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Zubkov to demonstrate SSJ-100 possibilities to Bahrain monarch

January 19, 2012, 4:11 UTC+3

Russia has something to show to the Middle Eastern partners

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MANAMA (Bahrain), January 19 (Itar-Tass) — Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov on Thursday will demonstrate to King of Bahrain Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa the possibilities of the Sukhoi Superjet-100 (SSJ-100) and Su-27 planes.

On Wednesday, he invited the king to the exhibition to see the production of Russia’s aircraft industry. The monarch gladly accepted the invitation. During the first show he with great pleasure communicated with the Russian pilot and was “trying on” the cockpit of the Su-27 plane. On Thursday, he, along with the Russian first deputy prime minister will arrive at the Sakhir airbase near the city of Manama for the opening of the second international air show.

Russia has something to show to the Middle Eastern partners. If in 2010, Russia presented only a sample of military equipment – the Su-27 fighter, then now, in addition to fighters, the company Sukhoi Civil Aircraft presents its short-haul airliner Sukhoi Superjet-100.

“Last November, there was an air show in Dubai where we hold negotiations with representatives of a number of airlines that have shown considerable interest in our aircraft,” Senior Vice President of Sukhoi Igor Syrtsov told Itar-Tass. “Naturally, most airlines are willing to look at this plane, so we decided to use the opportunities provided by the air show in Bahrain.” According to him, logistics offers excellent opportunities for advancement, because unlike other air shows, the plane here is not in a separate parking area, but right next to the chalet where we can negotiate without delay.

At present five Superjets have joined the Aeroflot fleet, and one - the very first - flies for the Armavia airline. It is this aircraft that will be shown to the King of Bahrain. “This plane is the first series one, it has flown 1,300 hours, performed more than 560 flights and has shown fairly good exploitation results,” Syrtsov explained the reasons for the choice. It will be also possible to communicate with pilots who fly on the first Superjet.

The main share of the Middle East airlines’ traffic is concentrated in the Persian Gulf region. According to forecasts of the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), in the medium term the population’s mobility will increase, resulting in the growth in demand for aircraft of different sizes, including planes with 100-120 seats. Therefore, by 2035 projected sales of aircraft of the SSJ and MS-21 family in the Middle East will reach some 180 aircraft.

As for military equipment, Russia will show the Su-27 fighters. This time four of them have arrived in Bahrain. The renowned aerobatic team “Russian Knights” has been given the honourable right to end the program of the opening day by their demonstration flight.

The Sukhoi Superjet-100 is a modern, fly-by-wire regional jet in the 75- to 95-seat category. With development starting in 2000, the plane was designed by the civil aircraft division of the Russian aerospace company Sukhoi in co-operation with Western partners. Its maiden flight was conducted on 19 May 2008 and the plane received its Interstate Aviation Committee certification in January 2011 with European Aviation Safety Agency certification expected in mid-2011. On 21 April 2011, the Superjet 100 performed its first commercial passenger flight, on the Armavia route from Yerevan to Moscow.

Designed to compete internationally with its Embraer and Bombardier counterparts, the Superjet 100 aims for substantially lower operating costs at the price of $23–$25 million, securing over 300 orders by early 2011.

The final assembly of the plane is done by Komsomolsk-on-Amur Aircraft Production Association, its SaM-146 engines are designed and produced by the French-Russian PowerJet joint-venture and the plane is marketed internationally by SuperJet International.

Development of the Sukhoi Superjet 100 began in 2000.

On 28 January 2007, the first SSJ was transported by an Antonov 124 from Komsomolsk-on-Amur to the city of Zhukovsky near Moscow for ground tests at Zhukovsky Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute. A representative of Sukhoi Civil Aircraft announced on 13 November 2007, the completion of static tests necessary for conducting the first flight. The Superjet was unveiled at its official rollout at Komsomolsk-on-Amur Dzemgi Airport on 26 September 2007.

The first test flight took place on 19 May 2008 also at the Dzemgi airport at the Komsomolsk-on-Amur Aircraft Production Association. The first Superjet spent 1 hour, 5 minutes in the air, and reached an altitude of 1,200 meters.

The deliveries were first scheduled to begin in late 2008, and Sukhoi predicted that 163 units of all variations of the Superjet-100 would be delivered by the end of 2016. On 7 July 2008, Sukhoi officially confirmed that the original schedule was too optimistic, and first deliveries would begin in December 2009.

At the Paris Air Show 2009, Malev Hungarian Airlines said that it would purchase 30 Superjets worth $1 billion, providing a welcome boost to sales as it made its international debut at the 2009 Paris Air Show.

As of June 2009, 13 aircraft were under construction with the first four scheduled to be handed over to clients by the end of 2010. After 2012, the company will build 70 Superjets per year. Armenian Armavia would receive the first two aircraft, followed by Aeroflot, which has ordered a total of 30 aircraft with an option for 15 more. Other customers include Russia’s Avialeasing company, Swiss Ama Asset Management Advisor and Indonesian Kartika Airlines.

On 21 December 2010, Superjet-100 passed emergency evacuation and interrupted takeoff tests at Ramenskoye Airport near Zhukovsky, near Moscow, under the supervision of the Interstate Aviation Committee Aviation Register (AR IAC) and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).

On 3 February 2011, the Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC IR) granted a Type Certificate for Sukhoi Superjet-100. EASA Certificate is expected to follow later in 2011. The Type Certificate confirms compliance of the SSJ100 with the airworthiness regulations and it authorizes the commercial operation of the airliner.

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