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UAC unifying civil aircraft with Irkut-Sukhoi combination

Russia's United Aircraft is to combine airframer Irkut with Sukhoi Civil Aircraft under a programme to unify civil aircraft manufacturing.

Irkut produces the MC-21 while Sukhoi Civil Aircraft builds the Superjet 100.

United Aircraft is establishing a new civil division as part of a restructuring of the aerospace firm, which owns large stakes in several individual aircraft production organisations.

The company is trying to simplify its operation and increase the efficiency of resources, in order to hike its share of civil products in its portfolio to 45% by 2035.

It also wants to ramp up its civil production to 100-120 aircraft per year. Projects still under development include the revamped Ilyushin Il-114 and a long-haul twinjet to be produced jointly with China.

United Aircraft will cut layers of management and centralise functions to reduce costs, while the unification will also enable it to achieve better continuity and simplicity in certification.

As part of the management overhaul, United Aircraft president Yuri Slyusar will take over as president of Irkut – on which the unified civil division will be based – while current Irkut chief Oleg Demchenko will be retained as first vice-president and general designer.

Sukhoi Civil Aircraft will be the platform for marketing, sales and aftersales activity, covering all civil aircraft produced by the division.

It has already disclosed that it will undergo a management change, with Sukhoi Civil Aircraft president Vladislav Masalov being replaced by Alexander Rubtsov, the head of lessor Ilyushin Finance. Masalov will be moved to "another position", says United Aircraft, without elaborating.

Slyusar states that the "old structure" of United Aircraft is becoming "less adequate" to address "new challenges".

"We do not compete internally, with one another, as in the old days," he adds. "We compete on a global field, with global partners. Without unity, there is no competitiveness."

The company adds that both Boeing and Airbus have undergone similar transformations in order to strengthen their market position.

United Aircraft is intending the unification to be part of the transition to a single share.

Under international accounting standards the company turned in a loss of Rb6.6 billion ($114 million) for the first half of this year – an improvement on the previous figure of Rb7.3 billion – after increasing revenues by 51% to just under Rb180 billion. Gross profit doubled to Rb44.4 billion.

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