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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Boeing, Ilyushin Aviation Connection Holds Firm

Seattle-based aerospace giant Boeing Co. has signed expanded cooperation agreements with two longtime Russian partners, Ilyushin Aviation Complex and Verkhne-Saldinskaya Metallurgical Production Association, to produce Boeing components and new titanium production technology.

"I do not see any limits on cooperation between Boeing and Russian aerospace," Thomas Schick, executive vice president for commercial aviation services, said at a news conference.

The agreements have no fixed time frame and contain no monetary components, only a legal and business framework for expanded cooperation, Boeing officials said Tuesday.

Ilyushin, which recently redesigned a set of carbon brakes and an arch beam for Boeing's commercially successful 777 jetliner, will now be permitted to produce Boeing components, as opposed to simply designing them as in the past.

The agreement with Verkhne-Saldinskaya, or VSMPO, calls for the development of new titanium alloys and new technologies for producing the metal, a strong, light metal used to build the undercarriages of aircraft.

Boeing president Harry Stonecipher said at a signing ceremony Monday that Boeing also saw opportunities to buy not only titanium rods, sheets, and ingots, but finished titanium products.

VSMPO, located in the Ural Mountains, supplies about 20 percent of all titanium used in Boeing commercial products and has a deal with the aerospace firm worth $250 million over six years.

The Ilyushin design bureau has cooperated with Boeing since 1994, and Ilyushin engineers working at Boeing's Moscow design center have participated in projects for Boeing aircraft.

Boeing has 350 Russian engineers working under contract in seven Russian cities, in addition to more than 100 working at an engineering center in Moscow, Schick said.

In addition to technical cooperation, Boeing and Russian aerospace officials have worked together on flight-safety improvements.

Two top Russian IT firms, Information Business Systems and Parallel Graphics, an Internet 3-D technology developer, are also working under contract with Boeing to put safety manuals online and develop Boeing's information portals, Schick said.