22 Mar 2022 16:38

Russian aviation industry not even receiving imported parts already paid for, hoping for cooperation with friendly nations

MOSCOW. March 22 (Interfax) - The Russian aviation industry is not receiving components from abroad even under prepaid orders, they are currently frozen, Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov told reporters at a briefing on Tuesday.

"We are being denied delivery of components as part of our extensive international cooperation, this extends even to prepaid orders, they are currently frozen and not being delivered. And there is no explanation," he said.

"We have concluded that there is no point in waiting for the grass to grow, and we will intensify work on import substitution, bearing in mind those agreements signed in advance with companies who are interested in this work," the minister said.

This concerns not only Russian companies but also international cooperation with "friendly countries," Manturov said.

"First of all these are well-known entities that are located in Russia, but we do not exclude international cooperation with friendly countries, we have some of these," Manturov said.

According to Manturov, the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) will deliver two MC-21 planes this year instead of the earlier planned four due to the sanctions against Russia, but there are plans to certify an import-substituted version of the plane next year in order to begin deliveries of it in 2024.

"You know that we have certification work going on. Two MC-21 planes will be placed into test service," he told journalists.

Plans to certify four MC-21 planes this year were announced earlier.

Manturov said that he expects deliveries of an import-substituted version of the MC-21 to begin in 2024.

"More than likely, this will be in 2024 when import substitution work is completed and all certification procedures are finished, because any component that is changed out in the plane requires corresponding test procedures," Manturov said.

He also said that Russia would be able to supply 19 SSJ-100 aircraft in 2022, not counting those that were not previously sold to customers.

Deliveries of a totally import-free version of the aircraft will be possible from 2024.

"We have 19 aircraft fitted entirely with foreign components and we'll honor contracts for the 19 by the end of the year," Manturov said.

"We also have so-called white tails, aircraft that have not yet been sold to customers. We're now getting them flightworthy, they will also be sold to our Russian operators," he said.

Manturov said that given that Russia began import substitution for the SSJ back in 2018, serial deliveries of this version of the aircraft could begin in 2024.

"We expect to achieve full import-substitution next year, carrying out all the necessary certification flights, tests, and already starting to supply the Sukhoi to Russian companies," he said.

Manturov also commented on the possibility of expanding production of Tu-204 and 214 and Il-96 aircraft.

"As for the well-known Tu-204, 214 and Il-96 aircraft, there is the possibility of increasing production volumes, but we proceed from common sense, bearing in mind that the MC-21 is similar in terms of passenger capacity to the Tu-214 and 204," he said.

The existing Tu-214 supply system for state aviation will be preserved, while the number of aircraft delivered can be increased to 10 from the current level of up to three aircraft per year. "We will provide for additional assembly facilities for the Tu-214," Manturov said.

"We think there is no point in resuming production of the Tu-204, based on the fact that some time ago we decided to focus on the 214. In a sense it is universal: with a longer range, and with an optimal passenger capacity, which is in demand among our customers today," he said.