An engineering center of the European airline Airbus-Icarus opened in Moscow on Tuesday. The center has been formed jointly with the Kaskol group of companies.
Speaking up at the opening ceremony, Russian Vice-Premier Boris Aleshin said the Russian cabinet attaches much importance to cooperation between Russian and European companies. "I'm glad we have begun with hi-tech exchange, which means that Russia and European countries will become technically stronger. This creates an intellectual environment, which will be multiplied by joint achievement," he said.
Noting that in Russia engineering thought is at a high level of development, Aleshin admitted that marketing and the finished-products-sales system are less developed in Russia than in Europe. Here, the fledging engineering center will help Russia promote its technical achievements to the world market. "This event is noteworthy as creating conditions for not only the development of units and assemblies but, I hope, also for building, some time later, an aircraft together with the well-known company Airbus," said Aleshin.
Taking the floor, Airbus executive director Gustav Humbert said the center has the latest equipment to prompt productive joint work of its staffers and contacts with the leading Airbus design offices in France and Germany. Alongside the managerial personnel, the center has about 30 Russian design engineers. They have been trained in the phasing-in and practical use of Airbus standards and technologies in Toulouse and Hamburg.
Vladimir Rasshchupkin, the center's general director, said that the Airbus Icarus engineering center will be registered in Russia as a joint venture, co-owned by Airbus and Kaskol. "It is not brain drain but cooperation between intellectual achievements and engineering thought. In perspective, this is to lead to the building of new aircraft, which will be in demand on the world market," stressed Rasshchupkin.