KIEV, May 7 (Xinhua) -- Ukrainian state-run aircraft manufacturer Antonov said Thursday that it has signed a protocol of intent with a Chinese company, Beijing A-Star Airspace and Technology Co., to produce the new transport aircraft An-178 for it in China.
"The Chinese partners expressed their intention to consider the prospect of building the Ukrainian-designed transport plane in China," said a statement of Antonov reaching Xinhua, without specifying.
The protocol, which was signed earlier in the day during a ceremony organized to mark the first flight of the Antonov An-178 plane in Kiev, the national capital of Ukraine, also said that the Chinese company will mull over the possibility to buy two Ukrainian-built An-178 aircraft, according to the statement.
The An-178 is a medium-sized transport aircraft capable of performing takeoffs and landings on unpaved runways. It has a payload capacity of up to 18 tonnes with a maximum speed of 800 kilometers per hour.