Russia will push ahead with its civil aviation programs to build the MC-21 and Sukhoi Superjet 100 (SSJ100) passenger planes, in spite of international sanctions.
The country’s deputy prime minister, Yuri Borisov, visited a production site of Aviastar, part of the state-owned Rostec corporation, on March 16, 2022.
“The key task is to move the implementation of these programs to an earlier date,” Borisov commented according to a statement from the Russian government released after the site visit.
The MC-21, built by Irkut Corporation, is a single-aisle passenger jet designed to carry between 165 and 211 passengers in a single-class configuration.
The aircraft is first expected to be operated by Aeroflot unit Rossiya, which had said in July 2021 that it hoped to start operations in summer 2022.
The SSJ100 regional jet began flying commercially in 2011 and can carry between 87 and 103 passengers.
Russia’s aerospace and aviation industry has been cut off by international sanctions following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. International manufacturers have said they will stop providing support and services for aircraft, while lessors are trying to cancel contracts and retrieve planes operated by Russian airlines.
Borisov said the situation for civil aviation is complicated, because the projects were initially planned for international cooperation, but he said work had not been halted.
“There is no pause in the work of enterprises and there will not be. Everyone continues to work. Let me emphasize once again that we are speeding up the implementation of our flagship projects MS-21 and SSJ-100.”
Irkut is part of United Aircraft Corporation, which is in turn majority owned by Rostec. Sukhoi is also part of UAC.
Borisov also said that Russia was also considering boosting production of the wide-body Ilyushin Il-96 and the narrow-body Tupolev Tu-214. The two aircraft are currently produced only in small numbers for certain customers.