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology.
The AN-132 is the result of cooperation with Ukraine and would see 80 planes produced, partially in the former Soviet nation, he said.
The AN-132 is a modern version of the military transport plane AN-32, with modern engines and electronics that would make it more fuel-efficient and able to take off and land in various environments, he was quoted as saying by a local publication.
This coincides with Saudi Arabia signing five agreements with several companies affiliated with the Saudi Company for Development and Technical Investments, which is completely owned by the Public Investment Fund.
The agreements were signed with leading technology and manufacturing companies to establish five companies specializing in military and civil industries, satellite and radar production, and clean energy.
Prince Turki said two of the five agreements would see the manufacture of Black Hawk and Antonov aircraft, which would see a significant transfer of technology, and the production of these planes in the Kingdom.
This partnership is an expansion of a current agreement between KACST and Antonov to develop and manufacture AN-132 planes.
KACST would own 50 percent of the intellectual property, he said.
A Saudi company combining Technical Space Company and US Digital Globe has been set up to manufacture and market a number of small satellites for space photography. KACST aims to develop and manufacture six satellites.
Another deal was signed with Aselsan Turkish company to develop and manufacture radars and electro-visual devices in the Kingdom.
The pact includes training of staff. The company would provide maintenance and development services to the military and security sectors.

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