Russia could set up a new aircraft manufacturing center in Kazan, the capital city of the Republic of Tatarstan, to avoid a shortage of spare parts as it continues to feel the effects of international sanctions amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
According to Andrei Yelchaninov, a member of the Board of the Military-Industrial Commission of Russia, the new facility will produce parts for various types of aircraft but will mainly focus on the supply of spare parts for domestically made planes. These include the Tupolev Tu-214, a twin-engine medium-range narrow-body jet, and the Ilyushin Il-76, a four-engine turbofan strategic airlifter, designed in 1967 during The Soviet Union.
Yelchaninov told Russian media on April 1, 2022 that the national center could launch operations in 2023.
“Efforts are underway to create a single center in Kazan to make parts for various types of aircraft, primarily the civilian Tu-214 and the cargo Il-76. It is assumed that the facility would be equipped mainly with Russian-made machinery. […] We are hoping to launch the facility as early as 2023,” Yelchaninov said.
Plans to open a new national center to produce spare aircraft parts had already been discussed with the Deputy Prime Minister of Russia Yury Borisov and the country’s president Vladimir Putin, Interfax reported.
The impact of international sanctions has raised many questions about how Russia can keep its planes in the air. Boeing and Airbus have both suspended support for aircraft operated by Russian airlines, including halting the provision of new parts, maintenance, and technical support services.
This has prompted Russia to consider reviving domestic aircraft programs such as the Tupolev Tu-214 and the Soviet-era Ilyushin Il-96. Russia is also considering increasing its focus on the Sukhoi Superjet 100.
“Against the backdrop of serious restrictions on the operation of foreign-made civilian planes, the domestic aircraft industry has ambitious tasks. What is more, they need to be accomplished on tight deadlines. First of all, it is necessary to scale up production of the available plane models,” Interfax quoted Sergei Chemezov, CEO of Rostec, as saying on March 17, 2022.
“It is also necessary to consider a possible resumption of mass production of the Tupolev Tu-204/214 medium-haul aircraft and the Ilyushin Il-96 Russian wide-body plane,” Chemezov added.