At the end of 2018, the Chinese corporation COMAC proposed to the United Aircraft Building Corporation (UAC) to divide sales of the CR929 wide-body long-range aircraft being developed jointly. About this told "Vedomosti" two people close to the KLA. China wants to sell the aircraft on the Chinese market itself, and Russia offers to sell it on its own and on the world market, the interlocutors say.
Work on the SOMAS and UAC aircraft began in 2016. In the joint venture CRAIC, the parties received 50% each. The project cost is estimated at $ 20 billion: $ 13 billion will go directly to the development of the liner, $ 7 billion - to create a system of after-sales service and financial instruments to stimulate sales. SOMAS and UAC have agreed to split the costs in half, deliveries are expected to begin in 2026. In the basic version, the liner will be able to take 280 passengers, the flight range will be 12,000 km. Release CR929 was supposed to be in Shanghai. In October 2018, at the China Airshow in Zhuhai, the full-size model of the CR929 bow was first introduced. Now we are coordinating the general type of aircraft, conducting experimental research in the field of aerodynamics, choosing structural materials, analyzing proposals from potential suppliers of key systems and equipment.
Only three countries in the world created wide-body passenger liners - the USA, France and the USSR. For Russia, the purpose of the joint project with China was to share the costs and access to the giant Chinese market, which would allow the liner to ensure sufficient sales for payback, UAC managers and federal officials told earlier.
Therefore, the offer of separate sales deprives the project of any meaning for Russia. UAC President Yury Slyusar and Deputy Industry Minister Oleg Bocharov are planning talks with the Chinese on this issue, said people close to UAC. Financing of the project from the Russian side is supposed to be enormous - about 600 billion rubles. This is more than all other aircraft building programs combined, the source adds.
In the next 20 years, the demand of the Chinese market for wide-bodied aircraft is estimated at about 1,200, the Russian one is only from 50 to 120, Slyusar told in an interview with Vedomosti. In total, according to the program CR929, it is planned to release about 800 aircraft for 20 years.
In the light of the Chinese proposal, the KLA is seriously considering the option of abandoning parity partnerships and cost-sharing, say two people close to the KLA. A corporation can become a contractor for SOMAS, selling solutions, technologies and components. According to this scheme, for example, it is supposed to cooperate with China of another holding, Russian Helicopters: it will develop separate units for a Chinese heavy helicopter.
The parties have another serious disagreement, three people close to the KLA told: about the country where the type certificate for CR929 will be obtained. KLA planned that since it will be the main designer, then the holder of the type certificate will be its structure registered in Russia.
China insists that a Chinese company obtain a type certificate, and it is very difficult to negotiate with it, the source said in the KLA. Russia already has experience with the certification of SSJ100 in Europe, “which is necessary for the supply of aircraft to foreign markets, but China has nothing,” he continues.
And although there are no agreements on these important business components, the engineering work on the program with the participation of Chinese experts continues, China already receives some kind of documentation and competencies, the delay in its time quite suits him, another interlocutor in the UAC complains. Until all issues were resolved, it would be worthwhile to stop everything, but this is a political issue, he adds.
“Negotiations are underway with the Chinese side, including on the development of a model of cooperation,” said a representative of the Ministry of Industry and Trade. "We are not aware of any proposal for the division of sales," - says his colleague from the KLA.
The Chinese proposal is unacceptable, says leading researcher at the Institute for the Economics of Transport Fedor Borisov. In fact, China offers Russia to take on the commercial risks of moving the aircraft to foreign markets and at the same time refuse to participate in the profits from the sale in the most promising market for it, he points out.