Russia and China have announced the signing of a USD13 billion Joint Venture company, the China-Russia Commercial Aircraft International Corporation (CRAIC), set up to compete with Boeing and Airbus. The license to operate in China was granted in Shanghai on Monday. The JV is between the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) and Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), with COMAC chairman Jin Zhuanglong saying the joint venture will develop wide-body aircraft and aims to produce “competitive” long-haul planes for the world’s aviation market.
CRAIC will be responsible for research, manufacturing, marketing, sales and services of its aircraft. According to an agreement by COMAC and its Russian partner United Aircraft Corp (UAC), 280-seat jets with a range of 12,000 kilometers will be prioritized.
President of the Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company Vladislav Masalov, who own UAC, said that “We have preliminary agreed a document on the division of duties, which defines responsibilities in designing the airliner’s components. The Russian side will be responsible for the wing, the center wing, suspension pylons for the engine and the basic landing gear. The COMAC will deal with the compartments of the entire fuselage, the fairing, the wing, the center wing and the nose landing gear. It was initially agreed that the Russian side would be the project’s integrator.” he said, adding that there were no plans so far to involve Western aircraft-building companies in the project of the airliner’s development. The aircraft will be assembled in Shanghai.
Chris Devonshire-Ellis of Dezan Shira & Associates comments “The days of Western dominance in the Commercial aviation industry, unless the US can develop a new, superior type of aero engine that will revolutionize the industry, are drawing to a close. Aviation design has now reached a technical plateau with existing designs and it is no surprise the Chinese and Russians want to decrease dependence on the United States and EU. New Trade Corridors are now opening up, both as a direct results of the West’s foolish sanctions on Russia and China’s intentions to develop Eurasia. I expect to see more collaborations of this type in coming years, and further alignment between Russia and Asian partners. The Russia-China trade and development corridor is well and truly open. Aircraft component manufacturers around the world should be assessing whether to establish operations in Russia and China in order to participate in this venture.”
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