Russia is pressing ahead with plans to consolidate and integrate its state-owned aerospace industry with moves to sell off shares in two Sukhoi military-aircraft plants and put the remainder in the hands of the AVPK Sukhoi holding group.

The Komsomolsk-on-Amur and Novosibirsk plants, which respectively manufacture the Sukhoi Su-27 Flanker and Su-27IBcombat aircraft, have already been established as stand-alone state-owned units. Under a Federal Government decree, issued at the end of December, outside investors will be now be sought to take a sizeable stake in the plants, although the state will retain a majority of 50%and one share. This bare majority holding will be transferred to APVK Sukhoi, itself a candidate for public ownership.

The plans have already met with strong protests from the regional administration of Khabarovsk, where the Komsomolsk plant is located, as well as threats of industrial action from trade unions.

In the next month, the Russian Ministry of State Property is to name a new board of directors for the plant and local administrators want the final say on appointments. The Ministry hopes to have prepared proposals on the public auctions by April

Meanwhile, wrangles continue over attempts to bring production and design houses together under the AVPK Sukhoi umbrella. The Sukhoi design bureau continues to refuse to accept the authority of the newly appointed management at the corporate headquarters.

In another twist in the struggle for power over VPK MAPO, producer of the MiG-29, the Russian Government has appointed Vladimir Kuzmin chief executive. He was board chairman and MAPO plant manager before being fired in May 1997. He is the fourth holder of the post in the last seven months.

Source: Flight International