Russian Fighter Aircraft Industrial Base: Parallels with the United States?

CRS Report for Congress
Russian Fighter Aircraft Industrial Base:
Parallels with the United States?
Updated April 9, 2002
Christopher Bolkcom
Analyst in National Defense
Ellen Schwarzler
Research Associate
Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division

Congressional Research Service ˜ The Library of Congress

Russian Fighter Aircraft Industrial Base:
Parallels with the United States?
There are many differences between the fighter aircraft industry in the United
States and in Russia. The United States has traditionally produced its weaponry
within a capitalist framework which allowed free enterprise and competition between
companies in private industry. The former Soviet Union’s economy, and its fighter
aircraft industry was based on a Marxist, command economy, where the central
government dictated the type and number of aircraft produced and allocated resources
for construction.
Once among the most glamorous components of the Soviet military industrial
complex, the Russian military aircraft industry has been described by some analysts
as being on the verge of collapse. Russia’s civilian aircraft industry has faced similar
pressures, which does not bode well for the military aviation infrastructure. It may
be difficult for fighter aircraft companies to find employment in Russia’s beleaguered
civil aircraft sector.
The Russian government has attempted to reform its fighter aircraft industrial
base and make it more efficient and competitive with western industry. It has initiated
several reforms aimed at reducing the stratification and compartmentalization of
industrial processes, as well as improving access to financial resources. These reforms
have had mixed success. While Russia’s military aviation infrastructure has
consolidated dramatically, the overall effectiveness of these reform efforts still remains
to be seen.
Russia’s remaining fighter aircraft design and manufacturing enterprises, Sukhoi
and Mikoyan, appear to be struggling to stay alive. Both companies have sought to
make up for decreased domestic demand by increasing their export of fighter aircraft
and by winning contracts in the civilian aviation sector. Success in both areas has
been limited, and many analysts doubt that Russia can support more than one fighter
aircraft company for much longer. The potential for a merger between the two
companies has been discussed for some time. Each company has its own strengths
and weaknesses, and it is unclear which would survive a merger.
As Russia reforms its fighter aircraft industrial base, there appear to be many
parallels between their experience and what is happening in the United States in terms
of declining domestic demand and pressure for consolidation. By examining the events
in Russia’s military aviation industrial base, especially the experience of the Sukhoi
and Mikoyan aircraft design bureaus, policy makers in the United States may gain
insight into current and forthcoming domestic fighter aircraft industrial base issues.

Introduction ................................................... 1
Russia’s Economic Backdrop...................................2
Russia’s Fighter Aircraft Infrastructure...........................4
Reform Trials and Tribulations..................................5
Russian Aviation Corporation MiG (RSK MiG).........................7
Sukhoi Military Industrial Group AVPK (AVPK Sukhoi)................10
Parallels with U.S. Defense Industry................................12
List of Figures
Figure 1. Combat Aircraft Procured by USSR/Russia 1989-1998...........3
Figure 2. Theoretical Structure of the Russian Fighter Aircraft Industrial Base,
October 2000...............................................7
Figure 3. Approximate Organization of Mikoyan.......................8
Figure 4. Approximate Organization of Sukhoi........................11
List of Tables
Table 1. Estimated Russian Defense Budget...........................2
This analysis was prepared at the request of the Honorable James Talent and is being
reprinted by CRS for general congressional distribution with his permission.

Russian Fighter Aircraft Industrial Base:
Parallels with the United States?
There are many differences between the fighter aircraft industry in the United
States and in Russia. The United States has traditionally produced its weaponry
within a capitalist framework which allowed free enterprise and competition between
companies in private industry. The former Soviet Union’s economy – and its fighter
aircraft industry – was based on a Marxist, command economy, where the central1
government dictated the type and number of aircraft produced.
Yet, as Russia emerges from the Soviet Union and westernizes, there appears to
be many parallels between Russia’s fighter aircraft industrial base and what is
happening in the United States. These potential parallels include decreased domestic
demand for fighter aircraft, and increased competition between companies. Forced
to adapt to these changing circumstances, companies in both Russia and the United
States have tried to increase the efficiency of their industrial processes, and more
aggressively pursue export markets. Also, the military industrial base in both
countries has experienced a dramatic consolidation, as weaker companies are acquired
by stronger companies.
It may be that by examining the Russian experience, policy makers in the United
States may gain insight into current and forthcoming fighter aircraft industrial base
issues. A sample of these questions include:
!How many aircraft manufacturers are needed to support military needs?
!To what extent should the survivability of these firms be taken into account in
deciding which aircraft programs to pursue?

1Many experts have commented that the U.S. weapon procurement process is not as sensitive
to market pressures as other parts of the U.S. economy, and therefore perhaps not as
dissimilar to the Soviet model as many have portrayed. For instance, the Washington Post
reported “ In a speech earlier this year to Navy admirals, he (Secretary of the Navy Richard
Danzig) elaborated on his notion that the Pentagon is the last genuine communist system,
complete with five-year plans and a command economy, run not by market pressures but by
directives from the top. ‘It didn't work for the Soviet Union, and I think that it doesn't work
very well’ for the Navy, he said.” (Ricks, Thomas E. “Churning the Waters.” Washington
Post. September 9, 2000:1.

