ISRAEL AIRCRAFT Industries (IAI) is negotiating with eight manufacturing companies worldwide in an effort to find a partner for its Galaxy executive jet.

IAI was teamed with Russian manufacturer Yakovlev, but difficulties at the latter's Saratov production plant forced IAI to look for another partner to produce at least the prototype assemblies scheduled to be delivered from Russia (Flight International, 2-8 August). Under the original agreement, Yakovlev was to manufacture the fuselage and empennage.

Since May, IAI has been looking for an alternative partner, with Spanish Company Gamesa (which is already involved in manufacturing parts for IAI's Astra executive jet) as an early option. Negotiations have also started with other companies "from China to South America", says Motti Boness, general manager of IAI's civil-aircraft plant."

IAI declines to comment on the effect the search for a new partner will have on the original timetable for the Galaxy roll-out, but Boness says that it will only select "...a partner which is capable of fulfilling production requirements, including those of US certification". The aircraft's first flight had been scheduled for later this year.

Source: Flight International