Russian regional jet manufacturer Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Co. (SCAC) has said attempts to gain US approval to export its SSJ100 Superjet to Iran have met with no response from the US government, despite placing a request more than a year ago.

Under US sanctions against Iran, US-manufactured aircraft, or civil aircraft that incorporate more than 10% of US components, cannot be sold to Tehran. The SSJ100 falls into the latter category.

Russia has been rumored to be keen to sell the SSJ100 to Iranian carriers for some time. In a statement issued Jan. 6, SCAC said it had applied to the US Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) in 2017 for permission to do so. However, “By the end of 2018 the company received neither positive nor negative feedback,” it said.

The problem may be solved if SCAC brings to fruition its efforts to build a modified version of the SSJ100 with imported components replaced by Russian equivalents. This new model, the SSJ100R, would not fall under the US restrictions.

“As part of the import substitution program SCAC continues to reduce the number of foreign components and is currently working at the new SSJ100 modification,” the company added.

“The operational costs of that new aircraft modification are to be lowered substantially. Besides, the program efficiency is planned to be increased via repricing of a number of components. And the deliveries of the new aircraft are not supposed to be formally agreed upon by third parties.”

OFAC officials were on furlough Jan. 7 because of the partial US government shutdown and thus unable to answer ATW questions on the matter.

Alan Dron