!Which aspects of the aerospace industry are really unique and vital to
production of tactical fighter aircraft?
!How can competitiveness among defense contractors be maintained with fewer
firms, particularly regarding different design concepts and cost-reduction
innovations in the development and production of aircraft?
!Should foreign sales of military aircraft be factored into decisions on which
tactical aircraft programs to pursue?
!How might decisions on tactical aircraft programs affect export earnings and
international competitiveness of the aerospace industry?
Russia’s Economic Backdrop
Once among the most glamorous components of the Soviet military industrial
complex, the Russian military aircraft industry has been described by some analysts
as being on the verge of collapse.2 Domestic orders for Russian military aircraft have
fallen off due to a dramatic decrease in the Russian Defense budget. This in turn has
had a strong effect on the fortunes of Russia’s military aviation industry.
Table 1. Estimated Russian Defense Budget

1993 ($B)1999 ($B)2000 ($B)

Total 75.1 4.41 4.5
Procurement 13.73 .96 .87
R&D 5.42 .56 .49
Source: The Military Balance London: Oxford University Press. 1995-1996, 1999-2000, 2000-2001.
The enormous military aircraft infrastructure that Russia inherited from the
USSR was designed to produce over 500 combat aircraft per year. However, the
currently meager number of domestic orders combined with the modest numbers of
recent aircraft exports, do not amount to one fifth of this figure. Some project that
between 2002 and 2008 Russia will only produce 98 Su-27s and MiG-29s for3
domestic use. This is an average production of 14 per year. While Russia has had
some success with exports in the past, its future does not look as bright. Former
Soviet client states are now free to purchase Western fighter aircraft, and Russia’s
domestic economic and political situation may deter other countries from purchasing
Russian fighter aircraft, regardless of their relatively low cost. In light of this very

2For a more comprehensive discussion of Russia’s military and industrial base, see Russian
Conventional Armed Forces: on the Verge of Collapse? CRS Report 97-820 F, by Stuart
3Aboulafia, Richard. World Civil and Military Aircraft Briefing. Teal Group, Inc. January


modest internal demand for fighter aircraft, and the intense competition for exports,
the Russian military aircraft industry has been faced with dramatic pressures to
consolidate, privatize or otherwise transform itself.
Figure 1. Combat Aircraft Procured by USSR/Russia
1989 1991 1993 1995 1997
Source: The Military Balance 1999-2000. London: Oxford University Press. 1999.
Russia’s civilian aircraft industry is facing similar pressures. Since the early

1990s Russia has experienced a strong downturn in domestic commercial air traffic.

In the past decade, passenger traffic in Russia has fallen approximately 77%.4 Of the
roughly 320 regional airlines in Russia today, 50 of them perform 98% of the work.
Of these 50 companies, only the 20 largest offer regular passenger service.5 This
dwindling air traffic has resulted in reduced revenue, profits, and resources for
recapitalizing Russia’s aging airliner fleet. The larger airlines are trying to win
passengers by increasing the level of service, establishing partnerships with western
airlines, and acquiring new planes.
Ilyushin and Tupolev are the two main established manufacturers of civilian
aircraft and produce the Il-96 and Tu-204. Ilyushin and Tupolev currently have firm
orders from domestic and international clients for 25 Il-96s and 30 Tu-204s6
respectively. Yet, few deliveries have been made. While there is some domestic
demand for civilian aircraft, financial constraints make it difficult for the airlines to
purchase or lease new planes. Russian civilian aircraft producers are hampered not
only by economics, but also a lack of experience financing aircraft sales and marketing

4Duffy, Paul. Uncertain Road. Flight International. July 18-24, 2000: 136.
5Titova, Yekaterina. Magic Carpets. Moscow Profil in Russian. August 7, 2000.
6Aboulafia, Richard L. World Military and Civilian Aircraft Briefing. Teal Group
Corporation. January 2000.

