One of the world's largest civil aircraft manufacturers, the European company Airbus, has decided to stop deliveries of Russian titanium within a few months. This was announced by the director of Airbus Defense & Space Michael Schellhorn, whose words are quoted by Reuters.
“We are in the process of phasing out Russian titanium supplies. It will take months, not years. I can’t give you an exact date, since this is a complex certification process, and some other details take time, but this [rejection of titanium from the Russian Federation] will definitely happen, ”Shellhorn told reporters.
Russia is one of the largest titanium producers in the world and has also been a key partner for a European company for many years. Airbus representatives even asked the EU not to impose sanctions on the supply of titanium from Russia, as this would hit the European aerospace industry harder than Russia and its income. Now Airbus intends to rebuild logistics for deliveries from the US and Japan.
However, agency sources in the industry note that the process of replacing and certifying parts may take years, so a full rejection of Russian parts may not happen. Schellhorn also partially acknowledges the problems. According to him, the company understands that some details will have to be changed for a long time, but "the company is on the way to its independence from Russia." The Airbus director also assured that the company needs parts exclusively for civilian aircraft - all military supplies have been replaced by alternative suppliers. The agency recalls that titanium from Russia was used in the production of Tiger and NH90 helicopters.
European authorities have been very cautious in imposing sanctions on commodities from Russia. At the moment, only oil, coal and steel are subject to strict restrictions; titanium was not on this list. Russia, on the other hand, is losing the second main buyer of its titanium products - in the spring, the American corporation Boeing refused to supply the largest titanium producer in Russia, VSMPO-Avisma. Before the war, the Russian company provided about 35% of Boeing's needs and about 65% for Airbus.