UAC Russia Offers Sukhoi Superjets Manufacturing in India

Aero India, Aero India 2023

Bengaluru: Russia which is reeling under sanctions and has initiated import substitution on a serious note, has proposed to manufacture its Sukhoi Superjet civil aircraft in India. According to Yury B. Slyusar, director general of UAC, the company is in talks with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and the plan is to manufacture the Superjet in Russia with Russian components and in India, set up manufacturing of Sukhoi Superjet international with foreign components.

Speaking to select media persons on the sidelines of Aero India 2023, Yury Slyusar said, “We offered to the Indian side to assemble the Sukhoi Superjet with foreign-made components here in India in line with international technical specifications… Our plan is to manufacture in Russia with Russian components and in India to set up manufacturing of Sukhoi Superjet international, which can be built very fast…”. “On the request of HAL, we made a presentation and sent it to them and we are awaiting their feedback,” he added.

The Superjet could be the first Indian-made civil aircraft, which meets the requirements of national aviation authorities, Yury Slyusar noted. Designed and developed by Sukhoi Corporation, the Superjet 100 is a 100-seater civil aircraft. The company has now been merged into UAC along with MIG Corporation and the merger of other major aircraft manufacturing companies, Ilyushin and Tupolev is expected soon.

Recently, Air India announced a massive deal for the procurement of 470 civilian aircraft, 250 from Airbus and 220 from Boeing. India is also evaluating proposals from three global engine manufacturers — General Electric, Rolls Royce and Safran — to co-develop and manufacture a fighter jet engine locally to meet future Indian requirements.

Slyusar said that the Superjet has foreign components that were being certified by European certification agencies and at present they are making an “absolute Russian variant with Russian components, avionics and systems so that there are no foreign components”.  He was commenting on the current situation in the backdrop of the sanctions.

He further added that they have been doing import replacements as Russia has seen a series of sanctions imposed by the West since the beginning of the war in Ukraine and was expelled from the global SWIFT payment system.

Being asked on the choice of HAL as the partner in India, he said they have extensive military cooperation with HAL and it will be a nice platform to convert to civil items. A total of 200 Superjet aircraft were manufactured and practically all of them are in active operation and they are open to working with the Indian private sector for airframes and vendor items among others.

Pitching Superjet as an ideal platform for India’s plans to expand local and regional transportation under the UDAN scheme, he stressed that the Superjet aircraft will be fully compliant and very useful for India.

India has been under negotiation with Russia for a while to give the entire SU-30MKI fleet better radar, avionics and weapons among others under a major upgrade programme. Earlier it was envisaged that all upgrades would be incorporated per aircraft in one go but the IAF decided to go for capability upgrades in phases given the cost and time it would take to cover the entire fleet.

Commenting on this, Slyusar said discussions are continuously on and they just defined the technical specifications. “We plan to undertake considerable upgrades in India with HAL. It was the main requirement of the Indian territory, upgrade and testing should take place here,” he said. As they are installing Indian-made equipment and weapons on the SU-30MKIs, he said they had offered to the Indian side different options, including a new engine, and it was for the IAF to decide.