Usual tendency for Russian Aviation Industry to prefer imported engines over their own seems to be comming to an end. This is also backed by the recent Aviadvigatel and Pratt&Whitney agreement.
As a part of the contract, Pratt&Whitney expressed its highest readiness to invest over 125 millions of dollars into development of the new generation PS-90A-2 (PS-90A2) engine.
The engine which is based on a state-of-the-art PS-90A and is planned to be used on various passenger airliners including Tu-204, IL-96-300 as well as IL-76 freighters which are already in service.
New PS-90A2 will have higher thrust ratings, be more reliable and will have extended exploitation resource.
However, new engine which is to be completed by 2003 is not actually fully-Russian. Several imported components would have to be used in the construction. This way, besides Pratt$Whitney another 10 western companies joined the project. These represent Sweden, Germany and USA.
This however doesn't mean that Russia is lossing any of its positions or technologies. This is done only to speed up the process. Later all production technologies will be transfered to Russia. These conditions seem to be acceptable to Western partners as Pratt&Whitney agreed to be responsible for almost all development expenses. Especially now, when over-ocean partners live through real hardtimes.
It's not just that Russian engines are superior to Western analogues including American ones. Faced with serious order cuts due to enourmous progress of Airbus in the world market Pratt&Whitney was forced to cut its activity. Facts are obvious; this year there're orders for only 600 engines while in 1998 there were 800 orders and in 1999 700 orders. Order cuts already led to firing over 1700 workers and sale of most of the production power.
Pratt&Whitney along with "Permskiy Motor", "Aviadvigatel", and "Interros" is the originator of the "Permskiy Motor Production Plant" which is running the production of advanced engine parts.
Even though Americans already handed over 30 millions into PS-90A2 and are ready now to dump another 125 million, their activity is slown by the Federal Codecs of Law according to which foreign companies are not eligible to invest more than 25% in joint ventures.
Huge investments are also opposed by Russian Ministry of Defence that plans to use PS-90A-2 on the new generation M-60 "Kolovrat" reconnaissance plane. Russian generals do not wish West to know much about construction of the engine which will be used on such advanced plane. Thanks to modern photo technology as well as infra-red and radio-technical equipment, this plane would be able to spy from around 25km above the ground.