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Under native wing. Why the authorities decided to bet on the Tu-214

The Russian airline Aeroflot is considering switching to the Tu-214, reported Minister of Transport of Russia Vitaly Savelyev in an interview with Naila Asker-Zade on the air of the Rossiya 1 TV channel. According to him, there is a problem with components for liners, but this issue is being resolved in cooperation with the Ministry of Industry and Trade. Rostec previously noted that it is planned to fill a gap in the aviation market with the Tu-214 and some other models until the SSJ-new and MS-21 are put into mass production. How the authorities are trying to solve the issue of import substitution in the aviation industry and how things are with the production of the Tu-214 – in the material RTVI.

What is the Tu-214

This is a long-haul narrow-body aircraft with a domestic PS-90 engine. The liner can accommodate up to 210 people and is capable of flying over distances of up to 6.5 thousand km; it was developed by the Tupolev design bureau to replace the Tu-154.

Marina Lystseva / TASS

The aircraft first took to the air in 1989, but commercial operation began only in 1996. Since 2009, the Kazan Aviation Plant has produced 16 Tu-214s in various modifications for the special flight squad “Russia” and law enforcement agencies, reported “Vedomosti”.

April 6, TASS with reference to the head of the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) Yuri Slyusar reportedthat 20 Tu-214 aircraft were put into production, which should replace foreign Boeing and Airbus. The head of the corporation added that UAC plans to increase the pace of production of long-haul aircraft Il-96 and transport aircraft Il-76. In the same month, Rostec reported that the UAC plans to build 70 Tu-214 aircraft by 2030.

April 27 First Deputy Managing Director of Tupolev PJSC — branch director Nikolai Savitskikh reported the Internet publication Realnoe Vremya that the lessor of Rostec, Ilyushin Finance Co, intends to sell the three Tu-214s remaining in its reserve, which were built in the mid-2000s under the ex-president of Tatarstan Mintimer Shaimiev, and the proceeds send for reinvestment in the enterprise program. One of the aircraft will be upgraded.

According to experts, the cost of one aircraft is estimated at 1.5 billion rubles, and it will take at least a year to upgrade it. The UAC said that there were no suitable aircraft available, so “all reserves are being considered.” At the same time, the aircraft plant in Kazan plans to build three more new aircraft in 2023, the newspaper notes.

According to the Savitskys, they are at a high stage of readiness, and their sale will be carried out according to two schemes: under the leasing program and under direct contracts. At the same time, he denied information about the difficulties with the supply of PS-90S engines, which are assembled in Perm. In total, the company plans to assemble 20 aircraft by 2026.

The Prime Minister of Tatarstan, Alexei Pesoshin, said earlier that the plant for the production of aircraft is as follows: in 2023 – three aircraft, then – seven and 10 – in 2025-2026.

Impact of sanctions on the industry

The actions of the authorities were dictated by the situation in the aviation industry that developed after the introduction of anti-Russian sanctions due to the conflict in Ukraine. Thus, in April, the United States imposed export sanctions against the Russian airlines Aeroflot, Azur Air and Utair for violating export controls.

In addition, the European Union and Great Britain have banned the export to Russia of spare parts, equipment and technologies that can be sent to support the aviation industry. Against the backdrop of these events, Boeing has temporarily stopped the maintenance and support of Russian air carriers and the supply of spare parts to them. Following him, similar measures were taken by the European manufacturer Airbus.

After that, a law was passed in Russia that allowed the registration of rights to foreign aircraft on lease. In addition, Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov, who oversees the defense industry, admitted that some of the foreign aircraft located on Russian territory could be dismantled as the fleet degrades. According to him, it will take three to five years to organize mass production of Russian aircraft of various classes.

What other planes can replenish the air fleets of Russia

Sukhoi Superjet 100 (SSJ100)
Marina Lystseva / TASS

In early June, Vedomosti sources learnedthat Aeroflot plans to order 300 domestic aircraft from UAC: Sukhoi Superjet 100 (SSJ100), MS-21 and Tu-214.

On June 16, Denis Manturov, head of the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade, stated at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum that by 2030 more than a thousand domestic-made passenger aircraft would be transferred to airlines. According to him, they will receive 142 short-haul SSJ-New aircraft, 270 medium-haul MS-21 aircraft, 70 Il-114-300 and Tu-214 aircraft, as well as 12 Il-96-300 airliners. Also on this list were aircraft such as Ladoga, L-410 and Baikal.

The head of Rostec, Sergei Chemezov, in an interview with the Turkish newspaper Star on June 2 saidthat the state corporation plans to produce more than 110 MS-21, Tu-214 and Il-114 aircraft by 2025 and about 500 such aircraft by 2030.

In March, Vedomosti reportedthat Rostec is considering the possibility of resuming mass production of not only the Tu-204/214, but also the wide-body long-haul Il-96. This measure should partially help the Russian market until the production of imported SSJ-new airliners (the first flight is scheduled for 2023) and MS-21 has begun, the state corporation noted. The company stressed that the Tu-204/214 and Il-96 use Russian engines and only domestic components.

The development of the Il-96 began in the 70s of the XX century on the basis of the wide-body Il-86. He made his first flight in 1988. It was produced at the Voronezh Aviation Plant (owned by UAC) until 2009. In 2021, two Il-96s were completed by order of government agencies, a Vedomosti source said. This aircraft is used by a special flight squad “Russia”, which is engaged in flights of the country’s leadership.

As for the Tu-214, it is unlikely that in the current situation it will be possible to produce more than 2-4 aircraft per year, which can hardly be called a series, the newspaper noted. In addition, according to the source of the publication, the production of military transport Il-96 MD-90A at the Ulyanovsk plant for almost 10 years cannot reach the planned pace.

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