The Russians are coming
UAC reworks strategy to take on world market
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