Ukrainian manufacturer Antonov (1/H294) is expected to announce a new military freighter at the Paris Air Show this week – albeit one which is probably related to an existing and popular design.

The designation An-132 is assigned to a “new generation” light tactical transport capable of carrying various cargoes of around 9 tons on short- and medium-haul routes. Antonov confirms that its latest aircraft will be a replacement for the An-32 and older An-26, which are similar-looking, high-wing, twin-turboprop types with rear loading ramps.

Of great interest is the prominent position of unspecified Saudi Arabian partners in the new venture. In a further departure from Cold War-era designs, Antonov will also incorporate equipment from leading Western companies such as Pratt & Whitney Canada, General Electric, Honeywell, Liebherr and Hamilton Sundstrand.

In estimating a world market for 900 An-132s, Antonov appears to have been prompted by the current political situation to abandon hopes of replacing the large number of An-26s and An-32s now operating in Russia. In any case, Russia is proceeding with the indigenously-equipped Ilyushin Il-112 for the military light transport role.