The manufacturer of the world’s largest aircraft has revealed that it would cost an estimated €500 million to rebuild the Antonov An-225.
The plane was destroyed in the early stages of the Ukraine conflict by Russian forces at Hostomel Airport.
Antonov is committed to rebuilding the iconic aircraft, named ‘Mriya’, Ukrainian for ‘dream’, despite the massive price estimated tag.
The exact amount that rebuilding the aircraft will cost will be made known to the public once the design and exact cost of repair work is finalised.
During the first days of the Ukrainian conflict, Russian troops targeted Hostomel Airport (GML) northwest of Kyiv. Days before the initial military invasion of Ukraine, the Antonov An-225 had landed at the airbase for maintenance.
This was the last time the aircraft would be flown before it was destroyed.
Ukraine’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dmytro Kuleba released a statement shortly after the destruction of the aircraft.
“Russia may have destroyed our ‘Mriya,’ but they will never be able to destroy our dream of a strong, free, and democratic European state. We shall prevail!”
A video of the aircraft after the attack was released on social media by Illia Ponomarenko, a defence correspondent for The Kyiv Independent. In this video, the severe damage to the aircraft can be seen in full.
The cockpit was almost separated from the rest of the plane, the front section of the fuselage of the aircraft collapsed entirely, while the rear of the plane remained relatively intact.
The airfield was seen as a potential strategic stronghold for the Russian army. If secured, Russia would’ve been able to transfer troops and equipment to within a few kilometres of Kyiv.
Ukrainian troops managed to prevent the airfield from being captured by the Russians. The airfield saw heavy fighting over several days which rendered the airport disabled.
The first Antonov An-225 was built to support Buran, the Soviet space program with its first flights dating back to 1988.
The An-225 was used as a cargo transporter when the Soviet Union fell. With twice the hold capacity of a Boeing 747, a length of 84 meters and the longest wingspan of any fully operational aircraft, it is no surprise that the An-225 became an icon in the aviation industry.
Although Antonov has announced that there are plans to rebuild, it will be a while before we see Mriya in the skies once more.