Ulyanovsk probable location for proposed Q400 line

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Russia's Ulyanovsk special economic zone is the likely location of any future Bombardier Q400 assembly line, should a proposed venture be finalised between the airframer and state company Rostec.

The two would be equal partners in the venture, says Rostec, which puts the overall investment in the project at around $100 million.

Rostec says the facility would have the capacity to produce 24 aircraft per year.

It indicates that there is demand, to 2030, for some 250 regional turboprops in Russia and the former Soviet states, and that local assembly could start within about 18 months.

Rostec aviation project director Alexei Fedorov says the scheme would provide modernised aircraft to the country's airlines and generate benefits for passengers.

The agreement to establish the joint venture has yet to be finalised.

Rostec is "pre-ordering" a batch of 50 Q400s, it says, which will be assigned to leasing company Aviakapital-Servis.

This agreement will be firmed, it says, after the venture is created. The tentative pact also includes 50 aircraft for lessor Ilyushin Finance.

Rostec states that Ulyanovsk is the likely location for the assembly facility. It is already home to the airframer Aviastar - which builds the Tupolev Tu-204 - and the area has been chosen as the base for an aviation industrial park, which will produce a range of structural components and house maintenance activities.

For the Q400 line Bombardier will supply assets including design documentation, production technology and specialist knowledge.

Under a phased programme the initial stage will involve the Ulyanovsk site carrying out adaptation of the aircraft for specific customers before moving to localised assembly from 2015.

European turboprop manufacturer ATR, which has some 30 aircraft flying in Russia, notes the projected demand for regional types but declines to comment on whether it has been involved in similar talks over local production.