Alcoa and Russia's United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) announced they have signed an agreement whereby Alcoa will supply UAC with advanced metallic materials, modern structural concepts and manufacturing technologies for UAC future generation civil aircraft.
The agreement, signed at the Moscow International Aviation and Space Salon (MAKC 2008), includes joint technology cooperation on next generation UAC aircraft and is part of UAC's plan to become the third largest civil aircraft manufacturer in the world by the year 2015.
Agreement between UAC and Alcoa in the sphere of technology cooperation for future generation civil aircraft is a significant and important step to further develop their technical and commercial opportunities. The ultimate objective of this cooperation is the implementation of these solutions on UAC modifications of commercially manufactured aircraft for improvement of aircraft characteristics.
Taking reference to UAC and Alcoa specific competencies, capabilities and joint interests, the main UAC-Alcoa technology cooperation objectives will be:
- To upgrade commercially manufactured materials as a result of SAMARA and BK plants' investment;
- To develop competitive and advanced metallic structures for next generation civil aircraft using advanced metallic materials, most modern structural concepts and manufacturing technologies;
- Drop-in-replacement of modern fastening elements in commercially manufactured civil aircraft; and
- Wide application of fastening elements in future generation civil aircraft.
As part of the memorandum of understanding (MOU), Alcoa will open an Aerospace Technology Centre in Russia to develop specific competencies to support integrated product teams:
- Extensive testing of Russian and Western alloys and products, including damage tolerance and fatigue, in close interaction with Russian Institutes and Universities;
- Evaluation of Alcoa Russian alloys and products coming from Alcoa's Samara and Belaya Kalitva facilities; Supporting certifications and qualifications of Western alloys and products for Russian aircraft applications (beginning in the fourth quarter of 2007);
- Understanding of Russian aircraft design principles and rules; and
- Utilizing Alcoa proprietary trade-studies and design tools for aircraft structure.
The Alcoa Aerospace Technology Centre is expected to begin work in 2008.
The technology cooperation activities will be supported by organizing Integrated Product Teams, which will be created for the major components for the next generation civil aircraft such as wings and fuselage. These teams will develop, evaluate and realize the most promising technical options in concurrent engineering process. Integrated teams will draft joint activities plans before the end of 2007.
Materials included in the supply arrangement - which includes proprietary alloys, heat-treated sheet and plate, hard-alloy extrusions, and forgings -- will be supplied to UAC from Alcoa's Samara and Belaya Kalitva aluminum fabricating plants, which are approximately 1,000 kilometers from Moscow.
As Aleksey Fedorov, UAC President and Chairman of the Executive Board, said, "UAC, through its vast heritage, has extensive capabilities and knowledge in aircraft design and manufacturing. Taking that knowledge and combining it with Alcoa's technical and materials expertise should further strengthen our positions on the global civil aviation market."
Helmut Wieser, Alcoa Executive Vice President and Group President of Global Rolled Products, Hard Alloy Extrusions, Russia and Asia, stated that Alcoa's connection to the customers and ability to supply cutting edge materials and technologies has helped Alcoa become the worldwide leader for the aerospace industry.
"We look forward to serving UAC and utilizing our expertise to help them achieve their growth goals, understanding clearly, that signing of the Memorandum of Understanding is a new and significant step in development of long-term relationships between Alcoa and the Russian aircraft industry on the whole," Wieser said.
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