Finmeccanica is expected to take a 25% stake in Sukhoi Civil Aircraft and the Russian Regional Jet (RRJ) at a signing ceremony set for 5 March.

The agreement, once ratified, is likely to significantly boost credibility in the international RRJ project and will go a long way to reviving long-held ambitions by Franco-Italian turboprop maker ATR to enter the regional jet market. Finmeccanica’s Alenia is partnered with EADS in ATR which, during the 1990s, forged a link with BAE Systems aimed at developing the long-abandoned AIRjet.

Finmeccanica’s senior vice president marketing, Giuseppe Maresca, said at Asian Aerospace that Alenia will bring to the programme “skilled technical capability, including in composite materials for example, together with sales and marketing in the Western world”.

Sukhoi also confirmed that negotiations over potential collaborative ventures continue with Bombardier. RRJ regional sales director Anatoly Mezhevov said the Canadian manufacturer approached the RRJ team about a potential partnership over the now shelved CSeries airliner and “continues” to have talks. The current discussions, however, are aimed at much longer term “possible follow-on” projects, rather than the RRJ.

Source: Flight International