Riding on a wave of military business, electronics group KRET, a subsidiary of Russian Technologies, plans to expand its presence in the global market for civilian avionics and systems by offering avionics packages for the Kamov Ka-226T and Mil Mi-171A2 helicopters and the Tupolev Tu-204SM and Irkut MC-21 narrow-body jetliners.
Deliveries of KRET-outfitted Ka-226Ts are expected to begin to launch customer GazpromAvia and the Mi-171A2 is entering production. The avionics package for the Tu-204SM is already flying on two operable prototypes. A more advanced avionics suite is being bench-tested for the MC-21.
A first-time exhibitor at the Farnborough International Airshow, KRET was formed in 2009 and now includes nearly 100 enterprises specializing in electronic warfare, avionics, friend-or-foe systems and measuring equipment. Last year, its revenues amounted to 77.3 billion rubles, of which 70 percent were military. KRET’s order backlog reportedly exceeds 25 billion rubles.
“Our previous avionics solutions used to be based on military standards, and hence we were not able to compete [with Western companies] when the Superjet project commenced,” said Andrei Tyulin. KRET deputy general manager. “Now, our newer systems feature open architecture and algorithms; they comply with the international standards. We are going to certify them with ARMAK, EASA and FAA so that we will have a global product able to sell worldwide.”
KRET general manager Nikolai Kolesov said the group works on 42 systems for the MC-21. “Our goal is to certify [the systems] this year, so as to commence production of deliverable sets in 2015.” Many of these systems are parts of “a predominantly Russian integrated avionics suite” for the aforementioned jetliner, with 90 percent of software and 47 percent of hardware being of local origin.
Within KRET’s structure, member NIIAO (local acronym for Scientific-Industrial Institute for Aviation Equipment) acts as the MC-21 avionics integrator. Another prominent local player, GosNIIAS (for State Scientific-Industrial Institute for Aviation Systems), continues development of technologies, demonstrators and specimens in the interests of the program.
“We are working on what we call the MC-21.RU, [which would be] outfitted with a completely Russian set of onboard equipment,” said Tyulin. “A full-scale testing rig is almost done. We will blend it into the Iron Bird. In the end, Russia’s competence in that area will be restored,” he claimed.
Another KRET member, Tikhomiriov’s NIIP, continues flight-tests of the N-036 active electronically scanned phased array radar on Sukhoi PAKFA (T-50) fifth generation fighter.
Development and production of next-gen products are ensured by big investments into technical renovation of KRET-controlled factories. The Russian government provided KRET with 5.8 billion rubles in 2013 and agreed to provide additional 114 billion rubles in 2014-2020. As of December 2013, KRET’s research-and-development contracts totaled 8.4 billion rubles.