Uzbek Aircraft Plant Ends 70 Years of Plane Building

Uzbekistan’s state-owned Chkalov Tashkent Aircraft Production Corporation (TAPO) will end seventy years of making airplanes by the end of 2012 and switch to producing engineering components, a TAPO plant official said on Wednesday.

TAPO will close its final deal to supply Uzbekistan airways with a sixth Il-114-100 turboprop airliner in June, the official added.

“Production lines and assembly halls for plane-building are now being dismantled. Machine parts and equipment will be sold to interested clients,” the official at the plant told Prime news agency.

The plant will make building structures, household products, car components and spare parts for farm machinery.

General Motors Uzbekistan joint venture also plans to site a semi-knocked down assembly line at the plant to produce Chevrolet Malibu and Epica sedans and Captiva offroaders at TAPO, the official said.

The plant was established in 1941 on the basis of an aircraft enterprise which was evacuated to Uzbekistan from Moscow region in World War II. In the 1970’s and ’80’s, TAPO built hundreds of Il-76 transport planes and a small number of Il-114 airliners.

China canceled a contract agreed in 2005 with Russia for delivery of around 38 Il-76 transport and Il-78 tankers, after TAPO said it could no longer deliver the airframes as production capacity had withered.

UAC then had to move production to Russia’s Aviastar in order to complete the Il-476 modification programs for the Russian Air Force.

In 2007-2008, TAPO and Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation planned a share-swap to bring the TAPO plant into the Russian aerospace holding, but the deal failed.

TAPO went bankrupt in 2010 and a court ordered in external management at the enterprise until November 2, 2012.

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