Russia’s transport minister has decided to step up state investment in the MC-21 and SSJ100 commercial aircraft programs, according to a legislative proposal presented this week. To obtain more resources, the government plans to cut subsidies of around $ 181 million for the IL-96-400M four-engine jet project.

The Ilyushin aircraft is being assembled at the VASO plant in Voronezh and was expected to be completed in the coming months and to fly in 2021. Variant of greater capacity of the IL-96, the four-engine has been thought of as an alternative of widebody produced in the country while the CR929 program carried out with China has not evolved.

The point is that the IL-96-400M has no customers so far, a fact highlighted by the Russian transport ministry. Weeks ago, a government source told TASS that the aircraft could be used as the Air Force’s new airborne command.

Indigenous aircraft

After the end of the Soviet Union, the air transport market in Russia started to receive hundreds of Western aircraft, more efficient, comfortable and safe. To reverse this situation, President Vladimir Putin’s government has invested in local aircraft programs of which Sukhoi SSJ100 is the most well-known project. However, in 2021, the MC-21 single-aisle jet, developed by Irkut, is expected to enter service with the 211-seat variant.

According to the transport minister, around 95% of the aircraft fleet is manufactured outside Russia. The forecast is that in 2025 the total number of indigenous aircraft will be only 73 units.

Russian jet MC-21-300: first six units in operation in 2021 (UAC)