UAC flights in dream and reality | Latest news The Moscow Post
28 September 2021

UAC flights "in dream and reality"

Against the background of the "reforms" of the UAC, its personnel continue to be reduced. Despite the "reports" about the victories, the situation in the aircraft sector of Rostec continues to be deteriorated.

The Russian aircraft industry, it seems, continues to fall apart: the day before, the famous aircraft designer Oleg Demchenko left the Irkut Corporation.

The famous aircraft builder Oleg Demchenko, who worked for a long time in PJSC Irkut Corporation, left the company. Recently, he held the position of First Deputy General Director. Anatoly Gaidansky took the place of the famous designer: now he sits "on two chairs" at once. Simultaneously, Mr. Gaidansky is the Head of JSC Aerocomposit.

But Oleg Fyodorovich Demchenko did not completely close the air door behind him: he remained in the position of Director-General Designer of JSC  A. S. Yakovlev Design Bureau. Recall that Oleg Demchenko twice held the post of head of Irkut: from 2005 to 2011 and from 2012 to 2017. In 2017, Demchenko was replaced by the General Director of PJSC United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), Yuri Slyusar.

Since 2019, the Irkut corporation has been headed by Ravil Khakimov, but there are persistent rumours that Mr. Khakimov is about to be asked to leave.

Aren't these too frequent permutations of figures one of the reasons for what is happening in the domestic aircraft industry? In addition, outright amateurs have taken the places of professionals recently: however, it's not an easy thing to build an airplane.

The situation was investigated by the correspondent of The Moscow Post.

Under the guise of reorganization

Recall that in the past, in 2020, three UAC structures joined the Irkut Corporation at once: Sukhoi Civil Aircraft JSC, UAC - Integration Center LLC and JSC New Civil Technologies.

But in September 2020, the subsidiary of the Irkut corporation - Regional Aircraft (in the past - Sukhoi Civil Aircraft) dismissed 500 people. At that time, Irkut confirmed the reduction of about 10% of its employees.

Back in 2019, the goal was to optimize the staff: to remove about 900 people.

In recent years, JSC Sukhoi Civil Aircraft has employed more than 3,100 employees. It turns out that from 15 to 30% of all employees can be dismissed.

The main activities of Regional Aircraft are the development, production, sales and maintenance of the Superjet 100 aircraft.

The main office is located in Moscow, the planes are made in Komsomolsk-on-Amur.

It should be noted that the Regional Aircraft branch is still the only manufacturer of civil jetliners in Russia. The SSJ100 short-haul aircraft is the first and so far the only civilian airliner that has been developed from scratch.

And other UAC plants produce single copies of Tu-204 and IL-96 aircraft for the presidential flight squad, the Ministry of Emergency Situations and law enforcement agencies.

The new miracle of SSJnew

Surprisingly, the dismissal affected the engineering staff: part of the engineers of the Regional Aircraft in Zhukovsky was dismissed. These specialists were offered positions in other UAC holdings, in particular at the MiG plant in Lukhovitsy.

It is not clear why the manufacturer of SSJ 100 superjets, the only operating civil airline, does not need the engineers?

Superjet deliveries to airlines have fallen in recent years due to poor organization of after-sales service: spare parts that have broken down have are to be awaited for weeks.

But they say that Regional Aircraft, in addition to the release of the SSJ100, are developing a new aircraft based on it – the SSJ new, in which many imported components will be replaced. It turns out that they made one problematic aircraft - we are talking about the SSJ100 - and now they are developing a new "miracle" SSJ new on its basis, aren’t they?

And here are the new figures: the development of the SSJ new and the engine - PD-8 for this machine - will cost 120-130 billion rubles.

"Berendeyevo Kingdom"

Recall that the Irkut Corporation is engaged in the serial production of multi-purpose Su-30 fighter jets, Yak-130 combat training aircraft and is the developer of the MS-21 passenger family.

But something is rotten in the "State of Irkutsk". There is no happy news. They say that the head of the Rostec State Corporation, Sergey Chemezov, has long wanted to consolidate the structures included in Rostec in order to strengthen control over the budget billions.

However, something went wrong in the merger of the two main structures that are engaged in the development of fighter jets - RAC MiG and the Sukhoi company: they are also part of the United Aircraft Corporation, which is supervised by Rostec.