their aircraft.7 Russian civil aircraft manufacturers have had less success than military
aircraft manufacturers in making up for a lack of domestic demand through export.
This is often due to the fact that Russian products do not meet western standards.
Currently, Russian aircraft represent less than one percent of the global market for
commercial airliners.
The status of Russia’s civil aviation sector does not bode well for the military
aviation infrastructure. If the civil aviation sector were healthy, it could potentially
offer a “safe haven” for under employed military companies. However, because the
civilian industrial base is struggling with its own transformation, any movement by
Sukhoi or Mikoyan into the civil sector will only cause additional problems for8
Ilyushin and Tupolev.
Russia’s Fighter Aircraft Infrastructure
“The complexity of the Russian aviation industry is sometimes hard for
Western observers to understand...”9
Traditionally, the Russian aerospace industrial base, inherited from the Soviet
Union, has been set up in a different manner than the European or American practice.
Unlike the western system, the Soviet/Russian Military Industrial Complex was highly
stratified and organized into distinct components: R&D, design and prototyping,
direct manufacture and some indirect sub-contracting factories supplying the main
factories. All these units were much larger than their Western counterparts. In
practice, this system could build large numbers of aircraft, but it proved to be
extremely wasteful and inefficient.10
By the 1970s, the Soviet Ministry of Defense realized that the
compartmentalization and stratification of the R&D- production process had serious
drawbacks, particularly the separation of experimental design bureaus and production
facilities. To obviate these shortcomings, the Soviet government created (in 1968)
Research-Production Associations (NPOs, Nauchno-proizvodstvennoe obedinenie)
which have grown increasingly influential over time. The NPO system is patterned on
Western corporations. NPOs usually consist of an experimental design bureau (OKB)
and one or more production facilities. NPOs (such as Sukhoi AVP and RSK MiG)
manage a weapon system’s development from the engineering development stage
through production and system modernization.

7Rubtsov Interviewed on Aviation Industry. Novyye Izvestiya. August 6, 1999.
8This bleak market has not stopped Sukhoi, for instance, from trying to enter the civilian
sector. It has recently established a civilian aircraft division and is expected to fly its first civil
airliner; the 20-passenger S-80 in the fall of 2000. Flight International, July 18-24, 2000:


9Walters, Brian. Russia: Radical Solutions Needed. Aerospace America. October 1998.
10Kennaway. Prof. A. The Military Industrial Complex. Conflict Studies Research Centre.
March 1998.

In addition to better linking R&D with manufacturing, the Soviets also hoped
this reorganization would help achieve a number of goals, including: (1) concentrating
lead factories with subsidiaries to emulate the western practice of widespread sub-
contracting; (2) improving NPOs access to financing and presumably to financial
management skills through Financial-Production Combines; (3) designating lead
priority areas which would supposedly receive preferential financing and privileges;
and (4) facilitating the design and manufacture of civilian products.11
One constant throughout this period of transition has been the role of TsAGI
(the Central Aero/Hydrodynamic Research Institute) which is located near Moscow.
Although its size, goals and methods have evolved, its role – to guide the entire12
Russian aircraft industry – has remained the same since 1918.
Reform Trials and Tribulations
The transformation of the Soviet/Russian aerospace industry has been underway
since the 1970s. The Soviet-era reforms were largely ineffective, but have received
greater attention in the 1990s. However, the process has been uneven and not13
altogether successful. In 1993, TsAGI and four other major aerospace research
centers (The Zhukovsky Flight Research Center (LII), the Central Institute of
Aviation Motors (TsIAM), the All Union Institute of Aviation Materials, and the
Central Aviation Systems Institute) failed to win support from Boris Yeltsin to
consolidate aeronautics research facilities, factories, and design bureaus on a regional
basis. This plan was to have integrated the Russian aerospace industry using a
“common business structure.”14 It was reported that this plan was doomed from the
start because it was under-funded and each organization was forced to try to survive15
in its own way.
Following the 1993 industry consolidation failure, TsAGI underwent a painful
downsizing and an especially difficult period in the late 1990s. From a high of about
14,000 personnel in the mid-1980s, TsAGI was forced to cut nearly three quarters of
its workforce to its current level of 5,500 employees. Facilities were also closed.

11Kennaway. Prof. A. The Military Industrial Complex. Conflict Studies Research Centre.
March 1998
12Russian Aerospace Industry Organization. Aviation Week & Space Technology. January 11,
13 Although the NPO concept was first authorized in 1968, by 1975 there were only 97 NPOs
in the entire Soviet Union. The biggest jump came in the late 1980s by which time over 500
NPOs had been formed. The NPO organization is still less common in the aircraft industry
than other fields, such as missiles or space. Russian Aerospace Industry Organization.
Aviation Week & Space Technology. January 11, 1999:311
14Covault, Craig. Yeltsin to Review Russian Aerospace Plea. Aviation Week & Space
Technology. May 24, 1993: 22.
15Covault, Craig. TSAGI’s comeback. Aviation Week & Space Technology. May 15,


