Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky says $800 Million is needed to build a new An-225 Mriya Cargo jet.
He said the project will be dedicated to the memory of pilots who have been killed since Russia’s invasion.
Ukraine aims to replace the one that was destroyed during the Russian occupation of Hostomel airport.
Ukroboronprom had earlier said it could cost $3 billion to build a new Cargo plane, a project it said will take five years.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has announced his intention to build a new Antonov An-225 Mriya Cargo aircraft to replace the one that was destroyed during the Russian occupation of Hostomel airport.
Zelensky, while announcing this during an online meeting with Ukrainian students, said that the project will be dedicated to the memory of pilots who have been killed since Russia launched its invasion on Feb. 24.
“How much they have done, and today we can already say how many lives of people who remained in Mariupol, especially in Azovstal they saved … How many pilots gave their lives to bring everything there, from weapons to water.”
“And how many wounded they took from there. A large number of these people died heroically,” Zelensky said.
“To build a Mriya for the sake of the memory of heroes is the right state position.”
Zelensky recalled that at one time there was an idea to build a second copy of this unique aircraft.
“We wanted to build it, we needed $800 million. I appealed to the President of Turkey with a proposal to build the 2nd MRIYA, but we did not find the money,” he said.
“But in this case, it’s not a matter of money, it’s a matter of ambition. We were approached by Ukroboronprom, the Antonov team.
“This is a question of the image of our country and all the excellent professional pilots who died in this war,” Zelensky also said.
Zelensky’s estimate to build a new Mriya is far less than what Ukraine’s state arms manufacturer, Ukroboronprom wants to bring the iconic Cargo plane back to life.
While announcing the destruction early in March, Ukroboronprom said it could cost more than $3 billion (N1.25 Trillion) to build a new Cargo plane, a project it said will take five years.
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