Farnborough Air Show

Russia’s UAC plots civil ambitions

 - July 14, 2008, 11:03 AM

Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) president Alexey Fedorov yesterday gave details of his plans here for expanding the company’s civil business from 10 percent to 20 percent in 2015, and then to 50 percent in 2025. The MS-21, a 150- to 210-seater, should prove instrumental.

“With the MS-21, we target a 10-percent share of the global market,” Fedorov said, making it clear he does not see Airbus and Boeing suffering too much from this competition. UAC plans three versions, dubbed -200, -300 and -400, carrying 150, 180 and 210 passengers respectively. First flight is pegged for 2013. The airliner could enter into service in the 2015-2017 timeframe. “Although Irkut is the leader, this is the first real UAC project, with many of our companies involved,” Fedorov pointed out. All engine manufacturers will be invited to bid for MS-21 power.

On the cargo market, UAC is working on new variants of the Ilyushin Il-76. The Il-76TD-90, powered by Perm PS-90A engines, will offer 40 metric tons of payload. The Il-76MF will offer 60 tons, thanks to a stretched fuselage. Both will employ a new wing and a new avionics suite. The production of the Il-76 is being shifted from Uzbekistan to Ulyanovsk, Russia.

Asked why his company has no stake in the Airbus A350 program, Fedorov said the issue centered on a lack of resources, particularly in engineering and production. “We will be a subcontractor,” Fedorov added.

An IPO is scheduled for 2010. The Russian government intends to keep 50 percent of the shares, plus one share. Foreign companies will be allowed to buy up to 20- to 25 percent each. EADS has recently confirmed it is selling its 10-percent interest in Irkut and is willing to become a UAC shareholder.

UAC regroups a number of Russian aerospace companies, most famously Sukhoi, Ilyushin, Irkut, Tupolev, Yakovlev and Beriev.     –