Ukrainian aircraft manufacturer Antonov has expressed interest in establishing a maintenance facility in Sudan that would serve the country as well as the rest of Africa, Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir has disclosed.

Al-Bashir on March 23 said the Ukrainian government had proposed setting up a maintenance facility to serve Africa at the Safat Aviation Complex, established in 2005 for the assembly, manufacture and maintenance of aircraft for Sudan’s military, reports the Sudan Tribune. Sudan’s Air Force has a number of Anonovs in service, including roughly half a dozen An-12s, half a dozen An-26s and half a dozen An-30/32s.

Sudan’s president also said that it will be mandatory for new military aircraft to be maintained at Safat, otherwise a contract will not be signed.