The integration of Sukhoi and MiG into a single aviation division is being carried out as part of the reform of the UAC. And this process is going on with great problems.

Recall that in February 2020, the general director of MiG, Ilya Tarasenko, was also appointed General Director of Sukhoi. After 8 months, he suddenly left both positions. Both companies were subordinated to the General Director of UAC, Yuri Slyusar. He is considered a person from the inner circle of both Sergey Chemezov and the head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov.

In connection with these forced reshuffles, "under Slyusar", the former head of UAC, Igor Ozar, was removed from UAC, as TASS wrote: he was in a leadership position until 2018, when the UAC was given under the "cover" of Rostec. It should be noted that Mr. Ozar was not considered a person from Chemezov's circle.

General Director of UAC Yuri Slyusar

Why was Tarasenko "forced to leave"? They say he was dismissed for his lack of loyalty to Sergei Chemezov.

Not like Slusar? If you recall his patchy biography, from 2012 to 2015 he was Manturov's deputy in the Ministry of Industry and Trade. Then he moved to UAC. This was reported by The Moscow Post.

"Amazing" things began to happen in the corporation with the arrival of Mr. Slyusar.

Where are the billions going?

Let's start with the numbers. If in 2014 UAC received 8.4 billion rubles of profit, then at the end of 2015 it made a loss of 9.4 billion rubles. Further, according to the results of 2018, the loss increased to a crazy 30 billion rubles. Figures for 2019 in information systems, particularly in Rusprofile, are simply absent. And this is for the corporation, which is a supplier for 76 billion rubles.

The situation looks very strange both in the Sukhoi and MiG company. For these offices, too, there is no data for 2019, but the profit of Sukhoi with revenue of 115 billion rubles for 2018 amounted to only 4 billion rubles, and MiG, with both revenue and profit, turned out to have a minus value of assets - by 21 billion rubles.

Where do billions disappear to? Here it will be appropriate to recall the scandal of 2019, when Pavel Babayev, the general director of Stroy Group LLC, was arrested, as well as his adviser Konstantin Loboda.

They were both charged with major fraud. According to the investigation, they stole almost 3 billion rubles. We are talking about 11 contracts under the state program. Most of them were tied to enterprises associated with UAC.

In 2011-2013, Yuri Slyusar was a member of the Board of Directors of Irkut Corporation, which produced helicopters. Mr. Babayev's office had contracts with the Irkut Corporation.

Bankers - "aircraft manufacturers"

Another high-profile scandal was already associated with MiG. In March 2020, JSC Hydromash (Nizhny Novgorod) collected from RAC MiG about 800 thousand dollars, as Kommersant wrote.

Earlier, the nominee holder of Hydromash stocks was JSC National Commercial Bank. It is owned by the banker Viktor Grigoriev, however, it is no longer on the list of shareholders. But the "exit" could have been made with intent.

Banker Viktor Grigoriev

Viktor Grigoriev is called a likely "wallet" of Sergey Chemezov, through which funds could pass after the merger of strategic enterprises under the "cover" of Rostec.

But this is not the only claim of the Hydromash company towards MiG. There is also a claim of Hydromash to MIG for 5 million euros.

Hydromash also filed lawsuits against the Nizhny Novgorod Aircraft Factory Sokol for 35 million rubles.

And then the name of the banker Grigoriev was noticed again. After all, Mr. Grigoriev used to be a member of the Board of Directors of Nizhny Novgorod Aircraft Factory Sokol. But he was also a member of the Board of Directors of Hydromash.

The largest state customer of Hydromash remains UAC with a volume of more than 830 million rubles.

Nizhny Novgorod Aircraft Factory Sokol

Let us also recall the deal of the century, when the structures of the banker Grigoriev bought out the share of the Technodinamika holding company from Rostec for 14 billion rubles.

During the closed auction, Dynamics of Grigoriev received 75% minus one stoock of the main manufacturer of equipment for aviation. 462 thousand ordinary registered shares of JSC Technodinamika with a nominal value of 1 thousand rubles each.

It is difficult to say whose interest there was. Meanwhile, Technodinamika has 13 billion rubles of state contracts with the department of Denis Manturov.

We also recall that Mr. Chemezov and Mr. Grigoriev were going to develop a regional Turboprop regional aircraft. The price? $12 - 14 million. This assessment was given by the Ural Works of Civil Aviation (UWCA), which is owned by Rostec Group and NK Bank.

