The crash of the passenger liner Sukhoi Superjet 100 at Sheremetyevo airport claimed the lives of 41 people. Officials were quick to report that they would not abandon the use of superjetts. In social networks and telegram channels, this is explained by the fact that too much money was invested in the development of the domestic aircraft and they would not be able to remove it from flying, even despite the risk of human victims. PASMI found that not only the development and production of the Sukhoi Superjet cost much. The Ministry of Industry and Trade and operating companies annually spend hundreds of millions on the creation of VIP interiors for aircraft and research works.
Tragedy in Sheremetyevo
On May 5, as a result of a hard landing at Sheremetyevo Airport, the passenger airliner Sukhoi Superjet 100 (SSJ-100 or RRJ-95) caught fire, flying from Aeroflot Moscow-Murmansk. On board were 78 passengers and crew members, 41 people died.
Among the versions of the incident, the investigative committee names insufficient pilot qualifications and aircraft malfunction. In fact the incident opened a criminal case under Part 3 of Art. 263 of the Criminal Code (violation of safety rules, which by negligence resulted in the death of two or more persons).
Transport Minister Yevgeny Dietrich, who heads the commission to investigate the circumstances of the catastrophe, said that there were no grounds for terminating the operation of superjets, despite the fact that in recent years there have been several incidents involving these aircraft. So, in the fall of 2018, the Superjet rolled out of the runway 250 meters when landing in Yakutsk, after which the plane had to be written off. Then the blame was laid on airport services.
The Aeroflot flight safety report dated February 2018, reviewed by the BBC Russian Service, said that superjets are considered less secure than Airbus and Boeing aircraft.
Aeroflot leased 20 superjet following the results of the International Aviation and Space Salon MAKS in July 2017. The agreement was concluded with VEB-Leasing (part of the VTB group) in the presence of Russian President Vladimir Putin. According to information posted on the official website of VEB-Leasing, the amount of the transaction amounted to $ 702 million.
PASMI found that in fact it was significantly higher - $ 945 million. This amount was indicated in the documentation for the purchase of aircraft, which Aeroflot placed a month after the agreement with VEB-Leasing. Why the cost of leasing has increased, the materials did not specify.
Superjet for Putin
In addition to civilian airlines, the SSJ-100 uses the Special Flight Team "Russia" subordinate to the Office of the President of the FGBU "Special Flying Squadron", which provides air transportation for the country's top officials.
The squad is trying to maintain the airworthiness of the aircraft: for these purposes, from 2018 about 200 million rubles were allocated from the budget, PASMI calculated. This includes the supply of flight recorders, engine protection blocks, warning beacons and on-board information systems. In addition, the FGBU periodically orders the retraining of flight attendants and training of engineering and technical personnel.
Earlier, PASMI wrote about numerous violations in the FGBU, which were discovered by the Accounts Chamber. Among them is the purchase by the organization of two used SSJ-100s under the guise of new ones. About 3 billion rubles were allocated for this purchase.
Modernization for "Sukhoi"
The Ministry of Industry and Trade ordered the SSJ-100 modernization four times: just a month ago, 3.5 billion rubles were allocated for research and development work on the Sukhoi Superjet program in a modification with “maximum import substitution of components and systems”.
In August 2018, the ministry planned to improve the reliability characteristics of the aircraft “in order to meet promising market requirements” - it took 1.9 billion rubles from the budget.
In 2017, pilot work was carried out to improve the aircraft at a cost of 554 million rubles and the development of "key technologies in order to form a scientific and technical reserve" - more than 800 million rubles.
Aeroflot also allocates funds for the modernization of aircraft and professional development of specialists. For example, at the end of 2018, Aeroflot’s grandchild, A-Technics, concluded a contract with Yegorievsky Aviation Technical College named after V.P. Chekalov contract for the retraining of employees worth 10.6 million rubles. Shortly before, the AviaEspresso.ru site assumed that A-Technics plans to enter the Sukhoi Superjet for maintenance by obtaining qualifications of mechanical technicians and avionics technicians by specialists.
At the same time, Aeroflot instructed A-Technics to conduct operational maintenance of aircraft of the RRJ type until 2025. For providing services, the company should receive 2 billion rubles.
According to "SPARK-Interfax", "A-Technics" was established in 2015, its main activity is the repair and maintenance of aircraft. The company, as follows from the vacancies on the HeadHanter website, in April actively recruited engineers and aircraft technicians to service the SSJ-100 at Sheremetyevo and Vnukovo airports.
Focus on design
Sukhoi Civil Aircraft JSC (GSS), which developed the SSJ-100, continues to modernize aircraft. One of the company's latest purchases concerned the development and manufacture of the VIP-interior of the SSJ-100 passenger cabin for 169 million rubles. The winner of the auction was the Kazan company Tulpar Interior Group, a member of the Azat Hakim group of companies, a former top manager of JSC Kazan International Airport.
A half-year earlier, the GSS also ordered the development and manufacture of an enhanced interior for the passenger cabin of the aircraft - the contract price was 518 million rubles, it was signed with the same “Tulpar Interior Group”.
For comparison: in 2017, the GSS entered into two contracts for a total of 1 billion rubles for the manufacture of spare parts for the SSJ-100.
Meanwhile, air experts say that the weakest points of the aircraft are not the interior, but the engines and chassis. From December 2018, the GSS forms a list of suppliers for further cooperation in the framework of the modernization of the SSJ-100: development of supports for the chassis, wheel brake control system, emergency rescue ramps. In addition, the GSS attracted the State Research Institute of Civil Aviation (GosNII GA) to "carry out work on the main change in the type design of the SSJ-100 aircraft in terms of the development of onboard equipment."
Sukhoi Superjet 100 is a short-haul aircraft designed for flights up to 4,600 kilometers. It was developed by Sukhoi Civil Aircraft. It is the first Russian aircraft produced after the collapse of the USSR. However, the Superjet 50% or more consists of foreign components.