After being dented by the financial crisis, Russian business aviation is back in growth mode. This trend was confirmed by Moscow’s Jet Expo show (September 14 to 16), staged for the first time in the Vnukovo-3 business aviation center of the Russian capital’s Vnukovo Airport.
The new Western European launch customer for the Sukhoi SuperJet 100, Italy’s Blue Panorama Airlines, expects to convert its Paris Air Show memorandum of understanding covering 12 SSJ100s into an order for eight aircraft (plus options on four) next month, once it has reached an agreement with SaM146 engine supplier PowerJet, a Snecma/NPO Saturn Franco-Russian joint venture.
Irkut Corp. reported that Russia and India have reached agreement on the technical specification of the Super 30, a new version of the Sukhoi Su-30MK twinjet with an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, replacing the older N-011M Bars radar with its passive electronic scanning antenna.
While the first-ever appearance of Sukhoi’s T-50 stealth fighter led the list of awe-inspiring spectacles during last week’s Moscow Air Show, the mundane business of commercial transactions made more headlines, as Airbus, Bombardier and local manufacturers busily collected new orders from a growing Russian commercial aviation market. Perhaps the most surprising deal of all involved Moscow-based Transaero, which signed for eight Airbus A320neos.
Russia’s first stealth fighter, the Sukhoi T-50, made its public debut last week at the Moscow Air Show (MAKS 2011), where Russian air force commander General Alexander Zelin gave an update on this and other re-equipment programs. The two T-50 prototypes flew in formation, before one gave a restrained solo display.
A total of 12 Sukhoi Su-34 interdiction aircraft are being procured this year, according to Russian air force commander General Alexander Zelin, speaking last week at the Moscow Air Show (MAKS 2011). The service is seeking a total of 120 Su-34s, Zelin said.
More than 50 Sukhoi Su-25s have now undergone a mid-life upgrade and modernization, bringing them to the Su-25SM standard. The attack aircraft, which is modified by the Aircraft Repair Station 121 based in Kubinka, Russia, was on display last week at the Moscow Air Show (MAKS 2011). This year, the station launched a program for the mid-life upgrade of the Su-25UB twin seaters.
Sukhoi’s T-50 fifth-generation fighter program has made significant strides since the first aircraft (T-50-1) flew at the Knaapo factory’s airfield back in January 2010. The most important recent milestone is the first flight of the second aircraft (T-50-2), which is now scheduled to join T-50-1 in flight trials.
South Korea is pushing ahead with the third phase of its fighter recapitalization program, and the short-listed candidates include the Sukhoi T-50 PAK-FA fifth-generation fighter. It was nominated alongside the Eurofighter Typhoon, Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II and Boeing F-15SE Silent Eagle for the FX-III requirement, which seeks 60 multirole fighters for around $7.86 billion.
The blizzard of order activity at this year’s Paris Air Show might have obscured a highly significant signing in the regional jet arena for one of the stars of the salon’s flying display.