The return of the "prodigal son"

But back to the liner, which has already been chronicled dozens of times.

In January of this year, it became known that the Irkut corporation wants to buy out Superjet 100 (SSJ 100) aircraft, which were refused by the only operator in Europe - the Irish CityJet. The aircraft were leased for 12 years under a residual value guarantee from the manufacturer. If the buyout takes place, the cars will be transferred to Russian airlines, which will be able to receive state subsidies for leasing.

Irkut Corporation wants to buy out six SSJ 100s.

In 2019, CityJet abandoned Russian machines due to maintenance problems and a shortage of spare parts

We are talking about the aircraft that were transferred to CityJet in 2016-2017 through a specially created leasing company RJ Leasing Ltd. The transaction was financed by VEB.RF. In 2017, Irkut Corporation and UAC-Capital provided the aircraft owner with a residual value guarantee. It assumes that at the end of the lease term, the owner will be able to return the aircraft for 40% of the original cost or claim compensation for the difference in resale.

CityJet had a contract to supply 15 SSJ 100s with an option for 16 more. But the company eventually received only 7 aircraft. The airline supplied the aircraft to the "wet" leasing, that is, flew them in the interests of other carriers, in particular Brussels Airlines.

In 2019, CityJet abandoned Russian machines due to maintenance problems and a shortage of spare parts. And in connection with the early termination of the lease agreement between RJ Leasing and CityJet with VEB.RF the possibility of buying aircraft into the ownership of the Irkut Corporation is being discussed. They are planned to be finalized, restored to airworthiness and in 2021-2022 delivered to PSB-Aviaprofleasing LLC (PSB structure). Funds from the sale of RJ Leasing will be used to repay the loan to VEB.RF.

The aircraft will be sold under the Russian aircraft leasing support program approved in May 2020 by President Vladimir Putin. He emphasized that the program should produce 59 aircraft in two years.

Now, UAC has 59 SSJ 100s in varying degrees of readiness. It is assumed that their main recipients will be the airlines of the Aeroflot group, Red Wings, Azimut, etc.

A half-billion lawsuit

Troubles at the Irkut Corporation have been going on one after another. Recently it became known that a flight school from Krasnodar filed a lawsuit against Irkut.

The Moscow Arbitration Court has received a claim from the Krasnodar Higher Military Aviation School of Pilots named after Hero of the Soviet Union A. K. Serov against the Irkut Corporation. Case no. A40-175608/2020. This is reported by Pravo. The reason for the claim? In the case, we are talking about the recovery of damages. And the claimed amount is 514,167,744 rubles. There are no other details yet.

In June 2020, one of the law enforcement agencies tried to collect a penalty from the Irkut corporation under the contract for the supply of a computer training class for theoretical training of engineering personnel on the Yak-130 aircraft.

But then the court rejected the claims.

A new change of "scenery"?

Next. It is said that Mr. Chemezov is not very happy with the new management of the Irkut Corporation. Since April 2019, the corporation has been headed by Ravil Khakimov.

According to the 2019 IFRS report, the company is unprofitable. The net loss for the year exceeded 69 billion rubles.

Khakimov may leave the corporation before the end of 2021, including for reasons related to the progress of the project to create a promising Russian medium-haul passenger aircraft MS-21. The fact is that the deadlines for certification of the MS-21 with American Pratt & Whitney engines were constantly shifting, and there were questions about the timing of the completion of testing of wing elements made of domestic materials.

Ravil Khakimov

In August 2019, Irkut signed an agreement of intent to supply ten MS-21 airliners to Kazakhstan's Bek Air and five aircraft for Yakutia. And an option was entered into to supply 35 MS-21s to Aeroflot.

But at the end of April 2020, it became known: the dispatch of the MS-21 was postponed due to the fact that the Federal Air Transport Agency would not count a significant share of certification flights due to structural differences in the aircraft that took part in the tests.

The head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov said that the certification of these aircraft is postponed to June-July 2021.

Head of Rostec Sergey Chemezov and Minister Denis Manturov always find an agreement

In general, it turns out that there is not much to boast about: the SSJ 100 is being returned back from abroad, Russian airlines do not really want to accept this problematic airliner. MS-21 is generally delayed in arriving...

However, there are no complete aircrafts at Rostec enterprises so far.

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