An Antonov An-70 at takeoff. (Media credit/Marianivka via WikiMedia)

An Antonov An-70 at takeoff. (Media credit/Marianivka via WikiMedia)

Russia recently confirmed its plans to purchase the Ukrainian-designed Antonov An-70 transport aircraft, as long as the company fixes several problems pointed out by Russian military officials.

The An-70 is a revolutionary aircraft. It is the first large aircraft to be powered by propfan engines. First flown in 1994, only two prototypes have been built, and both crashed in test flights. The An-70 has been in development for about 30 years.

“The Ukrainian side has promised to finish the remaining work on the plane in the near future,” said Russian Air Force Commander Major General Viktor Bogdanov on Wednesday at a news conference for the 100th anniversary of the Russian Air Force. “We will definitely buy it.”

Russia did a complete pull-out from the An-70 project in 2006, but has since relented.

The first prototype crashed in the 90s, and the second in a take-off accident in 2001. There are also bugs in the propfan engines.

Russia will buy at least 60 of the transports. They will be built in a factory in Kazan, Russia. Two An-70s are due to be delivered to the Ukrainian Air Force shortly.