Roscosmos Bails Out Debt Ridden & Accident Prone Khrunichev

Inaugural Angara A5 launch (Credit: Khrunichev)
Inaugural Angara A5 launch (Credit: Khrunichev)

Having taken over Russia’s space industry, Roscosmos has turned its attention to bailing out debt-ridden Khrunichev Space Center.

Roscosmos said the cash infusion in particular would allow Moscow-based Khrunichev to repay its suppliers back debt of more than 20 billion Russian rubles, or about $300 million at current exchange rates. Roscosmos said Khrunichev’s total debt stood at 114 billion rubles as of late 2014.

In 2015, Roscosmos and Khrunichev were given new chief executives, both with non-space, commercial backgrounds. Roscosmos is now a state corporation as well as Russia’s space agency.

Roscosmos Director-General Igor Komarov is a former president of Russia’s Lada automobile manufacturer. Khrunichev Director-General Andrey V. Kalinovsky is a former president of the civil aircraft division of Russia’s Sukhoi.

U.S. and European government and industry officials who have negotiated with both men say they have brought a Western-style business approach to their companies.

“It’s like night and day,” said one European government official, referring specifically to Komarov compared to his predecessors.

  • Lee

    Well, with a former manager from Lada running things, we can all look forward to Russian launch vehicles sporting the legendary reliability of the Lada car… which for those who don’t know, is non-existent.

  • Pete Zaitcev

    The best part of this analogy is foreign entities stealing all the engineering and then implementing it with a decent quality trololololol (Nissan used Lada platform with light reskinning for their newest Micra, which by all accounts is properly reliable).

  • That level of debt is beyond my comprehension.

  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    Fascinating, what model Lada, and what model Nissan?

  • Douglas Messier

    114 billion rubles = $1.75 billion

  • So 7000 homes at $250k? 70,000 cars at $25k?

    Yeah, I still can’t comprehend owing people that much stuff.

  • duheagle

    I think I’ll call bulls**t on this.

    The original Lada platform was a pre-emissions-control-era, manual transmission-only 1970 Fiat 124. This boxy, underpowered thing was in production with only minor updates for 42 years. The Nissan Micra bears a superficial resemblance to some recent Lada models, but these seem to be based on Renault technology, not Nissan. The Nissan Micra and Lada Kalina and Granta also bear superficial external resemblance to several other cars, one of which is the 2008 Hyundai Accent, which happens to be one of my family’s rides. That doesn’t mean any of these vehicles have any under-the-skin resemblance of consequence. There are comparatively few cars, especially in our current era of mass-marketed SUV’s and light trucks, that are very distinctive looking compared to, say, the 1950’s.

  • Paul451

    Nissan used Lada platform with light reskinning for their newest Micra

    Nissan/Renault sells a model called “Datsun mi-Do” exclusively in Russia which is a restyled Lada Kalina 2. It has nothing to do with the internationally sold Nissan Micra.

    (They do the same thing with other Ladas. on-Do is a restyled Granta)

  • Pete Zaitcev

    I’m afraid, I have to roll that back. Kalina was supposed to underpin the Datsun Go, but while I wasn’t looking Nissan substituted a new generation of their own Micra. They do make a “Nissan” mi-Do based on Kalina, but only for sale in -stans. The mi-Do is not “the Go”, the face of the resurrected Datsun. In addition, VAZ produces Dacia-based XRAY, which represents a technology transfer in the conventional direction.

  • DJN

    The original Fiat 124 was an amazing success. It was produced in at least a dozen countries. Simple to work on, lots of interior space. The big draw back is the ones that came to North America were build of Russian steel, which rusted badly. I think they still might be in production in Egypt.

  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    I would presume that in either case the Japanese would pay license fees for any technology transfer?

    My fav industrial cloak and dagger story is when the Soviets got mad at the Chinese for copying the Tu-4 and not paying the license fees.

  • Pete Zaitcev

    Beechcraft owed $2.8 billion before the bankrupcy. Only in their case the handout didn’t happen. They hoped that U.S. taxpayer would rescue them by way of the LAS contract. They would ship proudly made in America overpriced airplanes and voila. But the Pentagon would not have it. They bought the airplanes from Brazilians instead at a sensible price. In case of Russia, however, The Big Kh is too big to fail. They hog the Angara and basically keep it hostage.

  • Pete Zaitcev

    They didn’t have to pay. Nissan owned a significant stake in AvtoVAZ.

  • Must be why they are going forward with the largely duplicative Soyuz 5. The Russian gov’t doesn’t like single source for both the risk as well as the cost reasons. So those commies DO like competition! 🙂