Government plans drastic reform of national aircraft building industry

The year 2004 will see MiG and Sukhoi aircraft companies privatised, Russian Vice-Premier Boris Alyoshin told a news conference on Thursday.

Besides, Mr Alyoshin reported on the prospective merger of Tupolev and Ilyushin companies.

Two years ago the government was very close to loosing part of the blocks of shares it owns in these companies, according to the vice-premier. However, preparations for the reform of the defence sector helped prevent that, he said.

He emphasised that the government had not meant to nationalise the enterprises, but restore ownership of part of the property so that it could be sold at more remunerative prices afterwards.

The first phase of the reform of the national defence complex envisages establishment of 19 holding companies, including 6-7 aeroplane and helicopter-building enterprises.

The holdings will take over about half of a total of over 360 Russian aircraft companies, said the vice-premier.

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