Special Correspondent

HYDERABAD: Russian aircraft manufacturing company United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) has bagged orders from airlines in India for supply of 18 of its latest An-148 series aircraft.

The company had signed memoranda of understanding with three domestic airlines for supply of eight passenger aircraft and 10 cargo planes, with the total deal size at about $400 million.

UAC is in the process of consolidating deals for 11 more aircraft which the companies had left as an option and it was already in talks pertaining to validation processes with the Directorate General of Civil Aviation.

UAC Director Yuri Grudinin told reporters here on Friday that the company would commence delivery of passenger aircraft from October 2011, while delivery of cargo planes would commence from the first quarter of 2012 as certain certifications would be received by that time. The present capacity of UAC's manufacturing plants in Russia and Ukraine was nine aircraft and the company had initiated measures to ramp it up to 18 to 20 aircraft a year. UAC was firming up plans to set up a training and maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility in India to service the An-148 aircraft in joint venture with domestic companies. The company had plans to set up the facility ahead of the delivery of the aircraft and it had commenced negotiations with MROs from five States.

He, however, refused to reply when asked about the pricing of the aircraft claiming UAC offered ‘very competitive prices'. But, the exact pricing could not be disclosed because of the protocols covering the negotiations.