Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Thanks Dylan for the news

MOSCOW. Jan 29 (Interfax-AVN) - The Zaporizhzhya-based Motor Sich engine company has started supplies of a supercharged version of AI-222-25F engine to China, company's chairman Vyacheslav Boguslayev told Interfax-AVN.

"About 20 such engines have been delivered to the Chinese clients so far. The first L-15 combat training aircraft are already flying," he said, noting that the AI-222-25F unsupercharged engine, with the thrust of 2,500 kg, propels Russian Yak-130 combat training, mass production of which have started at plants in Nizhny Novgforod and Irkutsk.

"Whereas in the Yak-130 project it is the Moscow Salyut production enterprise that plays the part of the contractor and Motor Sich is the subcontractor, it is vice versa as far as the contract with China is concerned," he added.

The twin-seated L-15 combat trainer is designed to provide advanced training of J-10, J-11, Su-27 and Su-30 pilots, and was developed in a joint efforts of Hongdu Aviation Industry Group, which is a division of Chinese AVIC II, and Russia's Sukhoi design bureau.

Specialists forecast that the sales of L-15 may reach 200 aircraft. The price of one such aircraft is about $15 million. L-15s are intended to be deployed at training airfields of the Chinese Air Force, as well as to be in service of maneuver units and flight schools where they will be used for training purposes.

Two supercharged AI-222-25F engines are expected to be used as the power plant for the L-15, developing 4,000 kg of thrust each. The engines were developed by the Zaporizhzhya-based Ivchenko-Progress design bureau and are mass produced by Motor Sich in cooperation with Salyut.