Ukraine Is Secretly Building A New AN-225 Aircraft, the World’s Largest Plane Destroyed By Russia: Antonov State Enterprise, the Ukrainian aircraft manufacturing company headquartered in Kyiv, is reported to be building a second An-225 Mriya aircraft, the largest plane in the world that was destroyed by Russian forces in March this year.
The wreckage site on 28 May 2022, showing efforts to clear the hangar of the smaller pieces of wreckage.
The world-renowned aircraft, which weighed 628,300lbs and had a wingspan of 290ft, hit the headlines soon after Russian forces invaded Ukraine and were considered a severe loss to Ukraine. According to Antonov Acting General Director Yevhen Havrylov, however, the plane could soon be flying once again.
Speaking to German newspaper Bild, Havrylov said that the new Mriya is already nearly a third of the way done.
“Work on the new aircraft continues at a secret facility. The second AN-225, which was never completed, will be supplemented with parts from the bombed-out aircraft in addition to new parts,” Havrylov said, adding that the rebuilding of the plane will cost a total of €500,000,000.
The Mriya An-225 was destroyed as Russian troops retreated from Hostomel on March 31, targeting the Hostomel airport, the home of the Antonov aircraft company. Photographs and videos shared online showed the world’s largest plane in a state of disrepair, still in the hangar but seriously damaged.
Despite being 33 years old, the plane was still frequently used for transporting large quantities of heavy cargo as far as 4,000km in five hours. The plane was also famous for transporting the Soviet “Buran” space shuttle, making its destruction particularly shocking in Ukraine and across the world.
Havrylov did not confirm a timeframe for the construction of the plane, though with Zelenskyy still insistent on winning the war and not negotiating with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the plane could well be complete before the Ukraine conflict comes to an end.
Ukraine Investigates Whether Antonov Employees Assisted Russia
Ukraine’s Prosecutor General’s Office confirmed this month that investigations were underway to determine whether employees of Antonov State Enterprise cooperated with Russian agents, helping lead to the destruction of the Mriya aircraft.
In response to a request for comment from Ukrinform, the Prosecutor General’s Office said that criminal investigations were underway to determine whether Antonov employees “provided assistance to a foreign state” or “representatives” of a foreign state, in “carrying out subversive activities against Ukraine, which led to the destruction of the An-225 Mriya aircraft and other (planes) during the military aggression of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.”
Antonov An-225 Mriya on finals at Gostomel Airport.
The case is being investigated by the Main Investigative Department of the Security Service of Ukraine.