After undertaking the consolidation of its airframe sector under the United Aircraft (OAK) umbrella, Russia has set out on a similar strategy to invigorate the country's engine-manufacturing industry.
Several major financial organisations have agreed to form a non-profit partnership, which will lead the effort along the lines of the method used to set up OAK. Participants in the project include state arms trading agency Rosoboronexport, financial and industrial conglomerate AFK Sistema, run by Moscow city hall, and government-controlled foreign trade banks Vnesheconom and Vneshtorg.
The partners aim to bring together leading engine manufacturers, such as NPO Saturn, Perm Motors Zavod and Ufa-based factory UMPO, by gaining controlling stakes in each of them. Russian government sources say they will also consider acquiring assets in Ukraine's sole aircraft engine manufacturer, Motor-Sich.
Combining these enterprises would allow the planned holding to produce engines for an array of Antonov, Ilyushin and Tupolev aircraft as well as for the Sukhoi Superjet 100 family.
In September, AFK Sistema bought about 80% of management company Sales, which handles Perm Motors, and Rosoboronexport is reported to have already purchased 18% of Motor-Sich from its director and co-owner, Vyacheslav Boguslaev. His equivilent at NPO Saturn, Yuri Lastochkin, believes the proposed course of action is crucial for the future of the engine-manufacturing industry in Russia and Ukraine.
"There is an excess of largely uncompetitive standalone companies," he says, adding that their consolidation into a single corporation "is long overdue". Lastochkin adds that NPO Saturn has been seeking a path to integration with both Perm Motors and UMPO on its own.