American sanctions and new rules for obtaining export licenses for foreign partners have pushed the deliveries of Russia’s Irkut MC-21 airliner by a couple of months.
"The (U.S.) trade restrictions had an impact on the pace of the implementation of the MC-21-300 program. It chiefly affected supply of materials for composite wing production. The pace of the program implementation was also affected by the new rules for obtaining export licenses for foreign partners of the program," United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) was quoted as saying by Russian media.
Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov said on Wednesday that the MC-21 market entry was undermined by the U.S. sanctions, and up to 40% of its on-board equipment had to be replaced as it was foreign-made.
MC-21-300 is will receive a Russian certificate in the end of 2021. First airline deliveries are planned for 2022. After being dogged by delays, the airliner was expected to be handed over to the customers starting this year. Russia's flag-carrier Aeroflot is expected to be the first company to exploit the aircraft.
American sanctions against UAC’s Aerokompozit in 2019 affected the import of composite parts for the airliner. It also hit the procurement of Pratt & Whitney (PW1400G) engines that were to power the aircraft.
On the 15th of December 2020, an MС-21-310 aircraft equipped with the new Russian PD-14 engines made its maiden flight from the airfield of Irkutsk Aviation Plant. The aircraft also has parts of its wings and fuselage made of composites made by a domestic firm.
In the following month, an MC-21 airliner rolled off the runway during tests of its emergency braking systems and simulated failure of one engine. It is not known whether emergency brakes were among the list of aircraft parts that UAC had to replace owing to sanctions.