Russia has abandoned plans to build a large fleet of Antonov An-140T tactical airlifters as replacements for aging An-26s and An-72s, thanks to deteriorating relations with the new regime in Ukraine, where Antonov is based. Instead, the Russian defense ministry has revived the Ilyushin Il-112 project, a development of the Il-114 airliner, even though it was shelved in 2010 in favor of the less expensive An-140T.
United Aircraft Corporation
The latest round of economic sanctions imposed against Russia by the U.S. and European Union (EU) did not directly target the civil aerospace and air transport sectors, but they may yet inflict collateral damage on these industries. The U.S. sanctions, announced on September 12, included the Rostec defense group, which has ambitions in the civil sector, such as its planned joint venture with Canada’s Bombardier to build Q400 regional airliners in Russia.
The Russian defense ministry has ordered seven more Su-30SM two-seat fighters worth 13 billion roubles, boosting the total to be acquired to 72. Of these, the Russian air force is getting 60 and naval aviation 12. An initial contract for 30 was placed in 2012. Some have reportedly been deployed to Crimea.
Worsening relations between Moscow, the new regime in Kiev and the latter’s supporters in the West have prompted the Russian government to “dust off” the Ilyushin-114 turboprop. The Kremlin favors the outdated, but home-grown, design to Ukraine’s Antonov An-140, now in low-rate production at the Aviacor plant in Samara, and the Bombardier Q400, local production of which by Russian aerospace conglomerate Rostec remains under negotiation.
Russia’s business aviation community has assembled at Moscow’s Vnokovo Airport for the annual JetExpo show this week. Among the highlights is the first full appearance of a completed Sukhoi Business Jet, which is symbolic of Russia’s aspiration to develop a homegrown business aviation industry. AIN’s team of reporters has all the news from this year’s JetExpo at our special landing page.
The Irkut MC-21 program, which is developing a family of single-aisle airliners, is on track to meet its current development schedule, according to officials of Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation (UAC, Chalet B10 and Hall 1 Stand E8), at the Farnborough Airshow.
Among milestones reached and planned are assembly of the first MC-21 starting late this year or early 2015; first flight at the end of 2015 or early 2016; and entry into service in late 2017.
For UAC subsidiary Irkut, the Farnborough Airshow is a great chance to connect with Western partners and prospective customers for its MC-21 narrowbody airliner development. The group claims that the new design’s composite wing will give it an operating cost advantage even over the new re-engined Airbus A320neo and Boeing 737Max airliners.
The successful consolidation of key parts of Russia’s aerospace industry into the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) is more evident at this year’s Farnborough International Airshow then at any time since the group’s formation back in February 2006.
On February 28 Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences Rostislav Apollosovich Belyakov passed away, just days before his 95th birthday. Little known outside Russia until the late 1980s, Belyakov was the brilliant aeronautical engineer behind much of the successful MiG jet fighter dynasty. Despite taking on the running of the Mikoyan OKB (design bureau) from 1971, Belyakov remained very much a “hands-on” manager, leading or co-leading the design teams that produced the MiG-23, 25, 27, 29 and 31, which became the backbone of the Soviet/Russian air force.
Representatives of Russia’s Ministry of Industry and Trade met with executives of the Irkut Corporation at the Irkutsk Aviation Plant (IAP) on February 5 to talk over “issues” concerning the preparations for serial production of the new MC-21 airliner. Deputy minister of industry and trade Yuri Slyusar, director of the aviation industry department of the Ministry of Industry and Trade Andrey Boginsky, Irkut president Oleg Demchenko and Irkutsk Aviation Plant general director Alexander Veprev attended the meeting.
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