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Sukhoi SuperJet project unaffected by U.S. sanctions - Boeing

RIA Novosti

09/08/2006 15:56 MOSCOW, August 9 (RIA Novosti) - Sanctions imposed by the United States against Russian aircraft-maker Sukhoi will hardly affect a SuperJet project involving Boeing, an American official with the aircraft giant said Wednesday.

The U.S. State Department announced August 4 that two-year sanctions had been imposed on Sukhoi and arms exporter Rosoboronexport over their cooperation with Iran and alleged violations of non-proliferation commitments.

Russian media suggested the sanctions were largely because Russia had concluded $3 billion military contracts with Venezuela, which the U.S. sees as a regional security threat. Experts said Sukhoi, for example, had not sold anything to Tehran in the last seven or eight years.

Sukhoi's ambitious project to build the Russian Regional Jet, renamed the Sukhoi SuperJet-100 recently, has been implemented in cooperation with Boeing and a series of other foreign companies.

But the Boeing official said the SuperJet would be unaffected as the U.S. concern only acted as an adviser to the project. He added that lawyers were studying the situation and would make a conclusion shortly.

Rosoboronexport head Sergei Chemezov suggested Monday the sanctions could affect the future of the family of medium-range passenger aircraft.

"Work [on the project] is being conducted with Boeing and a number of other American companies," he said. "So there is the danger that the sanctions could somehow affect the project."

The SuperJet project involves Boeing, Snecma, Thales, Messier Dowty, Liebherr Aerospace and Honeywell. The RRJ market until 2023 is estimated at 5,400-5,600 units, and is valued at $100 billion.

The maiden flight has been set for November 2006 and SuperJets-100 are to go into service in late 2007-early 2008.

Sukhoi plans to produce at least 700 aircraft in the family and intends to sell 35% of them to North America, 25% to Europe, 10% to Latin America, and 7% to Russia and China.

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