Snecma and partner NPO Saturn are set to win the competition to power the Russian Regional Jet (RRJ) with the proposed new SM146 turbofan. An announcement of the engine's selection by Sukhoi in concert with partner Boeing was due last week, but has been delayed.

Airframe and engine manufacturer sources say the SM146 was selected over the competing Pratt & Whitney Canada PW800 turbofan, being offered in conjunction with Aviadvigatel. The Rolls-Royce BR710 and General Electric CF34-8 were eliminated from the running last year.

A factor in rejecting the PW800 is believed to have been the perceived technical risk associated with the engine's geared fan. PWC says that the engine will be ready to meet the RRJ's planned entry into service target date of the first quarter of 2007.

"We're still waiting for a formal decision and announcement by Sukhoi," adds the company. Snecma refuses to comment on the RRJ programme.

The SM146 will build on the Dem 21 core demonstrator which began test runs in he middle of last year and followed the collapse of the planned joint Snecma/Pratt & Whitney SPW 14 engine development in 2000. 

The French engine is intended to cover a thrust range of between 13,500lb and 17,500lb (60kN and 78kN) and will power the planned 55-, 75- and 95-seat versions of the RRJ family.

Source: Flight International