Irkutsk Aviation Industry To Merge with Yakovlev Design Bureau

Irkutsk-based Irkut aircraft construction enterprise expects to receive $3.5 billion profit

The corporation Irkut took a very active part in the recent MAKS-2003 air show in Zhukovsky (the town not far from Moscow). The corporation represented both the military and the civil aviation at the show. President Vladimir Putin highly estimated the Be-200 fire-preventing amphibian aircraft. The presentation of the corporation Irkut (the corporation has been recently established on the base of the Irkutsk aviation association) took place at the mentioned air show. It was announced that the new corporation would merge with the Yakovlev design bureau. It was officially said by Irkut's president Aleksey Fyodorov.

"We have conducted over 20 negotiations with spokespeople for both Russian and foreign companies. A lot of those talks can become very good contracts. Our partners evince great interest in the civil aviation, especially in the Be-200 airplane and in the Ya-130 unmanned aircraft, which is our new product," Fyodorov said.

The talks between Irkut and Yakovlev became one of the most interesting and unexpected events of the Moscow air show for the Russian members. "The process for the two companies to merge will take a lot of time. We will have to redistribute the authorized capitals of the companies, and so on and so forth. We have already completed the psychologically difficult part of the process, and now we are launching the actual merger," Aleksey Fyodorov told reporters.

As a result of the transaction, Irkut will have an opportunity to extend its range, to conduct the complete development of new aircraft. Irkut is a strong industrial base for Yakovlev, where they can implement all their project. In addition, new projects will provide job opportunities for Irkutsk residents. The name of the new corporation has not been determined yet.

"As far as EMERCOM's order for Be-200 aircraft is concerned, we are currently looking for faster ways to deliver the planes. Most likely, we will use leasing at this point. EMERCOM is capable to buying one aircraft a year, but the leasing will increase the number of deals to seven or even ten. However, there are certain legal obstacles on the way. It is hard to say, who is going to be the next customer for Be-200 planes - we are conducting negotiations with several European countries, America, China, South-East Asia."

On August 30th, the plane was demonstrated in Italy in Vladimir Putin's and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's presence. Prior to his visit to Italy, the Russian president visited MAKS-2003 and entrusted the Irkut corporation with preparing the Be-200 for demonstrations abroad.

Irkut's president is not sure that the production will always be in demand. Aleksey Fyodorov thinks, unmanned planes will enjoy a better market demand in the future. The price of an aircraft mainly consists of the life-support system equipment - the seat,  the toilet, visual control devices. It was difficult to develop an unmanned aircraft several years ago  - electronic devices were not developed very well. At present moment, one can control a plane from a ground station.

Irkut is currently developing a small helicopter. The first aircraft of the new project will be ready by the end of the current year. There have been 20 agreements concluded to deliver the new $150,000 worth helicopter. Irkut has not signed any agreements during MAKS-2003 air show, but it was not sad news for the company. Aleksey Fyodorov says, there is a line of customers already. The corporation expects to receive a $3.5 billion worth profit.

Timofey Maksimov

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Author`s name Olga Savka