China-Russia Commercial Aircraft International Co., Ltd (CRAIC), a joint venture of Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, Ltd. (COMAC) and Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), was established in Shanghai on May 22nd, 2017. The joint venture is mainly responsible for the operation of the new generation long-range widebody aircraft program jointly developed by China and Russia. Mr. Jin Zhuanglong, Chairman of COMAC, Mr. Zhang Yanzhong, Academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and Chairman of the Advisory Committee for the major projects of large aircraft of the State Council, Mr. He Dongfeng, President of COMAC, Mr. Yuri Slyusar, President of UAC, Mr. Evsikov Aleksei, Russian Consul General in Shanghai, and Mr. Vladislav Masolov, Vice President of Civil Aviation Business of UAC and President of Sukhoi Civil Aircraft, attended the foundation conference of the joint venture.
The Sino-Russian long-range widebody aircraft program is a major strategic cooperation program between companies of both countries in high-tech field under the background of further developing the comprehensive strategic partnership between China and Russia. With the witness of Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Putin, COMAC signed a joint venture contract with UAC on June 25th, 2016. After full consultation, the companies of both countries agreed to establish a joint venture in accordance with the principles of reciprocal cooperation, complementary advantages, mutual benefits and excellence pursuing, and develop program cooperation by adhering to the technology roadmap of joint development, international cooperation and international standards. At present, the joint venture has completed the industrial and commercial registration and obtained a business license. The joint venture is known as China-Russia Commercial Aircraft International Co., Ltd (CRAIC). The joint venture is based in Shanghai.
“The establishment of the joint venture symbolizes the important progress made in the China-Russia long-range widebody aircraft program. We will cooperate sincerely with UAC, unite as one, and strive to make the program a model of Sino-Russian cooperation. We will follow the latest international mainstream airworthiness standards, build more competitive long-range widebody aircraft, and strive to provide customers with better service and make new contributions to global aviation market.” said Mr. Jin Zhuanglong, Chairman of COMAC.
“I support the establishment of the joint venture for long-range widebody aircraft program. Its establishment indicates one of the most important and practical steps of the program, and is the testimony to China and Russia’s determination to engage in long-term cooperation and efforts to achieve program success. We will work with COMAC colleagues to develop the widebody aircraft and ensure its production, implementation, aftersales service, marketing and other commercial activities.” said Mr. Yuri Slyusar, President of UAC.
As the main manufacturer of the long-range widebody aircraft program, CRAIC is mainly engaged in the product research, technology development, manufacturing, marketing, sales, aftersales support, consulting, program management and other related business. In the specific implementation of the program, the joint venture will make full use of the superior resources of both parent companies to carry out the research and development of the widebody series. The joint venture will be organized in accordance with the modern corporate governance structure, and board of directors and board of supervisors will be set up. Its first chairman, Mr. Vladislav Masolov, is the Vice President of UAC and President of Sukhoi Civil Aircraft. Its first general manager, Mr. Guo Bozhi, is the Assistant President of COMAC and General Manager of Widebody Aircraft Program. The board of directors has eight directors, with four from each side.
CRAIC will carry out global bidding based on market-oriented and standardized principles, and provide priority to suppliers that are more experienced, can provide competitive product and willing to share the risk during development. More suppliers are welcomed and encouraged to consider local manufacturing, either through local investment or joint ventures.
At present, both sides have identified the development plan of the long-range widebody aircraft series, completed the preliminary definition of aircraft-level indicators, and clarified the range (12,000 km) and seat number (280) of the basic version. Recently, the program will enter into preliminary design phase, and consultation will be made with system and equipment suppliers. Final assembly will take place in Shanghai.
After the innovation and pioneering development of more than nine years, COMAC has explored a road of innovation and development with China civil aircraft industry characteristics, systematically built six major platforms for civil aircraft development, established and improved China civil aircraft technology innovation system and civil aircraft industry system, basically achieved the capacities for the whole industry chain, such as civil aircraft development, production and manufacturing, accumulated rich experience in major program engineering practice, gained the core competences of developing trunk liners, and made great achievements in current civil aircraft product development, talent team construction as well as system and mechanism innovation. Two ARJ21 aircraft have been delivered and put into route operation with good market operation and sales status at present, and have accumulatively carried more than 10,000 passengers. C919 aircraft has completed the first flight and comprehensively enters into the phases of development flight test and verification flight test. Sino-Russian long-range widebody aircraft is jointly developed in steady progress, and the joint venture has been established. Thus China civil aircraft industry is advancing rapidly towards marketization, industrialization and internationalization.
UAC was established in 2006, which integrates Russia’s major aviation manufacturing assets. At present, the Russian government holds 85% of the shares of UAC. UAC comprises Russia’s leading aeronautical design bureaus and aircraft manufacturing plants, including PJSC Aviation Holding Company Sukhoi, Irkut Corporation, JSC UAC – Transport Aircraft (UAC-TA), OJSC Ilyushin Aviation Complex (IL), PJSC Tupolev, OJSC Ilyushin Finance Co., CJSC Aviastar-SP, PJSC Voronezh Aircraft Joint-Stock Company (VASO), PJSC Russian Aircraft Corporation MiG (RAC MiG), PJSC Myasishchev Design Bureau (MDB), PJSC Gromov Flight Research Institute and JSC Beriev Aircraft Company. UAC is able to complete all aspects of work throughout the cycle from aircraft R&D to aftersales service. The current president of UAC is Yuri Slyusar.
Mr. Shi Jianzhong, Vice President of COMAC, presided over the conference. COMAC leaders Mr. Tian Min, Mr. Wu Guanghui and Mr. Zhao Yuerang, officers of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, Ministry of Commerce, State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council, Civil Aviation Administration of China and relevant departments of Shanghai Municipal Government, representatives of relevant partners and airlines, officers of UAC, relevant departments of COMAC headquarters and its subsidiary units, and representatives of widebody program IPT team attended the conference.