Ukraine to build another MRIYA aircraft – Zelensky
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky has announced his intention to build another MRIYA aircraft, dedicating this project to the memory of pilots who died in the war and, in particular, during the defense of Mariupol.
During an online meeting with Ukrainian students on Thursday, he 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.
He called them "heroic people." "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," the President said.
"To build a MRIYA for the sake of the memory of heroes is the right state position," Zelensky stressed.
The world's largest transport aircraft MRIYA was destroyed during the battles for the airport Gostomel at the end of February 2022.
An-225 MRIYA is an aviation giant, which holds records for the transportation of maximum commercial cargo and the longest and heaviest single-cargo in the history of aviation, carrying capacity.