BREAKING | Russia may withdraw from the joint project with China of CR929

"Russia is not satisfied with the development of the CR929 wide-body long-range aircraft jointly with China, and its share in the project is declining." Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov said at the plenary session of the Engineers of the Future forum. He refused to predict the prospects of this airliner.

“We are working with China on this project, it is not going in the direction that suits us,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.

According to him, as China becomes an industrial giant, China is less and less interested in the services of Russian engineers. On the Chinese side, there are more needs for this liner than for the UAC.

“Our participation is decreasing and decreasing. I don’t want to predict the future of this project – whether we will leave it or not, but for now it is in fact going on,” Borisov said.

The project to create a Russian-Chinese wide-body long-haul airliner has been implemented since 2014. The aircraft is being developed by a joint venture between the United Aircraft Corporation and Shanghai-based Chinese COMAC - CRAIC. The Russian side is responsible for the wing panels, center section and wing mechanization, the Chinese side is responsible for the fuselage, horizontal and vertical tail, and some other structural elements.

Friction in the development team became known in September 2020, when the Asia Times reported that the project was stopped, and serious conflicts interfere with the normal work of Russian and Chinese engineers. The publication claimed that Russia was not going to transfer key technologies to the Celestial Empire and insisted on using the promising PD-35 engine to power the futur airliner.

However, later both sides confirmed their interest in a joint project several times, and the start of manufacturing the first prototype in Shanghai. The sanctions imposed against Russian civil aviation with a ban on the supply of any Western equipment cast doubt on the feasibility of further work. The Russian side, apparently, failed to convince the Chinese side of the need to develop aircraft systems and engines on their own without the participation of Western partners.

The prospect for the next 6-7 years is developing in such a way that now foreign suppliers can still freely supply components for this project, but when the aircraft is ready for the start of mass production and commercial operation, deliveries may be prohibited. China, given its situation with Taiwan, just as Russia is now, may fall under sanctions, and the CR929 will be in a situation much worse than the Russian MS-21 or Superjet 100. It is likely that colossal funds will be spent on the joint aircraft project, which then they will just be thrown to the wind.

Having experience of partnership with Euro-American suppliers, the Russian side intends to avoid such a scenario. This is what the Minister of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation Denis Manturov spoke about at SPIEF-2022.

“The CR929 process is underway. But taking into account the new inputs, according to the restrictions that exist today in terms of cooperation, which was built by Chinese partners with the involvement of Western manufacturers, this is now impossible, so you will have to spend time restructuring approaches using only Russian and Chinese manufacturers,” Manturov said. . He added that the reconfiguration of suppliers will be completed within this year.

The statement of the relevant Deputy Prime Minister at the Engineers of the Future forum may indicate that so far the Chinese partners have not been convinced of the fallacy of their choice of suppliers. This may be due to the fact that the PRC sees its main goal in the CR929 project as obtaining key technologies from Russia and is ready to donate several billion dollars in order to achieve the task. Those. in China, they admit that the costs of the possible collapse of the project will be acceptable and will be the price for the competencies that can be obtained from Russian engineers and scientists.

This approach cannot suit our country, so it can be assumed that by the end of 2022 Russia will withdraw from the CR929 project, and the main emphasis will be on the development of the PD-35 engine and remotorization for two engines of the Il-96-400 aircraft.

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