HAI Convention News

Russian aerospace companies consolidate, helo exports increase

 - September 29, 2006, 7:33 AM

Russia has created a unified United Aircraft Construction Corp. that consolidates aircraft companies Sukhoi, MiG, Ilyushin, Tupolev, Kazan, Komsomolsk, Nizhy Novgorod and Novosibirsk.  Last week Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree creating the joint stock corporation to develop, manufacture, sell, modernize, service and support civilian and military aircraft and related equipment.

United Aircraft is expected to be modeled loosely after the European aerospace consortium EADS and will have four main business units: combat aviation, civil aviation, military transport and special aviation, and hub and components. It will be 75 percent owned by the Russian government and is expected to post approximately $8.5 billion in annual sales.

Consolidating the member companies is expected to take the remainder of the year. A new CEO for United Aircraft remains to be selected. Initially, it is estimated that the new company will be able to produce more than 100 transport-category aircraft annually and will aim to boost Russia’s presence in the aircraft export market.

While domestic production and international sales of fixed-wing Russian aircraft have lagged, foreign demand for the country’s helicopters is increasing. Last week Ven- ezuela took delivery of the first three of 15 Russian troop, assault, and heavy-lift helicopters, part of a $201 million order for Mi-17V5s, Mi-26s, and Mi-35Ms from Rostvertol. Venezuela is also planning to acquire as many as 25 additional new military helicopters. Rostvertol is currently developing the day/night all-weather Mi-28N next-generation fast attack helicopter. Mi-17s are also on their way to the Palestinian Authority as part of a wider Russian arms deal with that government.

Worldwide demand continues for Russia’s Kamov Ka-32 Helix coaxial helicopter, now flying in countries including Canada, Mexico, South Korea, Spain, Switz-erland and Taiwan. The Ka-32 can be used in a variety of roles including cargo, firefighting, ice spotting, law enforcement, logging, medevac and shipboard and troop transport.