The PJSC United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) is a Russian aerospace and defense corporation. With a majority stake belonging to the Russian Government, it consolidates Russian private and state-owned aircraft manufacturing companies and assets engaged in the manufacture, design and sale of military, civilian, transport, and unmanned aircraft. Its headquarters are in Krasnoselsky District, Central Administrative Okrug, Moscow.
After the Soviet Union’s collapse in 1991, the aerospace industry of Russia was in catastrophic turmoil. An excessive amount of imports and highly protective tariffs devastated the manufacturing industry, both the aerospace and the automotive industry. The military aircraft industry was able to benefit from improving export possibilities by profiting from a large storage of components and parts from Soviet times, while the civilian aircraft industry suffered losses and production of civilian aircraft diminished. For example, in 1990, Russia produced 715 aircraft. 8 years later, that number decreased by 661 to only 56 aircraft. In 2000, only 4 civilian aircraft were produced. In order to solve this, the president of Russia at that time, Boris Yeltsin, decided that consolidation was necessary, and created the VPK-MAPO (Military Industrial Complex – Moscow Aircraft Production Association), which includes companies such as Mikoyan. The consolidation wasn’t successful and MAPO later merged with Sukhoi.
The UAC was created in February 20, 2006 by Russian President Vladimir Putin in Presidential Decree No. 140 by merging shares from Ilyushin, Irkut, Mikoyan, Sukhoi, Tupolev, and Yakovlev as a new joint-stock company named the OJSC United Aircraft Corporation in order to optimize production and minimize losses. The UAC stated the reason why the corporation was created was to protect and develop the scientific and industrial potential of the Russian aircraft industry, the security and defense of the state, and the concentration of intellectual, industrial, and financial resources to implement long-term aviation programs. The United Aircraft Corporation started out producing the Tupolev Tu-154 “Careless”, the Tupolev Tu-204, the Ilyushin Il-86 “Camber”, the Ilyushin Il-96, the Ilyushin Il-114, and all of Mikoyan, Sukhoi, Yakovlev, Tupolev, and Ilyushin military aircraft; all created prior to the corporation’s creation.
In February 2007, the UAC presented its first aircraft and the first military aircraft designed and exported under the UAC brand, the Mikoyan MiG-35, designated by NATO as “Fulcrum-F” and a Generation 4++ jet fighter by Mikoyan. The MiG-35 was officially presented during the Aero India 2007 air show in Bangalore, India and officially unveiled when the Russian Minister of Defense, Sergei Ivanov, visited the Lukhovitsky Machine Building Plant “MAPO-MIG”. The MiG-35 was a contender for its fourth generation counterparts in the Indian MRCA competition but was taken out of the competition in April 2011. The MiG-35 would be adopted by the Russian Air Force and is planned to be introduced in 2018.
In May 2008, the UAC presented its third aircraft and the first airliner designed and exported under the UAC brand, the Sukhoi Superjet 100 (SSJ 100). The SSJ 100 is the fourth civilian aircraft and the first airliner to be made by Sukhoi. Before, Sukhoi and Boeing made a cooperation agreement and where Boeing consultants would help and advise Sukhoi on the airliner. The SSJ 100 was introduced in April 21, 2011, with Armavia. The Sukhoi Superjet 100 was later described as the most important and the most successful airliner program of the Russian aerospace industry, and is regarded by the Ministry of Industry and Trade as a top priority project. Sukhoi Holdings of the UAC signed a joint venture with Leonardo-Finmeccanica (now Leonardo S.p.A) to establish Superjet International in order to sell the SSJ 100 to potential customers.
In October 2009, the UAC signed a joint venture with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) of India named the Multirole Transport Aircraft Limited (MTAL) where the two companies would be cooperating on making aircraft for both of the Russian Armed Forces, the Indian Armed Forces, and friendly third-party countries. One of the projects being developed by the joint-venture is the Ilyushin Il-214 Multirole Transport Aircraft (MTA) which was intended to replace India’s Antonov An-32 transport fleet. The Il-214 would perform regular transport duties as well as deploying paratroopers. The aircraft is planned to be revealed in 2017 and planned to be introduced in 2018.
In 2009, UAC delivered 90 aircraft, including 17 passenger models. This figure includes 31 MiG-29 and two Su-34 fighter jets produced for the Russian Air Force. The company’s revenues for 2009 were expected to be 115 billion–120 billion rubles.
Many of the corporation’s assets are located in various regions in Russia, with joint-ventures with foreign partners in India and China.
In January 29, 2010, Sukhoi and the UAC revealed Russia’s first fifth generation jet fighter, the Sukhoi PAK FA (T-50). The PAK FA is a stealth, single-seat, twin-engine, multirole jet fighter designed for air supremacy and attack roles. The PAK FA would also be Russia’s first aircraft to use stealth technology. The PAK FA is designed to replace the Mikoyan MiG-29 and the Sukhoi Su-27 and is expected to be introduced to the Russian Air Force in 2019. Also, under the MTAL joint venture, Sukhoi and HAL would co-develop the Sukhoi/HAL FGFA, now known as the Perspective Multirole Fighter (PMF), a variant of the PAK FA, of which would be designed for the Indian Air Force. In August 11, 2017, the Russian Air Force has designated the Sukhoi PAK FA as the Sukhoi Su-57.
In June 25, 2016, the UAC and the Chinese aircraft corporation, Comac, signed a joint venture contract, China-Russia Aircraft International Co, Ltd. (CRAIC), based in Shanghai. According to the UAC, CRAIC is responsible for product and technology development, manufacturing, marketing, sales and customer service, consulting, program management and other related field. The two companies are now cooperating in creating a new generation long range wide body commercial aircraft and to take charge of its operation under the joint-venture. This aircraft, now named the CRAIC CR-929, formerly the C929, would compete with the Airbus A330neo and the Boeing 787; thus challenging the Airbus-Boeing duopoly.
In September 1, 2017, the UAC Board of Directors, and UAC’s subsidiaries, Sukhoi Civil Aircraft and the Irkut Corporation made an agreement to merge the civil industry Irkut Corporation and the Sukhoi Civil Aircraft into a Civil Aviation Division on the basis of Irkut Corporation. In accordance with the decisions taken, In turn, Sukhoi will become the financial basis of all civil aircraft produced by UAC. According to the UAC, corporate transformations are aimed to realize UAC’s strategic goal to increase the share of civil products in its portfolio to 45% by 2035 and to drive annual civil aircraft production to 100-120 aircraft per year, as well as to increase UAC’s economic effectiveness and lower costs by centralizing supporting processes and decreasing levels of management. The transformation will allow to concentrate resources to develop, manufacture and market Russian civil aircraft, it will also ensure consistency in these areas and simplify certification and licensing procedures.