Russia's dependence on foreign aircraft is an affront to the nation's identity as "a great aviation power," Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said Wednesday on Facebook.
Rogozin on Tuesday said the government was looking into relaunching the construction of Ilyushin Il-114 turboprop airliners — two years after production was stopped — to reduce the nation's dependence on Boeing and Airbus aircraft.
Western sanctions against Russian low-coster Dobrolyot grounded the airline in August by nixing its leasing agreements with an Irish company for Boeing 737 aircraft. Ninety percent of Russian airliners are foreign leased jets, making them vulnerable to further sanctions.
Rogozin explained the government's decision to push for a return to domestic airplane manufacturing on Facebook: "It's time to finally make up our minds to produce our own airplanes. It is a shame when a great aviation power becomes radically dependent on imports of foreign aircraft."
In August, President Vladimir Putin ordered the government to conduct feasibility studies on launching production of the Il-114 at the Aviacor Aviation Plant in the Samara region. All 20 models of the plane that were built since 1990 were made by the Tashkent Aircraft Production Plant in Uzbekistan.