MAPO plans to install Soyuz RD-1700 engines in the MiG-AT advanced trainer by early next year. The two MiG-ATs involved in the flight test programme are powered by French-built Snecma/Turboméca Larzac 04R20 turbofans.

The MiG-AT is competing with the Yak/Aermacchi Yak-130 to replace around a thousand Russian air force Czech-built Aero L-39s. The air force wants indigenous engines and avionics fitted to the winning aircraft.

As well as French engines, the first MiG-AT is fitted with Sextant avionics, while the second has Russian-built equipment. The pair have made more than 500 flights.

MAPO general director Nikolay Nikitin says the RD-1700 will cost $500,000, about half the Larzac's price. He estimates the cost of development - including a first batch of 12 engines - at $70 million, of which $15-17 million has been spent. Nikitin predicts the cost of developing the MiG-AT will be about $200 million, half of which has been spent. The air force reportedly provides financial aid, but this has been at about 1% of expenditure.

Source: Flight International