Russia's United Aircraft (OAK) is to create a single combat aircraft division by merging its RSK MiG and Sukhoi units under the leadership of Sukhoi boss Mikhail Pogosyan.
To date, OAK's combat aircraft strategy has tasked MiG with development of light fighters including the MiG-35 and unmanned aircraft, along with modernisaton of in-service MiGs, while Sukhoi has been developing the Su-35 and PAK FA fighters.
In 10 years as head of Sukhoi, Pogosyan has ditched several programmes to concentrate on what he called "real breakthrough" projects such as the all-new Superjet 100 regional jet. A key Pogosyan achievement has been to bring Western risk-sharing suppliers into the Superjet effort, including Snecma, Liebherr, Thales and B/E Aerospace, along with Alenia, which is Sukhoi's 50/50 joint venture partner in the marketing and sales organisation, Superjet International.
RSK MiG, on the other hand, never recovered from the crisis that hit Russian aerospace following the collapse of the Soviet Union. MiG-29s have sold in small quantities since then, thanks largely to the huge parts stock built up during the Soviet era. It has been able to certify the MiG-29SMT/UBT and MiG-31BM, and has flown Indian navy MiG-29K/KUBs and MiG-35s.
An encouraging Algerian order for 34 MiG-29SMT/UBTs turned sour when the country sought to return 15 of the aircraft, delivered in 2007, claiming poor manufacturing quality.