Voronezh Aircraft Production Association (VASO) may sign a contract with Russian Ministry of Defense this spring on delivery of 15 An-148 aircraft, Kommersant reports with reference to a source close to the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC).
The regional authorities are lobbying the contract, which is crucial for the enterprise. They are asking to make VASO the exclusive supplier of the Ministry of Defense (MoD). This move will allow signing the contract without tender and with a fixed profit - up to 25% of the contract’s value. Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade promised VASO contracts on delivery of 59 An-148s and 6 Il-96s. However, the experts and enterprise’s partners are not sure if VASO would be able to perform the contracts.
"The future of this enterprise depends on a consolidated order and the corresponding contracts should be signed in 2013 (at least part of them)", — a source explained.
After a meeting with the governor of Voronezh Region, Alexey Gordeev, held in August 2012 Anatoly Serdukov instructed the Commander-in-Chief of the air forces, Viktor Bondarev, to consider the possibility of purchasing a batch of An-148 aircraft in the network of state defense order. According to the source close to UAC, at present MoD is satisfied with the price of the aircraft and it is even ready to pay more.
A source close to the region’s government said that the governor has addressed a letter to Vladimir Putin in January asking to “identify VASO by law as the exclusive MoD’s supplier of the aircraft” in order to accelerate the signing of contract. In addition, the exclusive supplier will earn a fixed profit provided that it will give documentary evidence that a part of the profit was allocated for production development in order to perform the contract effectively”.
However, the partners of VASO are vague about the enterprise’s capabilities. "VASO is manufacturing five aircraft per year and may be unable to launch serial production, — Ilyushin Finance & Co leasing company noted.— The previous UAC's plans have not been fulfilled – the enterprise should have reached an output of over 10 aircraft per year by 2013".