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President Vladimir Putin has authorized Italy's Alenia Aeronautica to acquire
President Vladimir Putin has authorized Italy's Alenia Aeronautica to acquire a blocking stake of 25% plus one share in a subsidiary of Russian aircraft maker Sukhoi, the Kremlin said on Monday.

Alenia Aeronautica, the Russian state-owned aircraft manufacturer's strategic partner in a project to build a new family of Russian regional jets, named Sukhoi SuperJet-100, is seeking a blocking stake in Sukhoi Civil Aircraft, a subsidiary founded in 2000 to implement civilian projects.

In the summer of 2007, Sukhoi and Alenia set up a joint venture to promote the new aircraft on developed markets and provide post-sale customer service around the world. Sukhoi SuperJet-100's serial production is scheduled to start this year.

A source close to the deal said the Italian plane maker would invest around $200 million in the company in 2008, and provide guarantees for loans for the project.

The SuperJet 100 project is a family of medium-range passenger aircraft developed by the Sukhoi Design Bureau in cooperation with major American and European aviation corporations, including Boeing, Snecma, Thales, Messier Dowty, Liebherr Aerospace, and Honeywell.

Sukhoi President Mikhail Pogosyan said late last year that the SuperJet-100 production schedule has been completely filled with confirmed orders from Russian air carriers until the start of 2010 and partially through 2011.

The Russian president also said in a decree that foreign residents should account for no more than 25% of Sukhoi Civil Aircraft executives, and its chief executive should a Russian national.


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