Kazakhstan is to set up a production plant to produce a family of light multirole agricultural aircraft as replacements for the aging Antonov An-2 crop duster, including a new aircraft known as Sunkar.
The new aircraft will be produced at a new facility costing 3.75 billion tenge ($25 million) in the town of Novouzenka in Kazakhstan's Karaganda region.
A foundation stone was laid at the site on August 22 by Kazakhstan's Transport Minister Abdelgazi Kusainov.
"This will not be just assembly work, but full-cycle production from a national design bureau to the production factory," the Kazakh Transport Ministry says.
The aircraft will be produced by KazAviaSpektr in partnership with Russia's MVEN, a Kazan-based manufacturer which produces composite-structure light aircraft and parachute-rescue systems for light aircraft.
Workers for the Kazakh plant will be trained at MVEN's Kazan facility.
Series production is planned to begin in 2011, and the firm hopes to build 50 single-engine Famer 2 and Farmer 500 aircraft in the first year.
The Kazakh national agricultural holding KazAgro says it will set up a leasing scheme to enable Kazakh farmers to buy the aircraft.