Snecma and NPO Saturn began to work together in 1997, when Snecma subcontracted the production of CFM56* engine parts to NPO Saturn. The PowerJet joint venture for the SaM146 engine takes the collaboration a step further, and reflects both confidence in the market and the longstanding mutual trust between the two partners.
The SaM146 development program has proceeded very smoothly, reflecting the successful collaboration – a first – between Western and Russian engine manufacturers, Snecma and NPO Saturn, respectively. They joined forces to design, develop and produce the SaM146, the most modern powerplant now available in the regional jet market.
The development of the SaM146 was spurred by the favorable market outlook for regional jets, the growing role of Russia in global aviation markets, and the shared aim of Snecma and NPO Saturn to extend their scope of expertise.
*CFM56 engines are made by CFM International, a 50-50 joint-venture of Snecma (SAFRAN group) and GE.
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VolgAero, founded in 2005 in Rybinsk, is a state-of-the-art production plant which makes parts for the SaM146, as well as parts and assemblies for other engines produced by the two parent companies. In 2007, Snecma and NPO Saturn built an open-air test cell in Poluevo, Russia (near Rybinsk) to handle certification tests for the SaM146. It is the only open-air test facility for this type of engine in Europe and it also provides test services for other engines.
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