By Nigar Abbasova
Azerbaijan may join the narrow circle of countries, which have aircraft-building industries in the short run. The country has already took certain steps in this direction and is engaged in the expansion of its cooperation with other countries in the sphere of aviation.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin recently said that an aircraft assembly plant and a center for helicopter modernization will be opened in the capital city of Azerbaijan.
“There is huge interest in supply of the Russian-made [aircraft] equipment for assembly of planes in Azerbaijan. An aircraft assembly plant and a helicopter modernization center will open in Baku,” said Rogozin.
He also said that Azerbaijan is interested in the purchase of at least 10 Russian MC-21 aircrafts and the deal is expected to be signed soon.
“Azerbaijan displayed interest to MC-21 aircrafts. We are planning to sign a contract on the purchase of at least 10 aircrafts, after the first flight of the aircraft, which is scheduled for late 2016 or early 2017 be implemented,” he said.
He mentioned that another interesting project is the purchase of Ruslan AN-124 aircrafts. The project is also expected to be implemented in 2017.
Earlier, Azerbaijan Airlines (AZAL) and Russian leasing company "Ilyushin Finance” signed a memorandum of intent for purchase of 10 aircrafts MC-21.
MC-21 is a family of new generation medium range 200-seat single-aisle jets with wide-body aircraft comfort. The aircraft combine the latest trends in global aviation with Russia's experience in aerospace industry and is frequently referred to as main plane of the 21st century. The aircraft is assembled and developed by Russia’s Irkut Corporation, which is part of the United Aircraft Corporation.
The Antonov AN-124 Ruslan is intended for the transportation of heavy and oversized cargo and various special-purpose vehicles. The unique capacity of aircraft ant its high performance have been proved through commercial operations which have opened up new segments of the air cargo market including the transportation of oversized and extra-heavy cargo.
Earlier, it was also reported that Azerbaijan seeks to assemble AN-178 aircrafts on the territory of the country. The aircraft has a carrying capacity of up to 18 tons at own production facilities.
Kyiv-based Antonov State Enterprise and Azerbaijan's Silk Way Airlines signed a contract in May 2015 to assembly 10 transport aircraft An-178 in Ukraine and ship them to the airlines.
The first two planes are to be delivered by late 2018 under the contract and eight planes will be shipped upon a mutual agreement of the parties.
Nigar Abbasova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @nigyar_abbasova
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