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Nov. 09, 2006
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Su-80 Sent to China on Lack of Orders
Sukhoi Aircraft Co. is finalizing the talks with Chinas Aviation Import & Export Corp. about transferring an assembly license for 500 Su-80GP regional planes. The contract could be sealed after the planes pass certification tests in 2008. According to analysts, the deal is fueled by delay in creation of Chinese regional plane and profound shortage of orders in Russia.
Sukhoi-controlled Komsomolsk-on-Amur Aircraft Production Enterprise (Russian abbreviation is KnAAPO) may soon sign a memorandum for transferring to China the assembly license for Su-80 short-distance planes, representatives of the company said. KnAAPO will continue making most of the components and units for the plane, which will be finally assembled in China. The thing is that China imposes 40-percent duties on imported aircraft of this class.

China is willing to acquire the license for 500 Su-80s, representatives of KnAAPO said, specifying the contract could be made no sooner than the plane passes certification tests that are due to complete in the first quarter of 2008.

In Sukhoi, they said the size of consignment for the licensed assembly in China hasnt been determined yet. The contract for 500 Su-80s will have the budget of about $2 billion, the analysts estimated.

Sukhoi designed its Su-80GP mixed cargo aircraft in early 1990s to replace obsolete An-24 and Yak-40 on local and regional routes. The plane made the first flight in 2001. It can carry 30 passengers or 3 tons of cargo.

Off-the-record, the analysts describe Su-80 as the aircraft too heavy initially, which avionics couldnt be called perfect. If anything is sold, it will be success for this plane, said Konstantin Makienko, an expert of Strategy and Technology Analysis Center.

All the Article in Russian as of Nov. 09, 2006

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