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Aspiration far beyond 100

Aircraft manufacturers of Khabarovsk Krai have much to expand production volumes

The Khabarovsk krai aviation industry, which generates the most high-tech part of the gross regional product, including the Sukhoi Superjet 100 liner, is at the point of choice. On the verge of changing technological structures, the country's leadership made a strategic decision to support the development of Komsomolsk-on-Amur, the engineering capital of the Far East. How effectively it will be possible to apply new tools to the aircraft industry, such as the preferential treatment of advanced development territories and the cluster approach, will be shown in the coming years.

Aspiration far beyond 100

In 2015, the 100th production copy of the regional airliner Sukhoi Superjet 100, the first civil aircraft designed in modern Russia, was assembled in the Khabarovsk Territory. The assembly of the most high-tech product of the Russian aircraft industry, created within the framework of broad international cooperation, is carried out in the workshops of the Sukhoi Civil Aircraft PJSC branch. Now the plant is capable of producing up to three cars a month. The SSJ-100 flies in dozens of countries, constantly expanding the geography of its presence, which is justly proud of the aircraft manufacturers of Komsomolsk-on-Amur. However, this is not all that the machine-building complex of the Khabarovsk Territory can offer the world market.

Due to the concentration of enterprises of the military-industrial complex in the region, the Khabarovsk Territory has historically been a leader in terms of the development of mechanical engineering among the constituent entities of the Russian Federation that are part of the Far Eastern Federal District. The region provides up to 80% of machine-building products in the Far East, 35% of the manufacturing industry of the Khabarovsk Territory is aircraft and shipbuilding. The aircraft industry is part of a huge industrial complex that has developed over decades. Along with the growth of the state defense order (only in 2011–2014 it almost doubled - 2,23 times in aircraft construction and 1,53 times in shipbuilding), enterprises of the Khabarovsk Territory are constantly increasing investments in technology and production.

The technical development of the Komsomolsk-on-Amur Aircraft Building Plant (KnAAZ), which is part of the Sukhoi holding, will receive RUB 2007 billion in 2020–27,8, including RUB 18,64 billion in 2017–2020. The enterprise is one of the key manufacturers of equipment for the Russian Ministry of Defense, the place where the fifth-generation T-50 fighter took off for the first time. Compared to fighters of previous generations, the T-50 has a number of unique features, combining the functions of a strike aircraft and a fighter. These aircraft, along with the upgraded fourth-generation aircraft systems, will determine the potential of the Russian Air Force over the coming decades. Technical re-equipment and the introduction of modern methods of organizing production have already made it possible to reduce the labor intensity of aircraft production at KnAAZ by 2,5–3 times, increasing labor productivity by at least half.

The branch of Sukhoi Civil Aircraft (SCA) has also carried out a large-scale development of the production base, investments in fixed assets amount to billions of rubles. To organize the production of SSJ-100 components, equipment of the world's leading manufacturers in the field of aircraft production was purchased, installed and put into operation. The strategic partner of the project is the Italian Alenia Aeronautica, the risk-sharing partner is the French Snecma, the consultant is Boeing.

Aircraft manufacturing enterprises account for up to 90% of investments in mechanical engineering of the Khabarovsk Territory. Aircraft and shipbuilding organizations have the highest innovative activity among other sectors of the region's industrial complex - about 62%. The main industrial potential of Komsomolsk-on-Amur is formed by KnAAZ, a branch of the SCA and the Amur shipyard (ASZ). The state defense order for them at the end of 2015 amounted to 33 billion rubles, the entire budget of Komsomolsk-on-Amur - about 6 billion rubles. With such a powerful financial support, aircraft construction is a potential driver of an innovative economy, which creates preconditions for the development of the fifth and sixth technological modes in the Khabarovsk Territory, characterized by high added value of industrial production.

Mechanical engineering in Russia as a whole is going through difficult times. The industry collapsed during the financial and economic crises, practically all large machine-building enterprises came under state control and are being modernized mainly through direct subsidies from the federal budget. There are practically no new successful private projects in the field of mechanical engineering in Russia. Strong pressure on the industry is exerted by technologically stronger neighbors from the Asia-Pacific region - Japan and South Korea.

At the same time, the world markets of shipbuilding and aircraft building are gradually moving to a new technological structure, and the shares of leading manufacturing companies are being redistributed. Over the long term, the shipbuilding market will continue to grow despite periodic cyclical downturns. The development of offshore oil and gas production, the formation of a global system of natural gas transportation is considered by experts as the main driver of growth in the market for large and medium-sized shipbuilding in the next 10-15 years. The world market of aircraft equipment and components has also not experienced a drop in demand over the past decades - the main driving force behind its development is the growth of passenger and cargo traffic, which, according to forecasts, will grow by 2025 and 2 times by 2,3, respectively. According to the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), the average annual growth rate of passenger air traffic in Russia and the CIS in the next 20 years is expected at 7%, the demand for new passenger aircraft from Russian airlines in the period up to 2032 will amount to 1,9-2 thousand. aircraft of various passenger capacity.

