Challenged by western sanctions that have hit the civil aviation sector hard, Russia plans to drastically increase the production of commercial aircraft, from the current capacity of 40 planes annually to 120, the President of its largest aerospace company, United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) has said.
Russia is facing a crippling shortage of passenger aircraft as the Boeing and Airbus fleets operated by its airlines have been cut off from support and service. This had inhibited its ability to operate international flights, bringing domestic programs like the Sukhoi SuperJet and MC 21 into focus.
At least one Russian-made Sukhoi Superjet 100 and an Airbus A350, both operated by Aeroflot, are currently grounded and being disassembled.
“Our main task is to substitute foreign aircraft with Russian developed and manufactured aircraft. Right now we are making 40 aircraft per year and are aiming for a three-fold increase as early as possible.
Our main task is to jointly work with the (Russian) Ministry of Defence to ensure stable operation of the fleet that we have to maintain and also to continue producing new aircraft for government orders.”Yuri Slusar, President, United Aircraft Corporation (UAC)
The Russian company is also looking to eliminate its dependency on foreign parts and systems for domestically manufactured aircraft. On the military front, the senior executive said that the main challenge is to ensure that aircraft availability for the special military operation’ continues.
Slusar said that plans are in place to visit India in the nearest future’ to discuss upgrade programs for the Russian fighter fleet in service with the air force.
India has been looking to upgrade its Su 30MKI fighter fleet and has had discussions with Russia for procurement of additional MiG 29 and Su 30MKI combat aircraft.
The UAC President also made a strong pitch for the MiG 35 fighter jet for an Indian requirement for new multi-role combat aircraft, claiming that only Russia could meet the requirements of more than 60% technology transfer and local production of the jets.
(With Inputs from The Economic Times)