So, the need for a more capable plane is clearly there.This variant will essentially be a four jet engine powered heavy-medium transport with modernized NATO- compatible western cockpit, slightly enlarged wings, winglets and aerial refueling capabilities.
The An-188 is intended to fill the gap between a C-130 and C-17 while being a direct competitor to the A400M. Plans include incorporating a western engine option along with the D-27 to appeal to western markets and reduce dependency on eastern markets.
Ukraine cannot build the D-27 propfan now as the fan is made by Russian Aerosila. Antonov plans to power the aircraft by Ukraine made Ivchenko Progress D-436 FM turbofan engines, but also have plans to offer western power plants. The turbofan engines will increase the thrust from current 7.5 metric tons (16,534 pounds) to 8.2 metric tons (18,078 pounds) with a fuel consumption of 4600 kg / hour. The An-188 will have capabilities similar to Airbus A400M turboprop airlifter, with its maximum take-off weight of 140 tonnes and maximum payload of 40 tonnes, sitting in between that of the Lockheed Martin C-130J (79/20 tonnes) and the Boeing C-17 (255/75 tonnes) strategic airlifter. The aircraft will have Short Take Off and Landing (STOL) capability and ability to operate from unpaved runways with a length of about 1 km.
In 2017, Turkey canceled development of a dual use regional jet family powered by both turboprop and turbofan engines, based on the German Dornier 328 and 628 aircraft.