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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Sukhoi, Ilyushin and VSMPO Sign Deals

ZHUKOVSKY, Moscow Region -- As expected, the opening day of MAKS brought a raft of deals, including the sale of Sukhoi jets to Indonesia, an agreement for a joint venture between U.S. giant Boeing and domestic manufacturer VSMPO-Avisma, and even plans for trips to Mars.

In soaring temperatures, industry representatives from almost 40 countries crowded into the events at more than 75 pavilions, eyeing up aeronautical hardware and a host of potential deals.

Amid much backslapping, the first deal of this year's event was struck between state-run arms exporter Rosoboronexport and Indonesia for the sale of six Sukhoi fighter jets worth $300 million, Rosoboronexport chief Sergei Chemezov told reporters.

The memorandum of understanding came on top of a previous $200 million deal for four Sukhoi jets, signed with Indonesia in 2003, and could see Sukhoi deliver three Su-30 and three Su-27 fighter planes.

Sukhoi, part of the recently formed, state-run United Aircraft Corporation, is also looking to push its flagship civilian Superjet-100 project at the show. The company announced Tuesday that it had received a commitment from the state-owned Development Bank to fund potential international sales of the jet.

Elsewhere on the first day of the biennial event, leasing company Ilyushin Finance confirmed that it had clinched a series of eye-catching deals, estimated to be worth a total of almost $600 million.

The company, also part of UAC, signed a contract with airline Rossia for 12 short-range An-148 regional jet aircraft and a memorandum of understanding for one Il-96-300 passenger plane, Ilyushin Finance spokesman Andrei Lipovetsky said.

The Il-96-300 will be used by the presidential administration, Lipovetsky said.

Lipovetsky did not offer any details on the value of the contracts, but it is understood that the Il-96-300 would cost around $75 million and the An-148s a little more than $20 million each.

Ilyushin Finance also wrapped up a firm contract with Avialinia-400, a company owned by billionaire Alexander Lebedev and linked to his start-up carrier Redwings, for six Tu-204 midrange craft thought to be worth a total of $250 million, Lipovetsky said. Delivery of the planes will begin in 2008.

In a long-anticipated move, U.S. giant Boeing gave a boost to domestic manufacturers when it inked an agreement with VSMPO-Avisma to create the joint venture to produce titanium components for Boeing's 787 Dreamliner jets, said Sergei Kravchenko, head of Boeing in Russia.

The creation of the new company, Ural Boeing Manufacturing, which will be based outside Yekaterinburg and headed by Boeing employee Gary Baker, was first proposed in April 2006, Kravchenko said.

Neither the value of the proposed venture nor the required investment for the 8,900-square-meter plant, which will be built in the Urals town of Verkhnyaya Salda, was revealed.

Amid the more extravagant announcements made Tuesday, was the revelation that the Federal Space Agency is to join forces with the European Space Agency to build a shuttle for flights to outer space.

"Today we agreed with [ESA head Jean Jacques] Dordain on the general principles of our cooperation on a manned space transportation system, which will involve not only flights into near-Earth orbit, including to the international space station, but also to the Moon and to Mars," Federal Space Agency head Anatoly Perminov said, Interfax reported.