Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) has launched production of 20 long-range narrow-body Tu-214 aircraft.
Speaking to Russian news agency TASS on April 6, 2022, UAC chief executive officer, Yuri Slyusar confirmed that the domestically made Tu-214 jets will replace foreign-made Boeing and Airbus passenger planes. The company also plans to ramp up the pace of serial production in the near future.
The company will also increase production rates for two further Russian-made aircraft – the Ilyushin Il-96 long-range wide-body passenger jet, and the Ilyushin Il-76, a Soviet-era multi-purpose, fixed-wing, four-engine turbofan strategic airlifter.
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, particularly the Tupolev Tu-214 and the Ilyushin Il-96.
At the end of March 2022, Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov announced that Kazan-based aerospace manufacturer Kazan Aircraft Production Association (KAPO) is expected to produce 10 Tu-214s per year.
Later, on April 1, 2022, Andrei Yelchaninov, a member of the Board of the Military-Industrial Commission of Russia, revealed Russia could set up an additional 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 Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The new facility, which could launch operations in 2023, is expected to produce parts for various types of aircraft but will mainly focus on the supply of spare parts for domestically made planes, such as the Tupolev Tu-214 and the Ilyushin Il-76.
Plans to open a new national center to produce spare aircraft parts had already been discussed with Borisov and the country’s president Vladimir Putin, Interfax reported at the time.
“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.” Yelchaninov said.
Meanwhile, Russia is also considering increasing its focus on the Sukhoi Superjet 100 and the Irkut MC-2.