The Rus­sians are com­ing

UAC re­works strat­egy to take on world mar­ket

SP's MAI - - SHOW REPORT - [By R. Chan­drakanth in Farn­bor­ough]

In a clear shift of strat­egy, the United Air­craft Cor­po­ra­tion (UAC) is re­duc­ing its de­pen­dence on mil­i­tary and inch­ing to­wards com­mer­cial and trans­port to take on the world mar­ket. In a ma­jor move, it has em­barked upon a ‘restora­tion of Rus­sian aero­space in­dus­try’ which has taken a beat­ing, so to say, in the in­ter­na­tional area. Re­brand­ing is the Rus­sian mantra now.

And the UAC Pres­i­dent, Mikhail Po­gosyan grabbed the op­por­tu­nity of a world plat­form at Farn­bor­ough to make this strate­gic an­nounce­ment. Speak­ing on the side­lines of the press con­fer­ence to SP’s M.A.I., Mikhail Po­gosyan said In­dia has been and will al­ways be an im­por­tant part­ner in aero­space and de­fence pro­grammes.

The theme of his talk was ‘bal­anced busi­ness’ and this would hap­pen in the next two years with shift in the rev­enue struc­ture. “We are re­shap­ing the re­sources of the com­pany.” The com­mer­cial sec­tor which is presently at 10 per cent would in­crease to 27 per cent by 2014, thus re­duc­ing the de­fence com­po­nent from 80 per cent to 58 per cent.

“It is not that we are mov­ing away from mil­i­tary, but we are go­ing to take that ex­per­tise into the com­mer­cial sec­tor. In fact, 2012 has been very fruit­ful for the mil­i­tary. We cur­rently have over 270 com­bat air­craft and 100 trans­port air­craft on or­der.” The UAC has also signed con­tracts for 300 civil­ian air­planes such as the Sukhoi Su­per­jet 100, the AN-148 and the MS-21.

Talk­ing about var­i­ous pro­grammes, Po­gosyan said that the Sukhoi T-50 fifth-gen­er­a­tion fighter has been un­der­go­ing se­ries of flights and would come into test mode in 2013. “Since Jan­uary this year, a joint team of Rus­sian and In­dian spe­cial­ists are work­ing on it.” The first pro­duc­tion stan­dard T-50 is slated to join in 2015 the Rus­sian Air Force which plans to ac­quire 60 of them.

At present, a com­plete range of ground and flight tests are in progress, with the to­tal num­ber of flights ex­ceed­ing 125. “Com­pared to pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tion fight­ers, the PAK FA (T-50) has a num­ber of unique ad­van­tages: it com­bines strike air­craft and fighter func­tions. The air­craft is equipped with con­cep­tu­ally new avion­ics with ‘elec­tronic pi­lot’ in­te­grated func­tions and ad­vanced radar with an ac­tive phase an­tenna ar­ray.”

The ex­port ver­sion of the fifth-gener- ation ad­vanced multi-role fighter (AMF), he said, was be­ing de­vel­oped with In­dia. “We have ap­proved the AMF spec­i­fi­ca­tions, de­fined their con­tri­bu­tions and iden­ti­fied the sys­tems and sub-sys­tems to be de­vel­oped by In­dia.”

With re­gard to MiG-29K/KUB, the UAC Pres­i­dent said both the sin­gle- and dou­ble­seat multi-role fight­ers have im­proved air­frames with a high per­cent­age of composite ma­te­ri­als, fly-by-wire con­trol sys­tems with quadru­ple re­dun­dancy, a sig­nif­i­cantly re­duced radar foot­print, an in­creased weapons load and in­ter­nal fuel ca­pac­ity.

On In­dian de­liv­er­ies, he said in March 2010, an op­tion on the 2004 con­tract was ex­er­cised, con­firm­ing an agree­ment for the de­liv­ery of an­other 29 MiG-29K/KUB fight­ers. “The pro­duc­tion of these air­craft has been started by JSC RAC.”

To a ques­tion by SP’s M.A.I. on the Mul­ti­role Trans­port Air­craft (MTA), he said a con­tract had been signed with the Hin­dus­tan Aero­nau­tics Lim­ited (HAL). “The gen­eral con­tract is in place. The con­tract on re­search and de­vel­op­ment will be signed in Au­gust.”

At the air­show, UAC show­cased for the first time the Yak-130 fighter trainer which is expected to pro­vide pi­lots with train­ing to han­dle fourth- and fifth-gen­er­a­tion Rus­sian and for­eign-made com­bat air­craft. In 2011, Irkut Cor­po­ra­tion be­gan ex­port­ing the Yak130 and the mid-term ex­port po­ten­tial is es­ti­mated at 250 air­craft.

Sukhoi T-50 fifth-gen­er­a­tion fighter

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