Russian attack on Hostomel airport, AN-225 and NATO SALIS program base

Redacción Aviacionline

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Antonov An-225

A confrontation between Ukrainian and Russian troops took place at Hostomel airport in the vicinity of Kiev, in the framework of the invasion carried out by Vladimir Putin’s government.

Hostomel is also known as Antonov Airport as it was built by the aircraft manufacturer and is used as a test site.

It is also home to the Antonov AN-225 Mriya, the world’s largest and heaviest aircraft developed in the late 1980s. Some European media and social media accounts have reported that the aircraft was destroyed when the hangar housing it caught fire. However, this has not yet been confirmed.

But two hours ago, Dmitry Antonov, chief pilot of Antonov Airlines, owner of the AN-225, made a post through his Facebook account in which he assured that the aircraft is intact.

“Dear friends. Everything fell into place. Big hoax again. Russian troops were near Kiev. Gostomel airport is now under Russian air forces. Great chance that many planes will land tonight. On the positive side, Mriya is intact. We resisted and Glory to Ukraine,” Antonov said.

Aerial view of Hostomel airport – Photo: Oleksiynaumov – Wikimedia Commons
And, not least, it is the basis for the SALIS – Strategic AirLift International Solution – program. This provides NATO with bulky cargo transport capabilities to nine countries of the Atlantic alliance. Members of this alliance are Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Slovenia.

In December 2018, the NATO Support Procurement Agency (NSPA) signed a contract with Germany’s Antonov Logistics Salis to obtain secured access for up to five AN-124 aircraft. In addition, the current contract also provides access to AN-22, AN-225, and IL-76 aircraft.

RT, a Russian government-affiliated media affiliate, published statements from the Defense Ministry. Those declare that “only military infrastructure, air defense facilities, military airfields and aviation of the Armed Forces of Ukraine are neutralized with high-precision weapons”. This media also states that neither surrendering troops nor the civilian population is being targeted.

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