HOWARD GETHIN / MOSCOW
Merger of Sukhoi with fighter manufacturers gives dynamism to reorganisation process
Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree creating the Sukhoi Aviation Holding Company, combining AVPK Sukhoi with the Komsomolsk Na Amur (KNAAPO) and the Novosibirsk APO (INAPO) manufacturing plants.
The move creates Russia's most powerful aircraft manufacturer and is the first step in a new wave of restructuring in the military-industrial complex.
Creation of the holding company will begin with the commercial restructuring of KNAAPO and Novosibirsk (NAPO) factories in the form of joint-stock companies, together with a 74.5% transfer of their shares to AVPK Sukhoi. The other 25.5% will remain inthe hands of the Russian State property fund.
KNAAPO manufactures theSu-27 and Su-30MK, while NAPO manufactures the Su-27IB andSu-30MKI. AVPK Sukhoi, which already has a controlling stake in aircraft design bureaux OKB Sukhoi and TANTK Beriev, and the Irkutsk APO manufacturing plant, will subsequently become Aviation Holding Company Sukhoi.
One of the main reasons for the amalgamation was the finalisation of a state programme in early October for reform of the military- industrial complex by 2006, the main aim of which is the formation of rational vertically-integrated defence firms.
"With the issue of this decree, the integration process will get new dynamism" says Alexei Fiodorov, manager of IAPO. The government is negotiating for an increase in its controlling stake in IAPO, Fiodorov added.
The question of who will manage the new Sukhoi holding company remains unresolved.
The issue will ultimately be decided by shareholders, which cannot happen until plans for the flotation of IAPO and KNAAPO are completed.
However, it is widely thought that general director of AVPK Sukhoi, Mikhail Pogosyan, whose retirement has long been rumoured, may remain in his post during the lengthy process of amalgamation.
Source: Flight International