Moscow, Mar 15 (UNI) The Irkut Corporation based in Irkutsk in eastern Siberia, has decided to stop financing the Indo-Russian joint production of Multirole Transport Aircraft (MTA).
Russian daily newspaper Vedomosti reported that Corporation now would focus on the MS-21 medium-haul passenger airliner together with Sukhoi Civilian Aircraft.
Another Russian aviation giant, the Ilyushin Aviation Complex, which developed the MTA plane, also decided to withdraw from the MS-21 project.
The paper said quoting Irkut CEO Oleg Demchenko that the decision to divide the projects had been made earlier this year.
During the visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Moscow, last November, Russia and India had signed an intergovernmental agreement on the joint development and production of a multi-role transport aircraft.
According to the agreement, each of the sides would invest 300 million dollars in the joint production of the MTA. However, the Russian part of the investment would be financed from India's rupee debt.
Under the deal, an experimental version of the MTA would be created based on the Il-214. It would replace the Soviet An-12 and American C-30 with a payload of upto 20 tons. The experimental aircraft is to be ready by 2012 and it should be certified this year.
The Irkut Corporation negotiated the MTA project with the Indian Armed Forces and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) from the early 2000s.
Konstantin Makiyenko, deputy director of the Moscow-based Centre for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies, told the paper that the MTA aircraft and the fifth-generation fighter programme were the only two long-term joint projects involving Russia.
Ilyushin CEO Viktor Livanov said the company lacked human resources and would not be able to implement the MTA project after Irkut decided that it had no future and opted for other planes.
UNI XC PD BST0955