- Russia plans to build 1,000 homegrown airliners by 2030 to reduce reliance on Airbus and Boeing.
- Russia relies heavily on tech imports, which have been hit by sanctions over the Ukraine war.
- Former Russian finance official Oleg Vyugin said recently the country faces a technological decline.
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Russia is targeting the production of 1,000 airliners by 2030, using locally manufactured parts, state-owned tech firm Rostec told Reuters on Wednesday.
The strategy on self-reliance in the aviation industry is a departure from the situation before the start of Ukraine war, where planes purchased from Western giants Boeing and Airbus carried 95% of Russian passenger traffic, per Reuters.
However, given the sanctions against the country, imports into Russia — especially those of aircraft — have collapsed, creating a huge problem for the country, which relies on tech imports.
Rostec — a conglomerate involved in engineering and defense — said it aims to substitute imported parts with local ones. "From this year, we don't rely on international cooperation with Western countries," Rostec told Reuters.
"Foreign aircraft will drop out of the fleet," Rostec told Reuters. "We believe that this process is irreversible and Boeing and Airbus planes will never be delivered to Russia."
Rostec's optimism stands in stark contrast to recent comments from Oleg Vyugin, a former high-level finance ministry and central bank official, who told Reuters in an interview last week, that Russia could be in for years of decline in technology development due to the sanctions.
"The world will move forward, but Russia will only use some second-grade technology and spend huge resources to recreate what there already is in the world, but can't be imported," said Vyugin, who was a deputy finance minister and deputy governor at the Bank of Russia. He retired from the Moscow Exchange this year.
Russia has tried to counter the sanctions by substituting Western imports with those from non-sanctioning countries or looking to homegrown options. But success has been limited, analysts at Bruegel, a Brussels-based think tank, wrote in late March.
"High-tech products are developed using inputs from many countries, but few of them can function without inputs from the European Union or the United States," wrote the analysts. "As a result, a single economy cannot replicate the capabilities of the global network."
Russian state-owned carrier Aeroflot has already started stripping spare parts from working aircraft due to sanctions-induced supply shortages, Reuters reported in August.
Rostec did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment, which was sent outside regular business hours.
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