Tag Archives: United Engine-building Corporation

World-Class Competitors

Defense News has posted its annual list of the world’s top 100 defense companies for 2012.

The same seven Russian firms appear on the list.  But against the backdrop of a declining international defense market, the performance of Russian companies last year is interesting.

They did fairly well, except for airplane makers.

Almaz-Antey’s reported defense revenue rebounded strongly in 2012 – by 62 percent — to make it 14 overall.  It moved up from 21 last year.

Helicopters of Russia’s revenue jumped 32 percent to put it at 24.  It was 44 last year.

Sukhoy’s revenue was down 8 percent.  But down less than others.  With the market declining,  it came in 43rd, up from 52nd last year.

United Engine-building’s revenue increased nearly 50 percent to make it number 49, up from 55.

Irkut’s revenue and position declined, more than 18 percent to make it 62 versus 53 a year ago.

RTI Sistemy reported a 12 percent gain to be 80th instead of 100th last year.

RSK MiG was down 17 percent and came in at 93rd.

Here are the posts on 2011 and 2010.

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Update on World-Class Competitors

By way of follow-up on a previous post, Defense News’ list of the top 100 defense industrial producers for 2011 is out.  No change in Russian companies except for some changes of position on the list.

Sukhoy, Helicopters of Russia, and RTI moved up the list with increased revenue over 2010.  Almaz-Antey, Irkut, and United Engine-building slipped down.  RSK MiG hasn’t reported 2011 data.

Here’s last year’s post.

Some World-Class Competitors

Despite problems with its state defense order and defense-industrial complex, Russia clearly has world-class defense producers.  This is apparent not just from their arms exports, but it’s also evident in their defense-related revenue.

Eight Russian companies just made the Defense News list of the Top 100 defense corporations worldwide.  They are Almaz-Antey, Helicopters of Russia, Sukhoy, Irkut, United Engine-building, Tactical Missiles, KB Instrument-building, and RTI Sistemy.

With 2010 defense revenue of nearly $4 billion, Almaz-Antey has appeared in the list since 2005 (Antey appeared alone prior to that).  Yet its revenue’s only about half that of Thales, a fourth of EADS, perhaps reflecting that those companies are more diversified in their defense and non-defense business. 

Helicopters of Russia vaulted into the middle of the Top 100 list with 2010 defense revenue of nearly $2 billion (a gain of 134.1% over 2009).  Consolidation of its helo design and manufacturing capabilities seems to have put Russia on the map (or at least on the Top 100).  Still, Helicopters of Russia has about half the defense revenue of Textron, and half as much diversification in its business.  The difference is more pronounced when comparing to United Technologies.

Sukhoy and Irkut need no introduction, but it’s a little surprising that their defense revenue was lower than Helicopters of Russia.

United Engine-building (ODK) is an interesting case.  Not huge defense revenue, but more diversified than other Russian corporations in the Top 100.

A number of Russian companies have fallen out of the Top 100 over the years.  They include submarine and shipbuilders Sevmash, Admiralty Wharves, and Northern Wharf (the United Shipbuilding Corporation — OSK — hasn’t appeared in their place), RSK MiG, Uralvagonzavod, and Aerospace Equipment.  It’s hard to say why they’ve fallen off; it could be their financial reporting — still sketchy at times — has made it hard to evaluate their revenue claims. 

Still, eight Russian companies in the Top 100 is a long way from 1999 when only Rosvooruzheniye (remember it?) made the list.

The Russian firms in the Top 100 are strong weapons and military equipment exporters, but the lesson for them from abroad seems to be that greater diversification and more civilian business makes a defense company more profitable.

Fifth Generation Fighter Update

On 26 April, ITAR-TASS reported what is now termed the ‘second phase’ engine for the fifth generation fighter could be ready in 5-6 years, according to NPO Saturn’s managing director Ilya Fedorov.  In his words:

“The RDT&E on the components for making the engine is now being conducted.  It is going on not just at Saturn.  Salyut and the Petersburg Factory named for Klimov are also conducting scientific-research work.”

Fedorov seemed confident the ‘second phase’ fifth generation engine could fly in 5-6 years, depending mostly on what decision the Defense Ministry makes.

Obviously, Saturn wants and needs the work now.

Sukhoy says the fifth generation fighter’s first test phase, consisting of six flights, was successfully completed.  The aircraft’s reliability and controls, engine operation, and other basic systems were tested at a range of speeds and altitudes.

ITAR-TASS reminds that engine signature reduction measures are supposed to provide the new fighter an unprecedentedly low level of radar, optical, and infrared detectability, allowing the plane to raise significantly its combat effectiveness against air and ground targets.

Recall that Saturn put its 117 or 117S engine–a modernized AL-31F like on the Su-35–on PAK FA as its ‘first phase’ engine.  Everything else is up for debate.  As previously written, the Defense Ministry could decide to forego a truly new engine for a while. 

Meanwhile, talk about future fighter engine work isn’t really helping sort out the competition between ODK/Saturn and Salyut, or the general shakeout in a Russian industry with many players and interested parties.

Early last month Sukhoy General Director Mikhail Pogosyan said the PAK FA would be commissioned with ‘first phase’ engines, and ‘second phase’ ones would require another 10-12 years of development.  He doesn’t sound like a fan of new engines, and obviously wants to get his airframes on the assembly line and out the factory doors.

Specifically, Pogosyan said:

“We need to determine how much financing there will be for the phase two engines, how many of them there will be, and many other issues need to be resolved.”