An attempt to build in Russia the first wide-body passenger aircraft since the Soviet era ended in failure.
The Il-96-400 airliner, for which 50 billion rubles were allocated from the budget, will not eventually go into mass production, Vedomosti reports, citing sources in the aviation industry and the United Aircraft Corporation.
The plane for 300-400 seats, which was promised to be built entirely in Russia and thereby ensure the “technological independence” of the country, turned out to be of no use to anyone.
“There is no order from airlines, and taking into account COVID-19 and the downtime of long-haul aircraft around the world, serial production of the Il-96-400M is not yet planned,” the office of the profile Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov said.
According to one of Vedomosti’s sources, only two aircraft will be assembled. They will go to the fleet of the special flight unit “Russia”, which carries out the transportation of top officials of the state, including the President of Russia.
The representative of “Rostec” said that the manufacturer “has an understanding” about potential government customers. “It should be borne in mind that this is not initially a mass aircraft, we are talking about a special aircraft, which will be produced by piece copies,” he stressed.
The Il-96-400M program was repeatedly shifted in terms of time, and the money originally allocated for the plane was redistributed in favor of other projects.
In May 2020, at a meeting with President Vladimir Putin, it was decided to allocate 7.3 billion rubles to the State Transport Leasing Company for the purchase of one Il-96-400M.
But by September the money had gone to other aircraft projects – Il-114-300, Mi-8, Mi-38 and Ansat helicopters.
In the 2021 budget, 88.2 billion rubles are allocated for the state program “Development of the aviation industry” – 23 times less than for the maintenance of the staff of officials in the state authorities (2 trillion rubles) and 64 times less than for the maintenance of the army and law enforcement agencies ( 5.6 trillion rubles).