Russian plane designers keep eye on Western needs

Russian aircraft producers have a good chance to be competitive on the international market, the Finance Leasing Co. says. As learned by Rosbalt from the FLC press service yesterday, a key component in this outlook is the Russian Regional Jet Project of Sukhoi Civil Aviation in association with Ilyushin Corp., Yakovlev Design and Saturn Research.

Evgeny Zaritzky, FLC general director, said all planes designed for the project would take into account the needs of regional carriers in the West as well as those of Russia. 'It is just that kind of civil aircraft that can be sold on the world market that we need to build in Russia,' he declared.

Demonstrating the attractiveness of the project was FLC's signing of options for the production of 30 regional planes under the project at MAKS-2003, in one of the air show's biggest deals, Zaritzky said.

The Russian Regional Jet Project, for the production of new regional aircraft, is still at an early stage. The companies involved are now weighing possible configurations and other details of the new craft. The expectation is that the participating companies and FLC will sign agreements in the spring for actual deliveries of planes to carriers. First deliveries are anticipated in the first quarter of 2007.

FLC registered in Moscow in January 1997. It specializes in licensing services for Russian military industries as well as for transportation and industrial companies. Its main shareholders: the Russian Federation and the Republic of Tartarstan and affiliated government agencies. Company partners: Gorbunov Kazakhstan Aircraft, Chkalov, Sukhoi, Ros-Defense-Export and Dalavia.

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