Russia held a grand ceremony this week to mark the rebranding of commercial aircraft maker Irkut as “Yakovlev”, in an attempt to create a unified brand in the segment.
Within this strategy, the MC-21 and SSJ-NEW jetliners became part of Yakovlev’s portfolio.
SSJ-NEW, however, gained a new name, SJ-100. An aircraft of the model, already painted with the new colors, displayed the official designation of the variant produced only with local content.
Later, the company confirmed to Russian media that the regional jet will be called that.
Back and forth
The Sukhoi SuperJet 100, or SSJ100, was born in the last decade as a Russian commercial aircraft project with export potential. Responsibility for the program was taken over by Sukhoi, best known for fighter jets such as the Su-27 and attack aircraft such as the Su-24 and Su-25.
The company established a joint venture with Italian groups to sell the SuperJet in other markets, but the venture was not successful.
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Even before the military invasion of Ukraine, Russia had already established the SSJ-NEW project, a domestic version of the SuperJet with only parts produced in the country, in order to circumvent economic sanctions.
The now SJ-100 is currently about to start flight testing, but still equipped with SaM146 engines as the PD-8 turbofan is not ready.
The goal of UAC, the holding company that controls Yakovlev, is to deliver the first SJ-100 jets in 2024.