The transformation of state-owned aviation companies into a single private entity is beginning to gather pace

Formation of the Sukhoi Holding Company, ordered by Russian president Vladimir Putin in October, will be completed this year, says the firm's general director Mikhail Pogosyan.

The plan calls for the Komosomolsk-na-Amur (KnAAPO) and Novosibirsk (NAPO) production plants to be changed from unitary state enterprises into joint-stock companies, and their shares transferred to Sukhoi Holding. The next step is to increase the state's shares in the Beriev design bureau and the Irkutsk manufacturer IAPO, with the goal of acquiring controlling stakes, which will also be transferred to Sukhoi.

Last year was immensely successful for the group of companies based around Sukhoi, with all group members reporting rising income and increases in staff.

The strategy for 2002-2010 calls for production of the Su-30MK and Su-35 fighter families at IAPO and KnAAPO, while continuing research into the technologies needed for the next generation of combat aircraft.

NAPO would produce theSu-27IB bomber family and theSu-49 primary trainer. The share of civil production at these factories will grow as more projects, such as the Beriev Be-200 and Be-103 amphibians, the Sukhoi S-80 STOL transport, and the Antonov An-38 regional turboprop, reach the production stage. Further off are the Boeing/Ilyushin/Sukhoi regional jet and the Sukhoi S-21 supersonic business jet.

The first production batch of the customised Su-30MKI fighter is due for delivery to the Indian air force later this month. In December Sukhoi completed the digital mockup of the Su-49, which the Russian air force has already selected as a future primary trainer.

Russian state funding boosted the Su-27IB bomber project last year. Sukhoi is focusing on twoSu-27IB variants: the Su-34 strike aircraft and the Su-32FN maritime reconnaissance/strike aircraft. Earlier Su-27IBs are being upgraded with new avionics, with nine aircraft scheduled for flight tests at the end of 2002.

The Su-25SK demonstrator, developed under a Russian air force initiative, entered flight test late last year. It will be used as a template for modernisation of the ageing fleet of Su-25 attack aircraft.

Source: Flight International