Lyubov Pronina/MOSCOW

Russian aero-engine manufacturers have called for wholesale restructuring of the industry to produce a single domestic engine manufacturer, as well as for sweeping new legislation to save the nation's industry from extinction in the next century, including a law on leasing. The appeal came during a debate on the state of the aviation industry in Russia's lower house of parliament, the Duma, on 20 October.

"The basic principle for restructuring the industry in a market economy is to bring together all plants that provide aviation equipment and the associated design bureaux-in one agency, responsible for production, certification, sales and servicing," said Alexander Knivel, head of the aviation industry section of the parliament. He quoted the example of the amalgamation of Rybinsk Motors' plant and its design bureau.

Yuri Lastochkin, Rybinsk Motors' director-general, backs the idea. "We do not need 10 plants. We need one or two centres. There have been ideas pushed through to have six or seven such centres, but they would be as poor as the plants are today."

Victor Chuiko, president of the Association of Aviation Engine Producers says: "There are nine engine plants, but only five plants are producing engines-We are entering the next century without a certified engine."

Manufacturers have also called for a law on leasing which "-would guarantee us at least 50% more success", says Vadim Isachenko, chief executive of Perm Motors, maker of the PS-90 powerplant for the Tupolev Tu-204 twinjet. Reduced duties on the import of precision equipment needed for engine manufacture, and increases in duties on the import of technology already existing in Russia were also called for.

In July 1996, President Boris Yeltsin issued a decree on leasing domestic aviation equipment, but as yet no law has been passed by the Russian Duma.

The situation in Russian engine manufacturing is so bad that the possibility of putting US engines on new military aircraft has been discussed, according to Victor Gorlov, director of the Federal Aviation Service.

"We cannot disperse state money, we have to decide priorities," says Col Gen Anatoly Kornukov, head of Russia's air force. He adds that most projects have to be cancelled, and criticises the inefficient plants which lobby through the state Duma.

Source: Flight International