Although TsAGI has nearly 60 wind tunnels and other test facilities, about half have
been mothballed.16
In 1997, the Russian government made another attempt at streamlining the
aircraft industry. At that time, the Russian military and civilian aviation industry
consisted of 335 enterprises, 133 of which were devoted to the development and
testing of new aircraft, systems and components, while 131 were engaged in serial
production. The Ministry of Economy planned a two phase consolidation. The first
phase was to integrate aircraft developers and producers into a few major
corporations supported by a second tier of subsystem producers. Multipurpose
associations would be created in the second phase which would include design17
bureaus, test facilities and production facilities. Also part of the plan, Presidential
Decree #880 of July 14, 1997, designated certain scientific organizations and
enterprises “Russian Federation State Scientific Centers ” that would receive support
from the government. All other enterprises and research organizations were forced18
to show a profit or convert to non-aviation products.
The progress and success of the 1997 plan is difficult to assess. Four of the five
state-sponsored Scientific Centers, for instance, appear to be beyond TsAGI’s
control, and the potential for significant redundancy and inefficiencies in the Russian
system still exist. Also, The various restructuring plans often seem to merely move
components of the industry around without any real reduction in their size or change
in their relationships. For instance, the 1997 presidential decree also converted
Sukhoi AVPK into a single, true joint stock company. Yet, the various factories under
the Sukhoi AVPK umbrella operate more or less independently. The respective plants
generate their own income from their own exports and development contracts.
Predictably, each wants to retain its own profits as well as control over its business
development. Sukhoi AVPK leadership, however, views centralized control as
necessary to pursue coordinated research, development, and sales; mandatory
attributes for prosperity in a market economy. RSK MiG has had similar difficulties
breaking down traditional stratification and compartmentalization of their design and
manufacturing processes.
Despite these challenges, some progress has been made in transforming Russia’s
military aviation structures. TsAGI has been placed under the Russian space agency
– now called the Russian Aviation and Space Agency (RASA) which has helped
prioritize Russian aeronautics research projects and resources and reinvigorated the
faltering industry consolidation. However, one constant in this process has been a
lack of capitalization. In 1998, it was reported that despite an upturn in the Russian

16Covault, Craig. TSAGI’s comeback. Aviation Week & Space Technology. May 15,


17Stark Numbers Drive Russian Plan to Slash Aviation Industry. Aerospace Daily. September

10. 1997.

18In addition to TsAGI, the other State Scientific Centers included Central Institute of
Aviation Engine Building imeni P.I. Baranov, All-Russian Scientific Research Institute of
Aviation Materials, State Scientific Research Institute of Aviation Systems, Flight Research
Institute imeni M.M. Gromov. (FRI). Russian Aviation Industry. Michael Nikoulichev. U.S.
Embassy - Moscow, January 1998.

aerospace industry, the lack of hard currency was still a powerful impediment to
reconstructing the aviation industry along western lines.”19
Figure 2. Theoretical Structure of the Russian
Fighter Aircraft Industrial Base, October 2000
TsAGI or Scientific-Research Institute
Oversees development of Aircraft Industry.
Performs/oversees advanced research, concept
Recently absorbed by Russian “NASA”
NPO, or Research-Production Association
Manages a weapon’s development from engineering
development through production and modernization
Patterned after Western corporations
e.g. Sukhoi AVP and RSK MiG
OKB or ExperimentalExperimental
Design BureauProduction Factory
Performs Engineering Produces
Development prototypes of
new systems
Zavod or Factory
Manufactures aircraft
or system
Russian Aviation Corporation MiG (RSK MiG)
Formerly known as the Military Industrial Complex "Moscow Aviation
Production Assn." (VPK MAPO), RSK MiG was created by Presidential decree #92
in January 1996 in order to bring together leading Russian civilian and military
aviation concerns. RSK MiG consists of several industrial enterprises, each with its
own network of affiliated branches and subsidiary establishments. VPK MAPO was
originally a controlling marketing superstructure until restructuring united it with MiG
MAPO. Its main products are MiG airplanes, Kamov helicopters, aircraft engines,
aircraft accessories and airborne equipment. In December 1999, Nikolai Nikitin,
formerly with OKB Sukhoi, was appointed the corporation's General Director and
General Designer.
Recently, there has been tension within RSK MiG over the future direction of
the company. Since economic conditions have led to a severe reduction of military
orders, Nikitin is redirecting the corporation towards the commercial aircraft sector.
It is estimated that 20% of its production capacity will produce military products and
the remainder will be slated for civilian goods.20 Nikitin has focused most of the
company's resources on the development of the Tu-334 passenger aircraft at the

19Walters, Brian. Russia: Radical Solutions Needed. Aerospace America. October 1998.
20Aircraft Builders Throw Dead Weight Down. Segodnya. December 9, 1999.

