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Smolensk Aviation Plant (SmAZ)

    Smolensk Aviation Plant Joint Stock Company 
    Ulitsa Frunze, 74 
    214006 Smolensk, Russia 
    Telephone: (011-7-081-00) 2-05-29
    Fax: (011-7-081-00) 2-93-08 
    Telex: N/A; 
    Teletype: 281260 RUS

The Smolensk Aviation Plant Joint Stock Company (SmAZ) is the oldest aviation enterprise in Russia. It produces a wide range of light aircraft and aircraft parts. During the 60's and 70's SmAZ primarily produced aircraft and aircraft parts designed by the Yakovlev Design Bureau. During the 1980's production at Smolensk included the Myasishchev-designed high-altitude M-55 Geofizika aircraft, and parts for the Buran space shuttle. SmAZ continues production for Yak and Myasishchev and is preparing for production of an indigenously designed seven passenger light aircraft. In addition, SmAZ produces medical and light industry equipment.

Although the Smolensk Aviation Plant (SmAZ) joined with the Yakovlev Design Bureau in March 1992 to form the Yak Aviation Company, the two entities appear to be operating separately. SmAZ has traditionally produced aircraft and aircraft parts designed by Yakovlev Design Bureau.

SmAZ produces light passenger aircraft such as the Yak-18T; the single engine four seat Yak-112; and the twin engine M-55 (Mystic-B) Geofizika research aircraft. Another Myasischev-designed aircraft is a M-102 Duet-Saras 14-seat regional turboprop powered by TVD-20M or Pratt&Whitney PT6A. It was developed jointly with the Indian National Aeronautic laboratory for use in mountainous regions with hot climate. So far only one mockup version was produced at Smolensk Aviation plant. Preparations are under way for future production of the Smolensk-designed seven passenger Sm-92 Finist aircraft. The plant also continues to produce wings for the Yak-40TL transport aircraft. In addition, SmAZ produces medical surgical equipment such as plasma scalpels, and equipment for light industries.

In early March 1993, SmAZ concluded the sale of a Yak-18T to the Philippines, one of its first buyers. SmAZ expects many more orders for the Yak-18T since it is the only series-produced multipurpose light aircraft currently on the market in the Commonwealth of Independent States. SmAZ is also cooperating with the Yak Corporation (formerly the Yakovlev Design Bureau) to export SmAZ-produced Yak-112 aircraft. Export models of the Yak-112 were being built with engine technology support from Teledyne Continental Motors and Textron-Lycoming, and navigation equipment from Allied Signal. SmAZ planned to produce up to two hundred Yak-112 aircraft per year. Built at the Smolensk Aviation Plant, the prototype SM-92 made its North American debut at Airshow Canada '95. The 6-person plane is roughly the size of a Beechcraft King Air, but its top speed is only 156 mph. It flies on a 360-hp air-cooled reciprocating engine. A 99-gal. fuel tank gives the SM-92 a maximum range of 780 miles. The manufacturers are pushing the SM-92 for rugged civilian applications such as forestry patrol, crop-dusting and medical evacuation.

The city of Smolensk (population 350,000) is an typical oblast capital in Russia's central region. It is located 80 km from Russia's border with Belarus. Like other Russian provinces, the regional economy is suffering from the overall drop in the country's industrial output. The nearby aviation factories (producing Yak and Antonov planes), regional branches of Moscow's ZIL vehicle factory, refrigerator maker, and flax growing and processing factories are all suffering. Smolensk Oblast is usually described as part of the so-called "red belt" -- candidates endorsed by the Communists and the "national-patriotic forces" win nearly all elections. The informal provincial lobby of directors of industrial giants (most of them inherited from the Soviet era) sustains the political elite, which is composed almost exclusively of people who once worked together in the Komsomol. In the foreign policy sphere, the Smolensk elite is violently opposed to NATO expansion.

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Page last modified: 11-07-2011 15:49:52 ZULU