Rostec ponders Q400 and ATR local production options

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Russian state corporation Rostec appears to be holding parallel talks with Bombardier and ATR about localising production of their turboprop types.

Industry and trade minister Denis Manturov has revealed that Rostec is considering both the Bombardier Q400 and ATR 42/72 as viable options.

“These are similar twin-turboprop types with a 70-seat capacity,” he said, speaking at a recent meeting chaired by prime minister Dmitry Medvedev. “Rostec should make a final choice by year-end.

“It will depend on which of the two airframers offers better terms and conditions for building aircraft under license in Russia.”

Bernard Fondo, ATR sales director for Russia and CIS, says the latest analysis shows that Russian carriers will need between 200 and 250 turboprops over the next 15-20 years.

He adds: “We only compete with Bombardier in terms of sales, not in terms of product localisation. But [ATR parents] Alenia and EADS are holding talks with local aircraft manufacturers, not only with Rostec, in order to find optimal solutions.”

Russia's government has decided to prolong protectionist measures against imported regional turboprops with up to 72 seats, assuming that similar types will be produced locally.

“Given this perspective, together with the industry and trade ministry we've come to the conclusion that there is no need to lift customs duties from such aircraft,” says transport minister Maksim Sokolov.