expense of military programs. This prompted the resignation in December 1999 of
many of its leading military aircraft designers, including the chief designers and their
deputies for the MiG-29 and MiG-31 programs.
The December 1999 Presidential decree which gave the corporation its current
name also restructured the corporation. In the planned restructuring, the Kamov
Company will be withdrawn from the corporation and set up as the Kamov
Helicopters Association. The Ryzan Instrument Plant will also be withdrawn and
used as a base for creating the Russian Instrument Corporation. The engine
companies within RSK MiG, Klimov Scientific Production Association, Soyuz
Machine Building Plant in Tushino, and the Chernyshov Machine Building Enterprise,21
will become an integrated company. RSK MiG is exempt from privatization by the
July 12, 1996 Decree of the Government #802.
Figure 3. Approximate Organization of Mikoyan
Kamov DesignBureauMiG ANPK MikoyanDesign BureauKlimov DesignBureauTushino Machine-buildingDesign Bureau “SoyuzOKB “ElektroavtomatikaAvionics systems
Helicopterdesign andDesigns new aircraft &upgradesEnginesEngines
manufactureFull memberMAPO MiGAviatest
MiG ANPKLukhovitsy Aviation PlantChernishov Machine-building EnterpriseAirborne and grounddevicesSt. PetersburgKrasny Octybar
EnginesMachine Building
Voronin ProductionCenterInstrument-MakingCo. PermEnterpriseComponentsKalyazin Production
Main production facilityfor advanced MiG aircraftAvionics systems PlantMiG production faciilty
State RyazanInstrument PlantPribor, Kursk
Airborne & groundtest equipmentAirborne computersystemsLukhovitsy Machine
RadarBuilding PlantProduction facility for
MiG aircraft
The following enterprises are major members of RSK MiG:
!A.I. Mikoyan Aviation Scientific Production Complex (ANPK "MiG"),
Moscow Originally established December 8, 1939 as the Pilot Design
Department of the Aviation Plant #1 and headed by A.I. Mikoyan and M.I.
Gurevich. It was responsible for the design and development of MiG fighters.
It was later renamed "Experimental Design Bureau named after A.I. Mikoyan"
otherwise know as Mikoyan Design Bureau or Mikoyan OKB. In 1995,
Mikoyan OKB was merged with two production facilities to form Moscow
Aviation Production Assn. "MiG" (MAPO-MiG). The company continues to
specialize in the design of fighter aircraft, but has also broadened its focus to
include the design of jet trainer aircraft and civilian aircraft. The Mikoyan
Design Bureau is at the center of RSK MiG.

21Jet Maker MAPO Military Industrial Complex Renamed. Interfax News Agency Weekly
Business Report. December 28, 1999.

!Lukhovitsy Machine Building Plant (LMZ), Lukhovitsy. The plant was
originally founded in 1953 as a subsidiary of Moscow Machine Building Plant
"Znamya Truda" and served as its test-flight base. It is currently an aviation
complex for MiG products with facilities for manufacturing their parts and
units, and assembly. It also conducts ground and in flight testing of the MiG-

29, the light civil aircraft Il-103, I-11 and other middle sized aircraft.

!P.A. Voronin Production Center, Moscow. The lead serial manufacturing
plant for MiG aircraft in Moscow. The Center also develops and manufactures
prototypes and aircraft upgrades.
!Kalyazin Production Plant, Tver. Manufacturing facility for MiG aircraft.
!Kamov Company, Lubersy. The Kamov Company, established in 1948,
develops and produces helicopters of various types. The company consists of
a design bureau, experimental production facilities, flight test center, and
auxiliary services. Kamov helicopters are produced at Ukhtomsk factory
(Strela) in Orenburg, Kumertau Aviation Complex (KumAPO), and Progress
Complex. The Kamov Company is a joint-stock company.
!Klimov Scientific Production Association, St. Petersburg. The enterprise
was established in 1944 as a design bureau for aircraft engines, headed by
Chief Designer Vladimir Yakovlevich klimov. The Klimov Plant, together with
its own experimental prototype plant, the Klimov Machine-Building Plant,
form the Klimov Scientific Production Association. The Klimov enterprise
continues to concentrate on development and production of aircraft and
helicopter engines, including engines for the MiG-29 fighter and Il-114 civil
transport. Klimov engines are produced at the Krasnyy Oktyabr Plant. The
Klimov Plant is exempt from privatization by the July 12, 1996 Decree of the
Government #802.
!Soyuz Machine Building Plant, Tushino. Consists of a design bureau and
production facilities for aircraft engines. The company is exempt from
privatization by the July 12, 1996 Decree of the Government #802.
!V.V. Chernyshov Machine Building Enterprise, Moscow. Producer of
aircraft engines.
!State Ryazan Instrument Plant, Ryazan. Originally established in 1935, it
manufactures airborne and ground test equipment as well as fighter radars.
!Electoavtomatika Scientific Production Association, St Petersburg. Design
Bureau and manufacturing facility for avionics systems. The association is
exempt from privatization by the July 12, 1996 Decree of the Government
!Pribor Association, Kursk. Currently a joint-stock company, it was originally
founded in 1959. The company develops and produces airborne computer

