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Tu-204 / Tu-214

In October 2003 the Tupolev firm conducted preliminary negotiations with Iranian technical experts regarding the possibility of selling Tu-204 airliner to Iran. The US trade embargo made Iran turn out to specifically Russian-made aircraft. In April 2006 Iran placed the largest order to date for the Tupolev Tu-204, with its transport ministry having agreed the purchase of 20 Tu-204-100s for the country's state-owned airlines. The aircraft were to be built at the Aviastar factory in Ulyanovsk, now in partnership with Tupolev. They will replace leased Tupolev Tu-154Ms serving with airlines including Aria Air, Caspian Airways, Iran Air Tours and Kish Air. Deliveries are due to start this year, and continue over the following four years [2006-2010].

In August 2007 an Iranian aviation company reached a deal in Moscow with Russia's Tupolev aircraft maker to purchase five TU-204 passenger planes. The agreement was signed between Iran Air Tour Company and Ilyushin Finance firm at the MAKS-2007 international air show at the Zhukovsky airbase east of Moscow. Secretary of Iran's Aviation Companies Association Mehdi Aliyar earlier announced early in August that Iran had ordered several TU-204 and the Russian company is to deliver the aircraft within the next 18 months.

At that time talks were also underway on joint airplane production. Tupolev President Igor Shevchuk said, "We are talking about the sale of Tu-214 and Tu-334, and the option of joint production of those and other aircraft is also being looked at." The Tupolev Tu-204 is a twin-engine medium-range Russian airliner capable of carrying 212 passengers.

When the Iranian MoD learned about the Russian defence ministry order for four new Tu-204-200s (Tu-214s), it asked Tupolev for a presentation of the airplane . On 27 November 2007 a Tu-204-200 and a Tu-334-100 landed in Tehran's Mehrabad airport, where they were inspected by IRI defence minister Mostafa Mohammad-Najjar, head of Iran's Aviation Industries Organization, other state officials and industrialists. The Iranian hosts expressed interest in special version of the Tu-204 airliner, for use as VIP transport and flying command post.

In November 2007 Russia's Ilyushin Finance signed a preliminary contract with Iran Airtour at the Dubai Air Show on Monday to supply Iran with 30 Tu-204-100 aircraft. Ilyushin had already signed a contract to supply Iran with five Tu-204-100 airliners at the MAKS-2007 air show near Moscow in August 2007, and then signed a preliminary contract with the Iran Airtour airline on 19 November 2007. The first batch of the Tu-204 medium-haul airliners designed to accommodate 210 passengers was expected to be delivered in 2009. Ilyushin Finance deals with the financial and operational leasing of Russian-made civil aircraft, as well as providing consulting services. It has a 38% stake in Russia's 90% state-owned United Aircraft Corporation, which incorporates commercial and military aircraft makers such as Sukhoi, Ilyushin, and Tupolev, as well as companies involved in distribution, including Aviaexport.

In December 2007 Russia's United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) held talks with Iran on the sale of licenses for the production of the Tu-204. Russian and Iranian officials announced later that the two countries planned to sign a 2.5 billion-U.S. dollar contract in 2009 for the delivery of 100 Tu-204 and Tu-214 starting from 2010.

In June 2008 Iran said it had signed an agreement with Moscow for a joint venture to build passenger airliners. Under the preliminary agreement, a production plant will be sited in Iran, where Iranian and Russian workers and technicians will jointly construct Tu-204 and Tu-214 passenger aircraft. "The manufacturing of Russia's updated Tu-204 and Tu-214 passenger aircraft in Iran was put on the agenda after Russian experts studied the technological capabilities and human resources of the Iran Aviation Industries Organization," an Iranian industry spokesman said. "The agreement between Iran and Russia will be signed in the near future," IAIO Deputy Executive Director Ali Akbar Ghazi Moradi said. Russian and Iranian officials earlier announced that the two countries planned to sign a 2.5 billion-U.S. dollar contract in 2009 for the delivery of 100 Tu-204 and Tu-214 starting from 2010.

In October 2008 it was reported that Iran Aviation Industries Organization (IAIO) would manufacture 100 advanced Tu-214 and Tu-204 airliners with a 210-passenger capacity in cooperation with Russia within the next 10 years.




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