PowerJet aims to build up to 50 SaM146s next year

Cologne
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Engine manufacturer PowerJet is aiming to produce up to 50 SaM146 powerplants next year, although its Russian partner has underlined the need for financial support.

Speaking to ATI in Cologne as the SaM146 received European type certification, Snecma chief executive Philippe Petitcolin said the manufacturer would produce 13 engines this year, comprising a dozen for airframes and one spare.

But next year, he says, the target is for PowerJet - which comprises Snecma and Russia's NPO Saturn - to produce 30-50 powerplants.

"We hope for 50," adds Petitcolin. The SaM146 is designed to power the Sukhoi Superjet 100.

NPO Saturn has also outlined an ambitious production forecast for subsequent years.

Chief executive Ilya Fyodorov tells ATI that the company plans to manufacture 84 engines in 2012, increasing to 120 and then 150 in the following two years.

He says there is a strong market for Tupolev Tu-134 replacement which the Superjet 100 can fill.

Russian certification of the SaM146 is being carried out in parallel to the newly-completed certification by the European Aviation Safety Agency.

No additional tests are needed for Russian approval, says SaM146 programme director Yuri Basyuk, but the results of tests already performed will be checked to ensure the engine meets stricter Russian criteria in specific areas, such as icing response. Basyuk believes, however, that the certification is essentially "a formality".