Gov't Hopes To Revive Industry
Earlier, ANN reported on a resurgence
of Russian long-range patrols by Tu-95 "Bear" bombers over Western
airspace, as a sign of renewed growth and vitality in that nation's
military aviation complex. On Monday, Russian President Vladimir
Putin met with his country's top aerospace manufacturers, in hopes
of similarly revitalizing Russia's commercial aviation
Russia Today reports Putin hopes to revive the country's machine
industry, which fell into neglect following the breakup of the
Soviet Union in 1991. To accomplish that, Putin is looking to
create national engine and helicopter building corporations...
similar to the country's United Aircraft Building Corporation,
incorporated last year and now hard at work on the Superjet 100
"Our engines are behind in terms of resources, fuel efficiency,
noise level and environmental standards. They are blocking the
development of Russia's aviation industry," Putin said during a
visit to Russian engine maker Klimov. "Today I have ordered the
creation of the United Engine-Building Corporation to address
Putin, who has set a five-year timeframe to accomplish the
resurgence in Russian aerospace, says the engine cooperative will
pool resources of all Russia's enginemakers, to create powerplants
able to compete against General Electric and Rolls-Royce.
Russia's rotorcraft industry also received Putin's
"Helicopters are absolutely crucial for Russia considering its
geographic and climatic conditions," Putin said. "I have ordered
the creation of a unified helicopter research and production base,
to increase volumes and financial capacity."
While there's a case to be made for pooling resources to create
a better product -- Europe's EADS is just one example of that
-- analysts fear Russia's attempt to follow that model could lead
to more bureaucracy... and not necessarily better aircraft.
"What we fear above all is a return to an unprofitable, Soviet
structure," said Russian analyst Dr. Maria Alekseenkova. "These new
state-owned corporations must remain flexible, market-oriented and
not overly dominated by military demands."