The main investment objectives for the development of mechanical engineering in the Khabarovsk Territory are to strengthen the cluster approach to the development of the industry and shift the focus to the launch of new specialized companies and small innovative projects. The existence of a defense order for the long term promotes the development of modern technologies and creates a demand for innovation. But building up the competitive advantages of Khabarovsk machine building is impossible without strengthening the "technological core", in which the full cycle of technology maintenance and the implementation of experimental developments should be concentrated. Integration and technological cooperation of all enterprises should inevitably become a form of development of aircraft and shipbuilding in the region.

KnAAZ is an enterprise with a complete production cycle, from casting and stamping to final assembly and flight tests, with the possibility of after-sales service of equipment. The SCAC branch in Komsomolsk-on-Amur only assembles the SSJ-100, therefore it is highly dependent on the supply of components and the activities of other enterprises in the production-distribution chain. In 2015, for example, in Komsomolsk-on-Amur, it was planned to produce 50 SSJ-100 airliners, but the actual production was only 17 cars. The enterprise in Komsomolsk-on-Amur was ready to fulfill its plans, but it was not possible to implement them. KnAAZ has no such problems. And in November 2015, the Sukhoi holding signed an unprecedented contract with China for the export of 24 Su-35 fighters. Only this will load KnAAZ with work for a dozen years ahead.

A SWOT analysis of the factors for the development of mechanical engineering in the Khabarovsk Territory shows that the strengths of the industry in the region are active participation in state programs (and hence constant funding through state corporations - USC and UAC), developed production potential and extensive experience in solving complex problems, the presence of promising developments for civil sector and experience in the implementation of design work, the proximity of potential markets for product consumption - Asian countries. It is also important to have specialized universities and research institutes, repair enterprises and competencies to enter the service markets, possession of competencies that are potentially convertible into technologies of other industries.

The weaknesses of mechanical engineering are also obvious: high dependence on government orders, narrow processing specialization of basic industries, logistics and transport difficulties in the supply of components, low level of cooperation between universities, research institutes and enterprises, and involvement in international networks of component suppliers and researchers. The excess of transport and energy tariffs in the Far East of the average Russian level also does not add to the competitiveness of the products of local enterprises in the domestic market.

The Government of the Khabarovsk Territory is confident that only a cluster approach can solve the problems of the development of high-tech mechanical engineering. In 2015, the regional authorities adopted a program to create a cluster of aircraft and shipbuilding around the leading plants in the industry - these are KnAAZ, Amur and Khabarovsk shipyards, the Dalenergomash group of companies. An important component of the cluster should be the Pacific State University, the Far Eastern State University of Communications and the Komsomolsk-on-Amur State Technical University, several research institutes and the autonomous non-profit organization Far Eastern Agency for the Promotion of Innovations (DASI), a structure controlled by the regional government capable of acting operator-coordinator of the project.

Most of the potential cluster members are concentrated in Komsomolsk-on-Amur, where recently a unique opportunity has opened up to apply the existing potential of Khabarovsk machine building to the dynamically developing Asian markets. The Komsomol agglomeration is a key center of the machine-building complex of the Khabarovsk Territory, the total output in this sector, according to DASI, is about 33 billion rubles (more than 7% of the region's GRP), of which 25 billion rubles falls on the Sukhoi group of companies, 5 billion rubles - for shipbuilding companies of the region and about 3 billion rubles - for other machine-building enterprises.

In 2015-2016, Komsomolsk-on-Amur received two powerful development tools at once. Last year, the territory of advanced social and economic development "Komsomolsk" was created, providing preferential terms for the implementation of private business projects. And in the spring of this year, the Russian government adopted a comprehensive plan for the long-term development of the city worth over 60 billion rubles. These funds are ready to spend on the infrastructure of the industrial center of the Far East federal and regional budgets in the period up to 2025.

The peculiarity of the PSEDA "Komsomolsk" is the reliance on inter-production cooperation, which lies in the concept of creating a cluster of aircraft and shipbuilding. The Energia group of companies has already become the base resident of the PSEDA with a project for a plant for high-precision machining of parts for the needs of UAC enterprises for 1,7 million machine-hours per year. The production, worth 7,7 billion rubles, is designed to serve the needs of not only the aircraft factories of Komsomolsk-on-Amur (about 1 million machine-tool hours), but also of other enterprises of the UAC. Especially for this, the regulations on the procurement activities of the UAC, the SCA and the United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC) should include norms on the purchase of products from residents of the Komsomolsk PSEDA. A further search for basic residents of TASED is aimed at providing opportunities for cooperation with other leading enterprises of Komsomolsk-on-Amur. These include the production of onboard equipment and electronic components, hydraulic systems and interiors.

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