!Perm Instument Making Company, Perm. A joint-stock company,
originally founded in 1956, which develops avionics systems
!Aviatest Research and Engineering Enterprise, Rostov-on-Don. Develops
and produces software and hardware for airborne and ground devices.
!Krasny Octybar Maching Building Enterprise, St. Petersburg. Currently
a joint-stock company, it was originally founded in 1891. It produces engines
designed by the Klimov Design Bureau, and aircraft components.
Sukhoi Military Industrial Group AVPK
(AVPK Sukhoi)
Presidential Decree #1269 established AVPK Sukhoi on August 26, 1996 in
order to unite the developers and manufactures of Sukhoi aircraft after the General
Designer at Sukhoi design bureau, Mikhail Simonov, objected to his enterprise joining
VPK MAPO. The main products of the Sukhoi group are Sukhoi fighter jets and
their components, and Beriev hydroplanes.
However, sources indicate that by 1999, AVPK Sukhoi had not yet become fully
integrated and remained an artificial formation. As earlier noted, the delay appears
to be caused by internal power struggles between directors of the leading
manufacturing plants and leadership of the Sukhoi Design Bureau. In January 2000
the Russian government confirmed its December 1997 decree to transform AVPK
Sukhoi into a joint-stock company.
Even though Sukhoi fighters are favored by the Russian military, procurement
orders have decreased drastically due to economic conditions. In 1999 only 2% of22
Sukhoi’s revenues were generated by Russian military orders. In order to remain
profitable, Simonov reports the company has been forced to look actively for foreign
contracts. The company is also trying to expand into the commercial aviation market
by building a small civil jet liner and by making internal changes to its organization.

22Sukhoi Design Bureau Revenues Shift to Foreign Sales. Aerospace Daily. June 23, 2000.
Vol. 194, No. 59; Pg. 471.

Figure 4. Approximate Organization of Sukhoi
Sukhoi AVP
SukhoiBerievAviation Company
Design Bureau
Beriev DesignBureauBeriev TAVIA(Taganrog)
Komsomolsk-on-AmurNovosibirskAircraftIrkutsk AviationEnterprise(Aviation Plant#86)
AircraftProduction Assn(NAPO or(IAPO) (IAIA)Produces Su-Ulan-UdeDubna Machine
Production Assn(KnAAPO)NAPA)27, Su-30,AircarftBuilding Plant
GagarinAviation PlantSeriesproduction ofmodsCivilianPlant (OJSC“U-UAZ”)Produces missilesystems designed by
Sukhoi FightersSukhoi aircraftPreviouslyproducts15,000HelicopterplantRaduza Designbureau?
produced Su-24Civilian AircarftemployeesSukhoi acrobatic
The major enterprises within the group are summarized below:
!Sukhoi Design Bureau, Moscow. The Sukhoi Design Bureau was originally
founded in 1939 by Pavel Osipovich Sukhoi and was responsible for the design
and development of Sukhoi fighter aircraft. The company is at the heart of
AVPK Sukhoi and continues to design and develop combat aircraft as well as
commercial and general aviation aircraft.
!Beriev Aviation Company, Taganrog. The company was founded in October
1934 by G.M. Beriev and was originally called the Beriev design bureau
(OKB) and specialized in seaplane development. In 1990 it was renamed the
Taganrog Aviation Scientific-Technical Complex (TANTK). In 1998 it
adopted the name Beriev Aviation Company for international promotion,
retaining the TANTK name in Russia. Its products include experimental
prototypes of amphibious aircraft and wing-in-ground-effect vehicles. It also
undertakes design and development of unconventional aircraft in response to
requests for proposals from other companies. Today the company includes an
experimental design bureau, experimental production facilities, a flight test
complex, economic, financial and logistic support services, and test bases and
proving grounds.
!Novisibirsk Aircraft Production Association (NAPO or NAPA),
Novisibirsk. NAPO, one of the three main manufacturing enterprises in AVPK
Sukhoi, was established in 1936 as a production plant and originally worked
on a variety of aircraft. Since becoming a part of AVPK Sukhoi, it
manufactures the Su-24, Su-34, and AN-38. The Association is exempt from
privatization by the July 12, 1996 Decree of the Government #802.
!Komsomolsk-on-Amur Aircraft Manufacturing Association (KnAAPO),
Komsomolsk-on-Amur. Established in 1934 as a production plant and
originally known as GAZ 416, it is currently one of the three main production
centers for Sukhoi aircraft. It also produces the amphibian flying boat Be-103.

