Home' Asian Aviation : AAV November 2010 Contents Russia’s aerospace revival
letter from the management of
Russian carrier Aeroflot to Prime
Minister Vladimir Putin earlier
this year confirmed the airline’s
intention to acquire 11 Antonov
An-148 and 40 Sukhoi Superjet
100 regional jets, alongside 25 An-140 turboprops
Coming as it did after the airline selected Airbus
and Boeing equipment for much of its fleet-renewal
programme, the letter appears to have been prompted
by Putin’s remarks about the ne ed to support the
national aerospace industry.
Significantly, the state-owned op erator also plans
to obtain 50 single-aisle Irkut MS-21 jetliners
during 2016-20, thus confirming its commitment
to domestic manufacturer United Aircraft Building
Corporation (United Aircraft). It also demonstrates
the continuing close ties between aerospace and
aviation in Russia and neighbouring Ukraine, which
is involved in joint-production programmes.
Following a thaw in relations between the two
countries, Russia has resumed co -operation with
Ukraine’s aerospace companies. As well as joint
production of the Antonov An-158 regional jet,
Russia also will acquire more of the Ukrainian-
designed Antonov An-124 heavy-transport aircraft
and An-70 military transport.
United Aircraft, which was formed in 2007 to
absorb around 20 major aerospace companies,
has been modernising and renovating the Russian
industry, with the g oal of b eing the world’s third-
biggest aircraft manufacturer after the USA and
Europe. R ationalisation includes an almost 50
percent cut in jobs and improved productivity.
The need to compete against the likes of
Bombardier and Embraer, a s well as mighty Airbus
and Boeing , has provided a huge challenge to United
Aircraft as it sets about industry renovation. In
addition, its plans must accommodate partnerships
with Ukraine and other former Soviet republics such
as Uzbekistan (where the former Tashkent Aircraft
Factory was recently declared bankrupt). For
example, Antonov and Ilyushin programmes are not
truly Russian, since all established transport aircraft
were manufactured in Ukraine or Uzbekistan.
Eventually, United wants to produce all these aircraft
in Russia .
United Aircraft has absorbed large chunks of the
industr y, de cided which programmes to continue,
and beg un investing in the f uture as the corporation
embarks on new-aircraft development. In September,
it announced a US$300 million investment to
improve production facilities and build a new plant
for the Irkut MS-21 programme, a longside US$230
million for Antonov An-148 development and
production (on which Antonov had already spent
United completed acquisition of all Russian
aircraft design bureaux and factories in the first stag e
of its reorganisation last year. In 2010, the plan has
been to set up three divisions, identified as UAC
Commercial , UAC Military, and UAC Special. The
split bet we en military and civil output is intended to
become more balanced, moving from an initial 80:20
in 2009 to 50:50 – and eventually perhaps 40:60.
Ukraine is hoping a joint venture can be established
so on to build Antonov aircraft in Russia . Discussions
on an equal-partnership structure took place in
September, with Russia rep ortedly in full agreement
with Ukraine’s proposals . Initially, the venture will
oversee marketing and after-sales support for aircraft
designed by Antonov D esign Bureau in Ukraine. The
An-148 regional airliner is in production in both
countries, and resumed production of the An-124
could provide a second co -operation project.
The aerospace industry in Russia is being renovated and developed by United Aircraft, which has absorbed many of
the country’s Soviet-era design bureaux and factories. Ian Goold summarises progress with current and developing
programmes, including activity in Ukraine.
The Sukhoi Superjet 100 is expected to receive
Russian airworthiness certification this year.
32 AsianAviation | NOVEM BER 2010
23/10/10 12:03 AM
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