Taking Business Sky-High
Throughout Soviet history, Russia has been a major aircraft manufacturer worldwide. Virtually all of the country’s aircraft-building assets have been concentrated in UAC, which also consolidated the legendary design bureaus and Russia’s leading aircraft-building assets. The country’s oldest aircraft makers, operating under such famous brands as Su, MiG, Tu, Il, Yak, and Be, form the core of the corporation.
Different design bureaus oftentimes have to compete with one another. Still today, all production, financial, and human resources have been pooled together to build large-scale manufacturing capabilities, stimulate creative thought, and maximize efficient use of existing capacities to successfully capitalize on the potential of Russia’s aircraft-building industry – but, this time, on a global scale.
Currently, military products commissioned by both the RF Ministry of Defence and customers overseas account for the lion’s share of UAC output. The corporation is one of the key players in the global military aircraft-building market, and its revenue from military sales is growing steadily. Between 2008 and 2014, UAC enterprises delivered 270 aircraft to customers from 12 different countries. Su-30 and MiG-29 fighter jets as well as Yak-130 fighter trainer jets proved to be among the most sought-after models. The corporation is expected to manufacture more than 700 military aircraft by 2023, including nearly 350 Sukhoi models.
Moreover, UAC is stepping up the development of its civil segment to acquire the capacity to manufacture passenger aircraft that could compete on a worldwide scale, with a goal of driving revenue in this segment to account for half of UAC’s total revenues by 2025. UAC’s main efforts in this area revolve around new types of aircraft – the corporation plans to create new modifications and expand the mass production of the Sukhoi Superjet 100 regional jet, which has been successfully manufactured and marketed to airline companies both in Russia and overseas. Another objective is to build MS-21 – a new generation short- and medium-haul aircraft. The first airworthy the MS-21 is scheduled to embark upon its maiden journey in 2016. Its fuselage has already been assembled at the Irkustk Aviation Plant, and its composite wings are expected to be shipped from Ulianovsk.
An overview of the global civil air transport market, published by UAC’s analytical service, predicts that narrow body aircraft that are similar in size to MS-21 are likely to remain the best-selling product for an appreciable length of time. The overview’s authors believe that the market would need 24,000 aircraft of this type, which would account for nearly 63% of global aircraft demand. The corporation already has firm contracts to supply 175 units, mainly commissioned by Russian airline companies. In the future, an entire family of passenger aircraft will be developed based on MS-21.
UAC is fully aware that manufacturing high-quality, reliable jetliners in and of itself is not enough to get a foothold in today’s highly competitive global market. A great deal of emphasis is being placed on building an efficient sales system that includes such instruments as financial and operational leasing at competitive rates, export lending, residual aircraft value guarantee, an expanded after-sales service system, and training for pilots and technicians.
UAC is investing a great deal of money and effort into developing the ‘brain’ behind the Russian aviation industry by supporting talented students, training young specialists, fostering scientific research, implementing innovations, developing promising technologies, and promoting cooperation with the Russian Academy of Sciences and leading scientific centers. Large aircraft-building clusters and technology parks are also being put together. This approach will help to expand the corporation’s production capabilities and enable it to beat the clock in laying the scientific and technological groundwork to promote Russian aircraft on the global market.
UAC is stepping up the development of its civil segment to acquire the capacity to manufacture passenger aircraft that could compete on a worldwide scale, with a goal of driving revenue in this segment to account for half of UAC’s total revenues by 2025. UAC’s main efforts in this area revolve around new types of aircraft – the corporation plans to create new modifications and expand the mass production of the Sukhoi Superjet 100 regional jet, which has been successfully manufactured and marketed to airline companies both in Russia and overseas