Russia has already abandoned plans to put into service the MC-21-300 jetliner, which uses Western engines and components, the government admitted last week.
In an interview with the Russian Times, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov admitted that the new commercial aircraft will only enter service in the MC-21-310 variant, which uses the PD-14 turbofans developed in the country.
The Russian aerospace industry is now faced with the challenge of accelerating the nationalization of the Irkut aircraft components as well as the new version of the SSJ100, in order to eliminate dependence on Western parts that are subject to US and European sanctions, among others allies.
Borisov, however, acknowledged that it is unrealistic to believe that the Russian supply chain will be able to handle all of the aircraft’s equipment.
To get around this situation, he intends to establish partnerships with Arab countries and also with the BRICS, a group with the largest emerging nations, including China, India, South Africa and Brazil, which has not supported economic sanctions due to the military invasion of Ukraine.
“Most countries in the world have not supported these sanctions and are ready to work with us. Among them are the biggest BRICS countries: China, India, Brazil, the countries of the Arab world that continue to work with us. We are now really looking for new suppliers,” said Borisov.
One of the main difficulties concerns avionics, previously supplied by companies such as Thales, Honeywell and Rockwell Collins, but whose replacements have been in local development for some time.
While the process of replacing imports of new commercial aircraft is taking place, Russia is reactivating the assembly line of old planes such as the Tu-214 and Il-96, developed during the period of the Soviet Union.