Sukhoi has revealed the draft specification of the planned Russian Regional Jet (RRJ) project that it is developing jointly with Ilyushin and Boeing.

Three variants are proposed, the 55-seat RRJ-55, 75-seat RRJ-75 and 95-seat RRJ-95, which will be optimised to operate flights of3,000-6,000km (1,600-3,250nm). According to AVPK Sukhoi general director Mikhail Pogosyan, a decision whether to launch the RRJ project will be made following completion of a business development plan in December.

"We are planning to enter the market in 2005-6, so we are adopting available components rather than waiting for new ones to be developed," says Pogosyan.

This particularly applies to the engines, with Pratt & Whitney, Snecma, General Electric, NPO Saturn (formerly Rybinsk Motors which was recently renamed after purchasing Lyulka Saturn) and Perm Motors all putting together proposals on a powerplant for the RRJ. Saturn and Snecma have made a joint proposal for the RRJ, dubbed the SM146, which will be based on an engine core under development by the French engine manufacturer. Snecma, which says that it is only months from running the new core, dubbed DEN21, sees a potential market for 400 RRJs during the next decade.

The link-up follows Snecma's July agreement that Saturn will be given work equivalent to 20% of Snecma's share of CFM56 production for Aeroflot's expected order for up to 40 Airbus A320s.

The RRJ's engine will be in the 12,000-15,000lb thrust (53-67kN) bracket, and a selection is expected by the end of the year.

Yuri Koptev, general director of the Rosaviacosmos state agency, is supervising the project and says that the selection of two engine suppliers is possible, one for the local market (either the ZMKB Progress D-436T or a de-rated Aviadvigatel PS-90A) and the other for export variants.

Source: Flight International