India pitches to produce Russian civil types under licence

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India's government has proposed that state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) be licensed to build Sukhoi Superjet regional airliners and Irkut MS-21 narrowbodies as part of a broader co-operation with Russia.

An intergovernmental commission tentatively discussed this issue at a recent meeting in Moscow, the Russian economic development ministry has revealed.

The project is aimed at "promoting the Superjet 100 and MS-21 through joint efforts", says Yevgeny Popov, the ministry's Asia and Africa department chief.

“We're talking about aircraft assembly [under licence] in India,” he says. “Indian experts told us that this could help reduce unit production costs by up to 40%.”

HAT has produced several military aircraft types under licence from Russian design bureaus, including Sukhoi.

The Indian manufacturer has also set up a joint venture with Ilyushin to develop and build a multipurpose transport aircraft based on the Il-214.