Russian Government Plans Aeronautic Monopoly To Challenge Western Groups

By Agence France-Presse The Russian government has decided to gather the country's principal civilian and military aircraft manufacturers in a single entity that could pose a challenge to Western competitors, the government press agency reported Monday. It said Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov had endorsed on Friday the creation of the National United Aeronautic Company (ENAK) that would bring together the manufacturers Tupolev, Ilyushin, Sukhoi, Irkut and Yakolev along with the MiG, which produces combat aircraft. The group would aim to control 10 percent of the world market, according to the newspaper Kommersant. The new consortium, in which the state's share could amount to 51 percent, could be in place by this July. Kommersant said that the companies "will probably have to give up their globally recognized names, which they would maintain only until the completion of projects under way". The Russian aircraft construction industry has suffered since the fall of Communism. The sector turned out 250 to 300 civilian planes a year in the late 1980s but delivered fewer than 10 aircraft last year.

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