A strategic partner
Over the last 25 years Airbus commercial aircraft, helicopters, and defence and space products have all established a strong presence in Russia. The country is also well-known for its aerospace research and technology and has proven to be a fertile ground for industrial cooperation. As a market and a source of partnerships Russia is important to Airbus.
More than a market
ECAR employs over 200 engineers
Over 280 Airbus aircraft are in service in Russia, representing more than 50% of the western produced fleet. However, two and a half decades of industrial cooperation are just as important. Current cooperation programmes range from material sourcing to engineering and components manufacturing.
In 2003 the Airbus Engineering Centre, known as ECAR, was set up in Moscow as a joint venture between Airbus and industrial group Kaskol. It was Airbus’ first engineering facility outside its home countries and now employs over 200 Russian engineers. ECAR has completed over 100 projects for Airbus and work is continuing on the A350-1000, A320neo and A330neo programmes.
Sourcing of raw materials and semi-finished products are key components of Airbus’ business in Russia. The first cooperation agreement with VSMPO-Avisma was signed in the 1990s. In 2009, Airbus built on this foundation by signing a new agreement, valued at $4 billion, which runs until 2020. AVSMPO-Avisma supplies titanium forgings for all Airbus programmes.
Other Russian companies are also involved in the production of components for Airbus aircraft. The IRKUT Corporation produces the A320 nose landing gear bays at the rate of 12 shipsets per month. Liebherr Aerospace in cooperation with Hydromash produces parts for A350 XWB landing gear and for A380 flight control systems as well as hydraulic system parts for all Airbus programmes. Hamilton Sundstrand Nauka supplies heat exchangers for the A380’s air generation unit.
Defence and Space
Over 280 Airbus commercial aircraft in service – over 50% of the western-built fleet over 100 seats
Serious cooperation on space projects began with Eurockot, a joint venture between Airbus and Khrunichev Space Centre. It was created for the promotion and marketing of the Russian small launcher Rockot in the European institutional and commercial market.
Next came Starsem, a joint venture which manages the industrial and commercial exploitation of the Soyuz launch vehicle in the global launch vehicle market, focusing on low or medium altitude Earth orbit tasks for small satellites or constellations. It was followed by SYNERTECH with JSC.
In 2013 Airbus and RSC Energia created the Energia Satellite Technologies joint venture to further develop cooperation in the field of satellites. Cooperation between the two companies began in the early nineties with equipment supplied to the MIR space station and has continued ever since through work on the International Space Station (ISS).
Airbus has also provided Russian companies with communication solutions and services for civil use. In particular, the innovative communication network TETRA has been widely used by many leading Russian companies and institutions including Surgutneftegaz, Transneft Corporation, Rosa Khutor Ski Resort and Roskosmos/Russian Federal Space Agency.
Over 200 Airbus helicopters in service – 70% of the western-built gas turbine fleet
Airbus Helicopters Vostok was founded in 2006. A wholly-owned Airbus Helicopters subsidiary, it offers a full product portfolio, ranging from single-engine light helicopters to medium and heavy transport helicopters.
Today, some 200 Airbus Helicopters rotorcraft are in operation in Russia and more than 70 in the CIS countries. Airbus Helicopters products account for a 70% market share among Western-built gas turbine helicopters in Russia and more than 50% market share in the country’s VIP and corporate segment.
Since its creation in 2006, Airbus Helicopters Vostok has partnered with prominent operators such as Moscow Aviation Centre (MAC), which flew over 1,700 successful emergency medical services missions with a fleet of five ЕС145s in 2015 alone. Gazpromavia has also successfully operated 8 H135s in the most stringent operational conditions with an excellent fleet availability rate, demonstrating the perfect adaptability of the helicopters for pipeline surveillance and utility missions.
Close strategic partnerships are a key priority to Airbus Helicopters’ business with Russia, as demonstrated with UTAIR, one Russia’s major airlines. Airbus Helicopters is the only Western manufacturer to offer this level of presence and availability and also the first to have a Russian partner: Transas which supplied avionics for eight H135s purchased by Gazpromavia before becoming the H135 serial avionics supplier upon request.
In 2015 Airbus Helicopters Vostok initiated a new strategy involving the creation of a network of MRO and distribution centres for light helicopters. This is bringing the company’s services in Russia to a new level and adding convenience for customers. Heliports of Russia was the first licensed MRO and distribution centre.
Russia and CIS will need 1,200 new passenger aircraft by 2035
Airbus shares expertise with Russian industry and institutions through partnerships, joint ventures and spin-off companies. Coordinated through links with the Moscow region’s Skolkovo high-tech hub, Airbus has developed key pillars for its ongoing research and technology operations in Russia: simulation and modelling, propulsion, materials development, energy storage and management, telecommunications and the Arctic, and in-depth research.
Over twenty years, Airbus has participated in nearly 130 cooperative research ventures in areas such as aerodynamics, acoustics, environmental assessment of supersonic flight, composite design methods, metallic materials development, and modelling of complex physical phenomena. Through its relationship with Skolkovo, Airbus has excellent access to high-technology companies, government agencies and financial investment opportunities in Russia.
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