Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov

Russian government fixes aviation engines

Russian government decided to publish the draft strategy of the development of gas turbine engines in the country. According to the chief department for aviation industry of the Federal Agency on Industry Evgeny Gorbunov this decision was taken at the recently held session of the interdepartmental working group.

Today the government considers a project of creating two engine-building holdings. First is likely to consist of the largest private enterprises — NPO "Saturn", Perm engine-building complex, the Ufa based engine-building production association (UMPO), Omsk Engine-Building Design Bureau and state run “Research-and-Production Enterprise "Motor". The second holding will include state owned companies “Salute" (Moscow), "Klimov”, the Moscow based machine-building enterprise named after Tchernyshev. Now the point principle importance is the volume of the state controlled stock in each holding.

Recently Federal Agency on Industry suggested purpose oriented allocation in the three-year budget for the project of creating the perspective family of aviation engines with the thrust between 8 and 20 tons. Allocations from the state budget are offered in several stages, corresponding to a specific stage of R&D. According to different estimations this sum can make about 35 billion rubles.

However, the latest changes in national legislation may have still bigger impact on the situation in the industry. According to the new laws now foreign entities in such projects can have “over 75%” interest instead of the formerly allowed "not more than 25 percent".

Traditional partners of the Russian aviation industry the in Ukraine already suggested to participate in the projects of creating passenger MS-21 and transport МТА. Special session of the bilateral subcommittee on the cooperation in aircraft industries, recently held in Kiev, was dedicated to these matters. In particular, Motor Sich offers engines D-436 for MS-21. The parties again started talking about advantages of joint work. Moreover, the rumors about possible cooperation and integration between the concern "Aviation of Ukraine" and Russian United Aviation-Building Corporation ( ОАК ) again appeared in the media. T hough official formulations remain very cautious, for example, “the companies should initiate this process themselves”. Earlier the head of ОАК’s civil programs Alexander Rubtsov mentioned that integration of the two structures may take place through mutual exchange of shares after independent auditing. Ukrainians preliminary agree with such an approach. This point was discussed in December 2006, during the visit to the Ukraine of the general director of ОАК Alexey Fedorov.

Noteworthy, some members of "Aviation of Ukraine" try to leave the state concern. According to the representatives of "Ivchenko-Progress" they do not want to lose the orders not linked with the concern. On the other hand it can be interpreted as certain lack of confidence of individual enterprises to own government, whichcannot guarantee long-term orientation to Russia. Earlier Vyacheslav Boguslaev, the president of "Motor Sich" and the proponent of the Russian-Ukrainian cooperation repeatedly voiced against "Progress’s" membership in the "Aviation of Ukraine".

In the end of May French Ambassador to Russia visited Rybinsk based "Saturn" where he studies the process of implementing Russian-French program of creating SaM146 engine for Superjet 100. French companies may take a significant niche in Russian engine building. French group "Safran" expressed interest to cooperate with "Salut". SNEKMA, the “engine building part of Safran”, plans to buy the details made in the precision molding workshop of the Moscow based enterprise. The representatives of the French company already discussed this point during their visit to "Salut". Additionally Safran intends to set up by the end of this year a design branch in Samara which will at the first stage employ 20 persons and 100 more later. (In Moscow already now 85 experts in the field of aerodynamics are working for Safran). In Samara Safran also got interested in some local R&Ds and technologies.

Lack of the information on PS-12 being designed by Perm Motors is somewhat surprising. Before it was considered as the basic civil engine for the next generation planes. Also it is not clear how long more we need to wait for the results of the flight tests of the Kuznetsov’s NK-93.

On the other hand, there have been important updates with helicopter engines. French Turbomeca negotiates joint manufacturing of the engines for Ka-60/62 helicopters with companies "Klimov" and "Kamov". The interest of the French company has been confirmed by the representatives Safran Group and Turbomeca of different level. As is known "Klimov" and "Kamov" themselves had been seeking partners for joint production of the engines for medium and light helicopters, first of all Ка-60/62. Earlier "Kamov's" general designer Sergey Mikheyev repeatedly said that this extremely demanded helicopter has no suitable engine made in Russia.

It is rumored that as soon as in 2009 "Klimov" and Turbomeca may create a joint venture on the basis of the Russian enterprise in St.-Petersburg. Meanwhile "Klimov" pointed out that it negotiates the deal with other European engine building companies. All negotiations today have preliminary nature.

One more very important event is to take place soon in the sphere of engine building. This is the expected announcement of the tender on creating the engine of the fifth generation at the order of Ministry of Defense. The “head designer” status now belonging to "Saturn" concerns just the first stage and does not guarantee commissioning of the Rybinsk made engine automatically. The victory in this tender will greatly influence the configuration and structure of the engine building holdings.

Yuri Seleznyov