The Russian aircraft industry: Present state and prospects

Discussion in 'Europe' started by Casper, Aug 22, 2011.

  1. Casper

    Casper Member

    Sep 6, 2010
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    The more or less guaranteed orders from the Defense Ministry represent a significant leap forward for the industry. But the main structural problem of the Russian aircraft industry – its absence on the commercial aircraft market – persists. The progress on the SSJ-100 and MS-21 projects has not changed the situation in this sector and cannot change the situation for the time being, as even the older of the two programs – Sukhoi’s – is in the very early stage of introducing the plane in commercial service and starting serial production. Besides, while the market for regional jets – to which the SSJ-100 belongs – is growing fast, it is still far smaller than the market for medium-range and long-haul planes.

    In the next ten years, Russia will continue to specialize in military planes. The fundamental reason for this is clear. The Soviet Union invested the heaviest in the defense industry for two or three generations, and the success of Russian companies on the global market in the post-Soviet era is the result of that Soviet investment. However, there was no commercial aircraft production as such in the Soviet Union. It did manufacture civilian passenger planes, but there was no commercial production. The country is now facing the challenge not of reclaiming a past position but, for the first time in its history, acquiring competence in designing, building and marketing competitive commercial airliners. This will require at least ten years and tens of billions of dollars in investment. The militarist Soviet past continues to shape the Russian aircraft industry, and only the engineers, designers, workers and managers that are now graduating from universities and vocational schools will be able to overcome this legacy.

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