Irkut president to head RSK MiG as plans to unify aerospace industry progress

The Russian government has made a significant move in its plans to create a single national aerospace company with the appointment of Irkut president Aleksei Fedorov to head RSK MiG.

Fedorov will be expected to prepare the company for privatisation and inclusion alongside Irkut in the planned national entity. His appointment also clears the way for a resumption of MiG-29 production for export orders, which had been awaiting funding. A staunch supporter of radical reforms in Russia's aviation industry, Fedorov says: "We have suggested to the government a comprehensive set of measures, often referred to as 'single entity plan', that call for serious evaluation of all existing projects and assets."

Fedorov takes over the job from Sukhoi deputy general director Valery Toryanin, who signed India's $700 million order for MiG-29K/KUB naval fighters after his appointment in November 2003 and raised commercial funds to fulfil Sudan's contract for 12 MiG-29SEs and two MiG-29UBs. He also won Moscow city administration and banking community support for resumption of the Tupolev Tu-334 102-seat airliner programme. Toryanin, who replaced Nikoial Nikitin as head of RSKMiG, had opposed the company's denationalisation.

MiG-29 production ceased in 1991, and since then export aircraft have been completed from unfinished Soviet-era airframes. Stocks have been depleted, however, and attempts to relaunch production have so far failed, because neither the Russian government nor export customers had agreed to provide cash to get production under way.

"Fedorov's arrival will create an atmosphere of confidence around the company, which will, in turn, mean that banks will be more willing to invest in resuming production," says an industry source.

RSKMiG's debts were estimated at $1 billion in January, leading to government nervousness about whether it was in a position to take on Indian and Yemeni orders for MiG-29s and new sales expected to come from Algeria, Sudan, Chile and Venezuela.

A market for 400 MiG-29s and 200 MiG AT jet trainers has been predicted up to 2010, with an annual export value of $600-800 million.

Fedorov was suggested to Russian president Vladimir Putin by Rosoboronexport general director Sergei Chemezov. The appointment was supported by Mikhail Fradkov, chairman of the Russian cabinet of ministers.



Source: Flight International