Alexander Velovich/MOSCOW

MOVES TO MERGE the Sukhoi design bureau (OKB) and its associated manufacturing plants are being jeopardised by resistance in at least one of the major production sites, despite the plan being secretly sanctioned by the Government.

The setting up of APC Sukhoi (Aviation Production Concern) was ordered by President Boris Yeltsin in August. It is intended to combine the OKB with the Novosibirsk, Komsomolsk and Irkutsk aircraft-manufacturing plants.

The trade union at the Komsomolsk production plant, reportedly with blessing from the plant's administration, is threatening a strike if the merger proceeds.

Novosibirsk and Komsomolsk are state-owned production plants producing the Sukhoi Su-27IB Flanker strike aircraft and the Su-27/27K fighter respectively. APC Sukhoi would also take control of state-owned shares of the privatised Irkutsk plant which produces Su-30 and Su-27UB two-seaters.

Under the terms of the presidential decree, the Government was to issue a special order before the end of September finalising the establishment of the new concern. Combat-aircraft rival Mikoyan has reorganised along similar lines.

The dispute is proof of an internal power struggle between Sukhoi OKB and the manufacturing plant managements over who will dominate APC Sukhoi. The chief executive of APC Sukhoi will be appointed by the Government.


Source: Flight International