Implementation of a project to produce the Il-476 transport aircraft was the subject of discussion.
The President also instructed Mr Manturov to prepare a meeting on developing the aircraft manufacturing industry.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Manturov, in 2006, we launched a programme to build a new Russian transport plane. We attempted to organise relations with our partners then, but without success, and we then decided to shift the entire production process to one of our plants in Ulyanovsk.
I know that the project has reached an advanced stage now and the aircraft has already made flights. What is the current situation? How do you assess the project? What stage are things at now?
Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov: Mr President, we are currently in the final stage of work on the Il-76. We did indeed decide in 2006 to shift production from Tashkent to Russia. In the end, we did not so much simply shift production as create a whole new production process, which has resulted in a plane with new tactical and technical features.
The plane has been completely digitalised and changes have been made to its design, equipment, and control system. It has been fitted with a new engine – the PS-90A-76, produced in series at the Perm Engine Company.
Vladimir Putin: Is this the same as the engine the Il-96 uses?
Denis Manturov: Yes, that’s right. It’s a modified version of that engine.
The plane has been fitted with a new pilot navigation system. The indicators have all been changed over to liquid crystal displays, the cockpit now uses modern digital glass, and changes have been made to the wing design and the landing gear.
Vladimir Putin: We agreed that the plane has to meet completely new parameters for flight range, payload capacity, and fuel efficiency.
Denis Manturov: Mr President, the plane’s characteristics are very good. There is a 25-percent increase in flight range, a 15-percent increase in payload capacity, and a 15–17-percent increase in fuel efficiency.
We have spurred development not only in the aircraft manufacturing industry but in related sectors too. In particular, we plan to buy at least 500 engines as part of this programme’s implementation (that is, within the framework of the State Arms Procurement Programme alone). The project will have benefits for other industrial sectors too.
We are actively putting together the order package now. The primary orders will come from the Defence Ministry of course, once the tactical and technical specifications it set have been confirmed. I think that orders will start coming from other quarters too, from Russian state agencies, transport companies, and also from customers abroad with potential interest in buying this plane.
We have already done some speed tests and had the plane in the air twice on short flights. Everything went absolutely normally on the flights. We will be ready for the first real test flight very soon.
Vladimir Putin: I congratulate everyone working on this project: the pilots, engineers, specialists, and organisers. This is excellent news to hear. Now you just need to see it all through to its conclusion.
There are very few planes with such features and with this kind of payload capacity in the world. This plane will be very useful in both the civilian and military sectors. The Defence Ministry needs this plane, as you know well. You will now need to work all the details regarding organising its purchase with the Defence Ministry.
Denis Manturov: We are working on this and are in the process of finalising the contract details with the Defence Ministry under the State Arms Procurement Programme.
Vladimir Putin: The important thing is that the price should fit the product and its quality and be competitive with other planes of this class. Although, as I just said, such planes are probably…
Denis Manturov: There are two planes in this class, ours, and an American plane. But ours is a completely modernised plane with new tactical and technical characteristics. A good base has been laid and the prospects ahead are bright.
Vladimir Putin: Good.
Denis Manturov: The Il-76 is a good example of successfully combining the base laid during the Soviet years with modern technology and knowledge. We need to move further and develop new competitive products.
Unfortunately, it is impossible to make progress without developing the related sectors at the same time. I am thinking above all here of the need for high-tech modern materials and rare earth metals. This is a matter not just of national security but developing modern new high-tech sectors, including in machine-building.
Vladimir Putin: What is the plane called now, the Il-476?
Denis Manturov: The project code is 476.
Vladimir Putin: I want you to prepare a meeting to discuss further development of the aircraft manufacturing sector.
Denis Manturov: We will have everything prepared very soon.