Russia’s defense industry is looking both to compete and cooperate with its western European counterparts as it bids to expand its international customer base.
The Russian government has bailed out the MiG Corporation after it lost more than $300 million last year and reported total debts of $1.25 billion. Twenty-four MiG-29 SMTs that were built for Algeria will be bought instead by the Russian Air Force for $690 million. Another $417 million will be provided through an issue of additional shares, so that MiG can be integrated debt-free into Russia’s United Aircraft Corp. (UAC).
A memorandum of understanding between Jet Aviation and Vnukovo Invest, co-owner of Moscow Vnukovo International Airport, has created a joint venture that will significantly expand Jet Aviation’s Vnukovo aircraft maintenance operation starting next year.
Eclipse Aviation announced on September 23 that the Russian state bank Vnesheconombank (VEB) supervisory board, chaired by Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin, has approved the construction of a factory in Ulyanovsk, Russia, to assemble Eclipse 500s for the European and Russian markets.
Perhaps the most eye-catching camouflages on display here at Farnborough are the digital pattern applied to the single-seat MiG-29AS and tiger stripes on the two-seat MiG-29UBS, both from the Slovak air force. The “S” in the aircraft’s designation denotes that they have undergone a modernization program, conducted in conjunction with the MiG Corporation.
Last year, Russian defense export agency Rosoboronexport (Hall 1 Stand B13) achieved a new post-Soviet-period record for export of military hardware totaling $6.2 billion. Its previous record of $5.3 billion was established in 2006, a significant rise over $3 billion worth of sales in 2000.
Russia’s aircraft engine manufacturers are trying to make up ground lost to Western rivals through a comprehensive process of consolidation and restructuring. The success of this change will have an impact not just on the companies themselves, but also on the ambitious new aircraft programs being prepared under the auspices of the new United Aircraft Manufacturing Corp. (OAK) for which new-generation engines are required.
On November 27 Jet Aviation became the first international business aviation services group to establish a support operation in Moscow when it took possession of a hangar next to the Vnukovo-3 business aviation terminal. It has also begun construction on a 33,000-sq-ft hangar that should be completed early this year.
Jet Aviation yesterday signed an agreement with Vnukovo Invest that will allow the Swiss-based aviation company to provide maintenance services at Moscow Vnukovo International Airport by year-end. The deal makes Jet Aviation the first global independent business aviation services company operating in the growing Russian bizjet market.
The expansion of Russia’s defense exports in recent years has caused its manufacturers to buy more components and systems instrumentation from leading Western companies, which has led to closer cooperation between Russian and Western firms.