Russia’s Sukhoi poised to scrap Iran’s Superjet order due to US components

Russia’s Sukhoi poised to scrap Iran’s Superjet order due to US components
A SuperJet 100. Like Airbus, Sukhoi uses US components in constructing its aircraft.
By bne IntelliNews November 13, 2018

National carrier IranAir looks unlikely to receive Russian-built Sukhoi SuperJet 100 regional airliners due to the reimposed US sanctions, Tasnim News Agency reported on November 13.

The airline, which ordered 40 SuperJets in April following the collapse of a deal with Boeing on the back of US sanctions, looks set to lose its chance to acquire the Russian aircraft because they are partly produced with American-made components.

The blow will intensify complaints from Iran that Washington’s decision to hit Iranian air fleets as part of its sanctions attack on the Islamic Republic does not take account of humanitarian concerns in that airlines operating with dated and depleted aircraft are more exposed to the occurrence of accidents. The Boeing deal has gone and orders placed with Europe’s Airbus—which also uses US components in its planes—are unlikely to move forward in the present circumstances. A leaked report published by Iranian media in July last year outlined how 124 of the Islamic Republic's 298 airliners were grounded due to failures to source sufficient spare parts from abroad.

To sell the SuperJets to IranAir, the Moscow-headquartered JSC Sukhoi Company would require an Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctions waiver and a licence issued by the US State Department, the secretary of the Association of Iranian Airlines Maqsoud Asadi Samani reportedly said.

“Impossible to sell”
"In fact, it is impossible to sell this aircraft to Iran without such a licence. The Russians can sell Sukhoi aircraft to Iran without the OFAC licence only in the case that they make changes to components of the aircraft," Samani was also cited as saying.

Some 10-15% of components used in the SuperJets were manufactured in the US by companies including Boeing, he added. The Sukhoi SuperJet-100 is Russia’s newest twin-engine regional passenger aircraft.

The Sukhoi deals were announced a day after Boeing said it had found a new home for 80 aircraft that Iran ordered earlier this year.  

The plan was to deliver the SSR100R version of the SuperJet regional airliner to Iran by 2022, Sukhoi Civil Aircraft president Aleksandr Rubtsov said after the contract signing ceremony in April.

State-controlled IranAir has started a process to issue Sukuk bonds to raise capital to buy further regional jets.