The association is exempt from privatization by the July 12, 1996 Decree of
the Government #802.
!Irkutsk Aviation Industrial Association (IAPO), Irkutsk. IAPO, one of the
three main manufacturing enterprises in AVPK Sukhoi, is currently a joint-
stock company originally founded in 1932 as a production plant. It produces
the Be-200, Su-27, Su-30, and their modifications. It is also a partner in the
CIS-Swiss joint venture known as Beta Air.
!Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant (UUAP), Ulan-Ude. The Ulan-Ude Plant was
founded in 1939 and is a component of the Ulan-Ude Aviation Industrial
Association. Its current products include modernization of the Mil Mi-8/Mi-17
series of helicopters, Sukhoi Su-25 combat trainer, and Su-39 attack aircraft.
!Dubna Machine Building Plant, Dubna. Founded in 1939. Since 1993 it
has produced the Su-29 two-seat aerobatic aircraft and light aircraft. It also
produces missile systems.
Parallels with U.S. Defense Industry
A review of the Russian military aviation industry suggests that it and the U.S.
military aviation industry share similar pressures and experiences. These parallels
include increased pressure to secure foreign customers and continuing industry
As the domestic demand for Russian military aircraft has declined, Sukhoi and
MiG have increasingly depended on exports to keep production lines open,
supplement funding for other programs, and keep workers employed. Both
companies have been successful in the 1990s, most notably with the sale of 48 Su-27s
to China, 40 Su-30Ms and 70 MiG-29s to India, 16 MiG-29s to Malaysia, and 16
MiG-29s to Peru.
But export is not the only method of securing hard currency. TsAGI is
marketing a wide range of services offered at its facilities. These include the design
of aircraft control systems, fabrication of wind tunnel models, wind tunnel tests,
design and testing of propellers, airframe strength testing, software development, and
flight simulator experiments. TsAGI continues to conduct research in the following
areas: aerodynamics of all types of aircraft at varying speeds, airframe strength, flight
dynamics, hydrodynamics, aeroacoustics, and prototype development. However,
TsAGI still continues to provide scientific support to projects carried out in the design23
bureaus of various domestic companies.
TsAGI has been successful in attracting non-Russian business. Boeing is
working with TsAGI scientists in areas such as aerodynamics of wings, computer
software, acoustical analysis, materials analysis, and vortex flows behind aircraft.

23 [].

Boeing parts have also been tested in TsAGI wind tunnels24. Airbus is working with
TsAGI to perform structural analysis for the A3XX high-capacity transport design.
TsAGI is also scheduled to conduct supersonic transport research with Japan’s
National Aerospace Laboratory. Training programs have been established to teach
Chinese and South Korean engineers more about aeronautics research and
development. China has also sponsored aeronautics work at TsAGI. French
government and industry, as well as Deutsche Aerospace in Germany and U.K’s25
defense research agency also have ties to TsAGI facilities. Non-Russian research
contracts now make up 32% of TsAGI’s work, and only 10% comes from Russian
aeronautics companies. The rest is tasked by the Russian Ministry of Science and
Technology through the Russian Aviation and Space Agency. Of this, about 30% is
for basic aeronautics research, while 28% is for civil aviation. The rest is for Russian
military research.26
Another way Sukhoi and MiG have attempted to keep production lines open is
to expand into civilian aircraft production. As a result of a government decree, MiG
won the right to head the Tu-334 medium-haul airliner project which had stalled
earlier due to financial constraints.27 MiG will also produce the light aircraft Il-103.28
Sukhoi has several civilian projects under development including the S-80 short take-
off and landing transport, S-21 supersonic business jet, and KR-860 super large
passenger plane.29 In order to make their aircraft affordable to a financially struggling
domestic market both plan to work out leasing schemes.
The Russian Federal Aviation Service (FAS) estimated that Russia needed to
acquire 652 aircraft between 1997 and 2001 to replace an aging commercial fleet.30
Sukhoi and MiG will face stiff competition from domestic civil aviation production
companies (Tupolev and Ilyushin) as well as international companies for the civilian
market. The ability of Russian fighter aircraft companies to compete with commercial
companies for market share is unclear. While Russian aircraft may be cheaper to
produce, western aircraft generally have lower operating costs and better maintenance
and repair services.31 On the other hand, Russian airlines face strong political and
industrial pressure to support the domestic aviation industry. The government is also
under pressure to protect the industry against foreign competitors.

24Lukashina, Regina. Bulgak Speaks on Abilities of Counties’ Aircraft-Builders. Moscow RIA.
June 22, 1997.
25Covault, Craig. Yeltsin to Review Russian Aerospace Plea. Aviation Week & Space
Technology. May 24, 1993: 22.
26Covault, Craig. TSAGI’s comeback. Aviation Week & Space Technology. May 15,


27Pronina, Lyuba. MiG Producer Sets Civilian Project. The Russia Journal. November 15,


28Designers Resign En Masse from MAPO (MiG). AeroWorldNet. December 6, 1999.
29Karnozov, Vovick. Sukhoi In For Changes. AeroWorldNet. June 7, 1999.
30Nikoulichev, Michael. Russian Aviation Industry. January 1998. [].
31Titova, Yekaterina. Magic Carpets. Moscow Profil in Russian. August 7, 2000.

