Gagarin Aviation Plant KNAAPO / KnAAIA
Komsomolsk-on-Amur Aircraft Manufacturing Association
1 Sovetskaya Street, Komsomolsk-on-Amur, Khabarovsky Krai, Russia 618018 Tel: (7-42172) 632-00 Fax: (7-42172) 298-51
The Gagarin Aircraft Manufacturing Association in Komsomolsk-on-Amur (named after the first Soviet astronaut Gagarin) is one of the largest producers of aircraft machinery in the Asia-Pacific Region. It is currently one of among Khabarovsk Krai's most successful enterprises, and for years has been the largest taxpayer of the territory. The Aircraft Association is one of the major exporters of the Krai. During his November 19, 1998, visit to the Aircraft Association, Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov promised not to let the plant be privatized, and to provide it with foreign and state contracts. The plant is state-owned and, during his October 1999 visit, Mr. Putin, the Prime Minister of Russia, promised to keep the plant as a state-owned enterprise and provide it with foreign contracts and state orders.
The Komsomolsk-na-Amure Aviation Industrial Association (KnAAIA) "Gagarin" aviation plant received recognition in the international markets for production of Sukhoi fighters. Its main industrial facility produces amphibian flying boat "BE-103" and an aircraft for regional and domestic airlines "SUKHOI-80".
Flanker production at Komsomolsk was halted temporarily in early 1994. The plant's 3,000 aircraft workers suffered a six-month layoff in early 1995, while workers engaged in the plant's defence conversion program producing colour televisions worked only part-time in the first half of 1995. KnAAIA initiated a program of repair and modernisation of existing aircraft using income received from aircraft export programs. The aircraft factory in Komsomolsk-na-Amur has delivered several dozen Su-27 jet fighters to China under a 1992 deal. Beijing purchased 48 Su-27 planes, including 36 one-seat Su-27SK planes manufactured in Komsomolsk on Amur and 12 two-seat Su-27UB manufactured in Irkutsk. Beijing paid in the order of 1.7 billion dollars to the supplier, the Rosvooruzheniye state company.
In 1997 a new aircraft production corporation was created by combining the Sukhoi design bureau with aviation plants in Novosibirsk, Irkutsk, and Komsomolsk-na-Amur. The combat aircraft of the Sukhoi-series are manufactured at Novosibirsk Aviation Complex (NAPO), Tbilisi Aviation Complex, Ulan-Ude Aircraft factory, Komsomolsk-na-Amure Aircraft Complex, Dubna Machine-building factory, Irkutsk Aircraft Complex, and Tushino Machine-building factory (Moscow).
During Chinese Central Military Council Chief Rang Wenyan's visit to Russia in June 1999, agreement was reached on the purchase from Russia of at least 30 and possibly more than 50 Su-30MK aircraft. Russia agreed to deliver the jets to China over a two year period. Russia also expressed agreement in principle to the future manufacturing of the Su-30MK fighter-bombers in China under a Russian license in the future. The first few Sukhoi Su-30MKK fighter planes Russia contracted to sell China will be delivered in 2000. The aircraft's total cost is secret, but estimated at about $2 billion. The planes will be manufactured at Komsomolsk-on-Amur.
As of September 1999 employees and top management of successful Komsomolsk na Amure Aviation Industrial Association named after Gagarin strongly opposed the integration of their enterprise into the unitary state enterprise AVPK Sukhoi. This had been directed by the government's resolution on reformation of the whole aviation industry into several industrial associations under united management. They in Komsomolsk-na-Amure association feared that the enterprise, as a result of the integration, would lose money. As the enterprise is a "town-forming" one, the integration could cause not only economic difficulties but also a number of social problems as well.
The Aircraft Association also encompasses a number of separate manufacturing plants that produce civil goods, including "Stils" (motor boats), "Strela" (yachts, scooters, children bicycles, oxygen pressure chambers for medical needs, snowmobiles), and "Avest" (electronics).
"Avest" is the only electronic factory in the Russian Far East. The company is a subsidiary of the Komsomolsk Aircraft Association. Since 1994 "Avest" has been operating independently assembling television, radio and other home appliances, which are fairly popular with the population of the RFE. In 1997 "Avest's" sales was USD24.2 million. The Company has restored its operation after the August crisis, considerably reduced production costs and now plans to manufacture 120 thousand TV sets a year. Avest has a joint venture with Gold Star (S. Korea) to assemble television, radio, and other home appliances. Avest products are reasonably popular among the population of the RFE. Since the August 17th crisis, Avest stopped assembling because its cash assets were frozen in Inkombank, and the cost of imported supplies became unaffordable. The company is restoring its operation after the 1998 financial crisis. It hopes to produce 120,000 TV sets a year. Avest's unused capacity allows it to seek a partner to produce electronic appliances. It also intends to start manufacturing component boards for electronic appliances.
KNAAPO is the only large enterprise in the city of Komsomolsk-upon-Amur, contributing 45% of all payments into the local budget. Khabarovsky Krai is the most industrialized territory of the Far East of Russia, producing 30% of the total industrial products in the Far Eastern Economic Region. The machine construction industry consists primarily of a highly developed military-industrial complex comprised of large scale aircraft and ship building enterprises.
Khabarovsky Krai is washed by the Sea of Okhotsk and the Sea of Japan. The marshy Middle-Amur Plain is situated on both sides of the Amur River, which is one of the longest rivers in Russia. Its total length is 4,440 km including 1,000 km within Khabarovsky Krai. The population of Khabarovsky Krai numbers about 1.6 million people. The cities of Khabarovsk and Komsomolsk-na-Amur in Khabarovsky Krai rank the second and third largest cities in the Russian Far East after Vladivostok.
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