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    BRITISH DEFENSE CORPORATION NEGOTIATES WITH RUSSIA ON CREATION OF NEW GENERATION AIRCRAFT

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    LONDON, March 1, 2004. (RIA Novosti) -- B-I-E Systems, a large British defense contractor, is negotiating with Russia on joint designing of a new generation aircraft.

    As the London-based Daily Telegraph writes in its Monday issue the representatives of the B-I-E Systems intend to cooperate with Russian corporation Irkut, the second largest defense contractor in Russia, which manufactures, for instance, the Mig fighters.

    The Great Britain and Russia are looking for possibilities of jointly building a training jet plane, the paper says.

    Apart from that, according to the paper's data, the Russian side intends to bring forth the issue of cooperation in exchanging technology of creating wings for aircraft, as well as joining efforts in building a drone military aircraft.

    "We have held a series of negotiations with B-I-E Systems and we can take part in some of their projects. B-I-E is one of the leaders in the aviation industry. Today new projects in aviation are not undertaken by one company alone, it is exclusively the question of cooperation. Thus, Irkut and B-I-E can act in this way, Alexei Fyodorov, president of the Irkut corporation, told the Daily Telegraph. He assessed the chances of the positive outcome of the talks as fifty-fifty.

    The Irkut company, which earned $528 million from the sales of its produce, and whose orders are worth several billion dollars, will become the first defense industry company, whose shares are planned to be placed on the Russian stock market in a few weeks to come.

    The Daily Telegraph also points out that it is not ruled out that within the two coming years Irkutsk shares will be listed on the London and New York stock exchanges.

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