HAL to sign deal on Indo-Russian MTA next week

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Moscow, Mar 20 (UNI) A delegation from the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) will arrive here next week to sign a deal on the Indo-Russian joint development and production of multi-role transport aircraft (MTA), Il-214.

Quoting sources in the Russia's United Aircraft Corporation, business daily Kommersant today said the country's main state arms exporting company Rosoboronexport and HAL will ink in April an 8.5-million-dollar direct contract for developing a draft design of the multi-role transport aircraft.

In February, both the countries agreed not to wait for a year to create a joint venture but sign a direct intermediate contract of HAL and Rosoboronexport for elaborating the MTA draft design in April General Director of the Ilyushin Aviation Company, Viktor Livanov said.

''The contract budget is about 8.5 million dollars; the draft is to be elaborated in two years. The plans are that the jet takes off in 2013 and is certified in 2015,'' Mr Livanov said, stressing that the purpose to sign a direct contract was to accelerate the project by a year.

Analysts said the cost of the project would be much greater than the estimated amount and its implementation by Ilyushin was one of the risks.

Officials in the United Aircraft Corporation expressed the hope that direct contract would set into motion the MTA programme that was seven years behind the original plans, fueling it to the implementation stage at last.

The Ilyushin has staked on having no less than 250 jets in the plane's order portfolio. Given that the declared cost of each jet ranges from 35 million dollars to 40 million dollars, the overall amount could be about 10 billion dollars, the paper said.

Last year, during the visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh here, Russia and India had signed an intergovernmental agreement on the joint development and production of a multi-role transport aircraft.

Under the deal, each of the sides will invest 300 million dollars in the joint production of the MTA. The Russian part of the investment will be financed from India's rupee debt.

UNI XC SYU HT1902

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