LONDON – The United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) has begun production of 20 Tupolev TU-214 aircraft as part of a production program that will replace Boeing & Airbus aircraft.
According to UAC’s CEO, Yuri Slyusar, production is going to scale up substantially:
“We are to scale up [serial production] shortly. We have already started production of twenty Tu-214 airplanes”, the CEO said to TASS.
It is understood that the TU-214 program in particular has been set up to last the next couple of years.
Slyusar also added that it aims to increase the production rate for the Ilyushin IL-96 long-haul aircraft as well as for the IL-76 transport jet.
UAC Aircraft Production Marks A Milestone in Politically Dire Straits With The West…
With Russia looking to replace Western-manufactured aircraft with their own, this is another indication of the dire straits Russia finds with the West politically.
Even so, the only reason that UAC would ramp up production is that Russian carriers are looking to get rid of such Western aircraft as a political move.
Because, otherwise, this sort of motion wouldn’t make sense.
Three weeks ago, President Putin signed into law that all leased aircraft belong to Russian carriers, in a massive nationalization-based move.
This was of course based on the leasing companies in the West being on the brink of losing up to $10bn worth of assets.
Such a battle has been lost already, with leasing giant AerCap filing a $3.5bn insurance claim for aircraft stuck or stolen in Russia.
It could be suggested that UTAir was a company following the more patriotic route and returning the aircraft back to the West out of protest, but this isn’t the case.
Will There Be A Mass Return on the Way?
The mass return of Western-manufactured aircraft will only happen if Putin gets all Russian carriers on board and gets them to order UAC-produced aircraft.
For now, we will see such aircraft operate in Russia until they are subsequently replaced by UAC aircraft, which will take some time.
This is because there are over 500 Airbus & Boeing aircraft in Russia, and building 500 UAC aircraft may take around 3-5 years, depending on production rates.
Such a timetable for production is unclear at this stage, as things will continue to change as the conflict continues as well.
Putin is taking a step in thinking about the future as it is not in his interest to back down from the conflict, as he knows further sanctions will mean not being able to use Airbus or Boeing aircraft in the future.