Russian President Vladimir Putin welcomed the Industry and Trade Ministry’s initiative to develop a new smaller model of the SSJ100, Russia’s modern fly-by-wire twin-engine regional jet, Kommersant reports.
The newspaper’s sources in the aviation industry said that the president had also approved plans to earmark $1.5 billion for the project, sources in the government office and presidential administration confirmed the information. The new jet will have less seats than its predecessor, and as few imported components as possible, including the possible replacement of the engine.
The Rossiya Special Flight Unit, which transports Russia’s top officials, is ready to order 10 such jets to the tune of $614 million and the Defense Ministry is looking into ordering roughly 30 planes, the report says.
The first civil order may come from Russian air carrier, S7. Two sources among industry players told the publication that co-owner of S7 Vladislav Filev is negotiating the purchase of 75 jets.
Sukhoi Civil Aircraft, a division of the Russian civil aerospace company United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), which develops the Sukhoi Superjet, said that the new model may be available in end-2022 or early 2023, though several sources in the sector told Kommersant they consider those plans very optimistic, as documentation development and construction of several test articles would take at least eight years.
Sukhoi Civil Aircraft announced plans to design a smaller version of the Sukhoi Superjet-100 with 75 seats instead of 98 in late 2017. Company President Alexander Rubtsov said that this new aircraft might enter the market in 2022. Sukhoi Superjet’s maiden flight was conducted on May 19, 2008. Commercial passenger flights began in 2011. Airline companies of Mexico and Ireland have SSJ-100 in their fleets.