Russia’s federal government and military leadership are aware of the financial
problems facing the military-industrial complex. In 1996 a government-military policy
was developed in an attempt to reform and preserve the military-industrial complex.
In regards to the aviation industry the policy had two key elements. First, the Russian
Air Force apparently decided to forgo near-term aircraft and weapons acquisition in
order to channel funding to aircraft and weapon-development projects to keep
advanced-technology capabilities alive. The second element was to continue
aggressively marketing advanced aircraft and aviation-production capabilities abroad
and to use export profits to support advanced aircraft-development projects and
production capabilities.32
Grim market realities in Russian military aviation cause many analysts to suggest
that the Russian military industry has yet to complete its consolidation. Mikhail
Pogosyan, General Director of Sukoi AVPK, has said consolidation is necessary to
ensure survival and prosperity for the Russian aircraft industry in today’s economic
environment. This consolidation, in Pogosyan’s view, goes beyond just a Sukhoi-MiG
merger and extends into other design bureaus such as Tupelov and Ilyushin and other
components of the aircraft industry.33
Various reports indicate that the Russian government is considering merging
AVPK Sukhoi and RSK MiG as part of a major overhaul of the country's defense
industry.34 There is debate over which company would benefit the most from such a
merger. Some argue that if continued consolidation does occur, it appears most likely
that Sukhoi will be the surviving entity. The Su-27 line has enjoyed more domestic
success than the MiG-29 variants and appears poised to continue this trend. The latest
Russian military aviation plan, designated the Su-34 and Su-35/-37 as the most
important Russian fighters for the next decade.35 Furthermore, exports of Sukhoi
fighter/attack aircraft are increasing in both absolute terms, and relative to MiG
exports.36 However, others argue that MiG would benefit more since it has
traditionally had stronger ties to the federal government and appears to be stronger
Several events in the 1990s have combined to make RSK MiG appear the
weaker sibling. The Russian military has not procured a MiG since the early 1990s,

32Johnson, Major David R.. Strategy for Survival. [].
33 Moscow Ekspert, 31 Jan00, Moscow Kommerstnt, 28 Jan 99.
34MiG and Sukhoi Merger Heralds Russian Reshuffle. Jane’s Defence Weekly. February 2,


Russians Consider Industry Restructure. Flight International. January 27, 1999.
Impending Changes in the Defense-Industrial Complex. Moscow Nezavisimoye Voyennoye
Obrozreniye. September 22, 2000.
35Abulafia, Richard. Mikoyan MiG-29 Fulcrum. World Military and Civil Aircraft Briefing.
Teal Group Inc. January 2000.
36Sukhoi’s latest success was a deal with India in late 2000 to license manufacture 140 Su-


and does not appear likely to do so soon.37 Also, MiG’s export success in the early
1990s has tailed off. Finally, internal conflicts and defections of key personnel have
weakened the organization. In late November 1999 a dozen leading officials including
the chief designers and their deputies for the MiG-29 and MiG-31 programs resigned.
These officials represented the leadership of RSK MiG’s MiG-29 program. Shortly
thereafter, most signed on with a new firm, Russian Avionics, headed by Nikitin's
predecessor, Mikail Korzhuev, that had its own MiG-29 upgrade program. In 1998
the Russian Air Force signed a lucrative contract with Russian Avionics to upgrade
their MiG-29, relegating VPK MAPO to a subcontractor role.38
If MiG isn’t absorbed by Sukhoi in future consolidation, another possibility is39
that Sukhoi and MiG will team up to promote common projects abroad. In the past,
the Russian Air Force has also indicated it would like Sukhoi and MiG to co-operate
on developing future combat aircraft programs since it would be able to financially
support only one or two such programs at a low level.40 Both Nikitin and Pogosyan
have argued that faster progress could be made in developing a fifth generation fighter
if other countries, such as China and India, were drawn into the project.41 AVPK
Sukhoi spokesman, Yuri Chervakov, noted “We just have to publicly acknowledge
that it is more feasible to team up with our strategic partners, just as the United States42
lures other Western countries into its Joint Strike Fighter project.”
Mr. Chervakov’s comment regarding the Joint Strike Fighter was not a random
association. Like the U.S. experience with the JSF, Russia’s industry consolidation,
is coming to a head due to the impending award of a large combat aircraft contract.
Mikoyan and Sukhoi are competing for the PAK FA (Perspektivnyi Aviotsionnyi
Kompleks Frontovoi Aviatsi), Russia’s next generation combat aircraft. It has often
been suggested that the loser of this contract may not be able to sustain a combat
aircraft business. The PAK FA is the most important item in Russia’s “future years
defense plan.” The potential market is estimated at approximately 1,000 aircraft, 420
of which would be purchased by Russia. The decision on which company will be
awarded this contract has been postponed once, and it is unclear when it will
ultimately be made, as officials are considering “all military, technological and
financial aspects of the matter.”

37Abulafia, Richard. Mikoyan MiG-29 Fulcrum. World Military and Civil Aircraft Briefing.
Teal Group Inc. January 2000.
38 Mosow Times, 11 Dec 99
39Sukhoi Courts MAPO on Export Efforts. Flight International. May 6, 1998.
Butowski, Piotr. Russia’s Aircraft Rivals Set To Become Partners. Jane’s Defence Weekly.
February 25, 1998.
40Sukhoi and Mikoyan Told to Co-ordinate Fifth Generation Effort. Flight International.
April, 22, 1998.
41Saradzhyan, Simon. Russia Gears Up for $100 Million Fighter Program. Defense News.
October 9, 2000.
42 Ibid.