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Russia plans to sell 60 Superjet 100s by 2010


An official photo of Russia's Superjet 100 medium haul aircraft

MOSCOW (BNS): Russia is planning to make deep inroads into the commercial civil aircraft market by pushing for the sales of its new Superjet 100 medium haul aircraft.

The country’s United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) hopes to sell at least 60 of these aircraft by 2010 and plans to increase its sales to 70 in another two years.

UAC released its future programme in a document that was made public here on Tuesday. "As the serial production of the Superjet-100 is to start, we expect 60 aircraft to be supplied to customers in 2010 and 70 in 2012," the document said.

Superjet 100 has been developed by Sukhoi, a leading aircraft maker of Russia which is now part of UAC, a state-run aviation conglomerate. Sukhoi has entered into collaboration with other companies like Boeing, Thales, Snecma, Messier Dowty, Liebherr Aerospace and Honeywell in the production of the aircraft.

The company hopes to straightaway get at least 100 orders after the certification of the aircraft next year. Superjet 100 is yet to be certified for airworthiness by international bodies. However, the company is not expecting the certification before the later part of 2009. The aircraft is undergoing flight trials and is expected for commercial launch later.

According to a more elaborate plan, the company hopes to make at least 700 of these aircraft. A major chunk, around 35 per cent, is meant for the North American market. Europe will consume at least 25 per cent followed by 10 per cent sales in Latin America. The rest, about seven per cent, is expected to be sold in Russia and China.

Superjet 100 is not the only aircraft to be marketed extensively in the global market by Russia. The UAC hopes to sell a total of 20 Tu-204 medium-haul passenger airliners and their modified Tu-214 versions. At least 33 of these aircraft would be sold in 2012.

Russia has been a leader in military aviation but its civil aircraft have not found a market much outside the country. The UAC plans to reverse the trend and make the civil aircraft a success story in the global market.

Russian government had set up UAC two years ago to push its aircraft industry. The move brought together various aircraft makers like Ilyushin, Tupolev, Sukhoi, Antonov and Mikoyan. All these companies had expertise in building military aircraft. They have now diversified to include civil airliners in their business. It has also brought companies that are involved in distribution, including Aviaexport.

UAC hopes that medium haul aircraft could become its mainstay as these aircraft are ideal for the conditions and would be available at competent costs.

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