Monday, November 15, 2021

As Tensions Rise with Troop Build Up Announcement of a New Contract Speaks Volumes

Sabre Rattling Answered with Longer Term Military Mobilisation Deal
Shipping News Feature

UKRAINE – GERMANY – In military politics, as with comedy, it appears timing is everything. In a week when reports of over 100,000 Russian troops are massing at the Ukrainian border comes a statement from NATO regarding the rapid deployment of military assets in the region.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) has just awarded a five-year contract to the Ukraine based Antonov Company via its agent Antonov Logistics SALIS GmbH to continue working on its Strategic Airlift International Solution (SALIS) programme.

Under the terms of the programme a multinational consortium of nine countries charter two Antonov AN-124-100 aircraft, making them available around the clock for SALIS, with additional AN-124-100 planes available on request. Ukraine and NATO have been cooperating under the SALIS programme since January 2006, during which time Antonov has provided strategic airlift for NATO and the European Union (EU).

The NSPA organised a meeting in September in Prague, Czech Republic, to review Antonov’s/ Antonov Logistics SALIS GmbH’s performance under the SALIS programme for the last three years, as well as to discuss the new five-year contract and this is the first time such a long tenure has been granted under SALIS, normally two or three years were the accepted contract lengths.

Antonov’s SALIS programme team were represented at the meeting by Dr Sergiy Bychkov, Director General of the Antonov Company, Mykhaylo Kharchenko, Acting Deputy Director General of the Antonov Company, and Oleksandr Gritsenko and Andrii Chernyavskiy, Managing Directors of ALS.

Dr Bychkov gave a presentation at the meeting explaining his company’s outlook on transport and cargo aircraft efficiency during which he emphasised the fact that Antonov’s fleet of AN-124-100s would be fit to fly for the SALIS programme for the next five years and that their service life would extend further.

The Antonov AN-225 Mriya, the world’s largest plane, has in the past also been used for the SALIS programme, alongside the AN-22 Antei the world’s largest turboprop-powered aircraft, and Antonov said these would also be available in the future should they be required, adding the contract agreement ‘confirms that NATO appreciates the high level of services provided by our company and trusts its Ukrainian partner’.