Superjet not Russian enough for Russia

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‘Do as I say not as I do’ is not the world’s greatest sales pitch, but somewhat incredibly it is the message coming from the Russian presidential flight about the Sukhoi Superjet. Despite the project having had the Russian administration’s explicit backing since its origins, it now turns out that the Rossiya Special Flight has selected the Antonov An-148 instead because the Superjet has too much foreign content and so is a security risk. Vedomosti has the story here.

Now we’re only talking about a couple of aircraft here, but the issueis prestige of course. What on earth is a potential customer for theSuperjet supposed to make of a pitch from a country whose presidentwon’t use the thing?

It is the case of course that the foreign content, and commercialinvolvement, in Superjet is enormous. In fact it’s not clear to me -and I’ve asked – just how much financial benefit flows back to Russiafrom sales of the aircraft. And it’s reasonable to wonder about themotives of the Western entities so enthusiastically backing the project- most recently in the form of a high-profile visit to the aircraft at Le Bourget by French cabinet ministers.But what’s done is done and it’s clear as day that Superjet currentlyrepresents Russia’s way of keeping its foot in the door of theinternational market while it somewhat desperately works out how togrow its presence in the years ahead.

According to the story that’s appeared, president Medvedev approved the rejection of the Superjet. I’m sure he knows what he’s doing.

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5 Responses to Superjet not Russian enough for Russia

  1. Royce August 18, 2009 at 4:05 pm #

    What’s weird is that Antonov has in the past had to make sure the An-148 didn’t compete too closely with the Superjet to avoid irking the Russian government. A bizarre turn of events.

  2. Phil August 21, 2009 at 11:42 am #

    I’m really surprised to read such information!!

    The AN148 is not a Russian aircraft but an Ukrainian aircraft. Russia has claimed to stop diplomatic contact with Ukraine due to Gaz dispute.

    Does Russia support Antonov against UAK ???

    Quite curious situation from a nationalist country.

  3. Dis August 28, 2009 at 7:23 pm #

    in my opinion An-148 has about 70% particulars from russia

  4. Shea September 8, 2009 at 11:26 pm #

    This does not suprise me at all — The beauty of The Bear is that it leaves all options open after all Antonov is an exceptional company
    even in hard times, so why not tickle the underbelly !

  5. J.A. June 19, 2010 at 6:17 am #

    What a shame. The Superjet appears to be the superior product in everyway. The 148 on the other hand is shaping up to be a piece of junk and ugly to boot.

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