MOSCOW, RUSSIA — Rostec, the Russian state technology corporation, has affirmed that mass production of the Irkut SSJ-New, a domestically-refurbished version of the Superjet 100, is slated to commence in 2024. 

Sergei Chemezov, the head of Rostec, said the prototypes for the SSJ-New are being assembled at the Irkut facility in Komsomolsk. Structural testing of an SSJ-New airframe, crucial given the revisions to the fuselage, wing, pylons, engine mounts, and landing gear, is set to conclude this fall.

The Siberian Aeronautical Institute, SibNIA, is performing the structural tests at its hub in Novosibirsk. According to Rostec, the SSJ-New entails a more substantial proportion of Russian-sourced parts, including Aviadvigatel PD-8 engines and approximately 40 domestic systems, encompassing avionics. Chemezov stated that there is virtually no foreign input.

When the serial production starts, it is anticipated that 20 SSJ-New twinjets will be assembled each year. The Aeroflot Group is due to receive 34 planes between 2023 and 2025, and another eight will be constructed for Aurora, an eastern operator, between 2024 and 2026.

Chemezov sees this as an opportunity for domestic aviation manufacturers to penetrate and dominate the home market. The PD-8 engine, featured on the SSJ-New, is expected to be tailored for other aircraft, such as the Beriev Be-200 amphibious firefighter, currently equipped with Ukrainian-made Ivchenko-Progress D-436 engines, and potentially for helicopters.

Oleg Bocharov, deputy trade minister, was quoted by TASS, a Russian news agency, saying that the PD-8 should be certified by September of this year, and is ready to commence tests as part of an airframe. Aviadvigatel has derived the PD-8 from the larger PD-14, used for the Irkut MC-21. Chemezov told Mikhail Mishustin, the Russian Prime Minister, in a May meeting that the MC-21's certification would be finalized in 2024, with six aircraft to be serially produced, supplementing the 20 SSJ-New twinjets, while 10 Tupolev Tu-214s are planned for production in 2025.