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Russia to introduce civil aircraft in Indian market

NEW DELHI (BNS): Russia is keen to market its civil aircraft in the Indian market directly taking on its competitors from the West.

Alexey Fedorov, head of United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), Russia's aircraft manufacturing giant said here on Monday that India's civil aviation market was most attractive as it was one of the largest growing in the region.

Fedorov who was in New Delhi with Russian defence minister Anatoly Serdyukov to take part in the defence cooperation negotiations said that the company for the first time would bring its IL-114 regional jet for an air show in Hyderabad next month.

UAC is in the process of building several aircraft and all of them would be available for the Indian market, he said. These include Superjet 100 and mid-haul MC-21, a 150-200 seater aircraft.

Fedorov said regional turbojet 64-seater IL-114 should attract lot of buyers in India as it is fuel efficient as well as very quiet. Superjet is also a brand new aircraft which started flying this year. UAC plans to start the production of aircraft by 2015. "All these aircraft would be available for the Indian market," he said.

UAC is Russian government-owned company that incorporates all the major manufacturing units like Tupolov, Illyushin and Sukhoi. The MiG corporation is also likely to integrate into UAC, officials said.

While Indian armed forces are heavily dependent on all types of Russian aircraft, the civil aviation sector has hardly any Russian presence. The Indian civil aviation market is dominant by Boeing and Airbus. In the regional aircraft sections, the ATR and Bombardier are the rulers. The entry of Russian aircraft would open the market making it more competitive.

The world over, hunt is on for a quieter regional turbo props. Airlines prefer to fly turboprops on the shorter routes as they are more fuel efficient. The only drawback is the comfort for passengers as they make a lot of noise. The companies are experimenting with quieter turboprops. If Russia is able to come up with an answer, its aircraft could find favour with airlines.

IL-114 would be showcased at Hyderabad, said Fedorov. It would be the only aircraft to be physically transported. But UAC plans to showcase the entire range of its civil aircraft and hopes that it would get good number of buyers. The aircraft can be used for local routes and would be suitable for most of the Indian sectors.

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