SC AEROSTAR SA
Factory celebrates 50th anniversary in 2003, having been founded 1953 as URA (later IRAv, then IAv Bacau), originally as repair centre for Romanian Air Force Yak-17/23, MiG-15/17/19/21 and Il-28/H-5 front-line military aircraft Aero L-29/L-39 jet trainers; built first Romanian prototype of IAR-93 between 1972 and 1974. Five other specialised work sections: (1) landing gears, hydraulic and pneumatic equipment; (2) special production; (3) light aircraft; (4) engines and reduction gears; (5) avionics. Site area 45 ha (111.2 acres), including 25 ha (61.8 acres) of covered workshop space. Workforce in December 2002 totalled 2,193.
Romanian State Ownership Fund (SOF) originally owned 69.99 per cent of Aerostar. In preparation for full privatisation. Aerostar reorganised 1997 into three semi-autonomous divisions: systems, commercial, and technology support, reporting to a strategic fourth division. Creation of a joint venture (Aerothom Electronics) with Thomson-CSF (now Thales) Communications announced June 1999; Aerostar owns 60 per cent of this company, formed to supply IFF equipment to Romanian MoD. Aerostar became fully privatised company 11 February 2000 as part of Aerostar-PAS-IAROM, a consortium of Aerostar management and employees (PAS) with IAROM, acquiring Aerostar stock previously held by SOF. The new shareholdings are IAROM 71 per cent; SIF 'Moldova' (financial investment company) 11 per cent; PAS-Aerostar 4 per cent; other 14 per cent. SOF retains 'golden share' entitling it to veto matters affecting company's defence production capability. Consortium agreed to take over all Aerostar's obligations and debts; not to dissolve company for 10 years; and to keep its core business intact for at least five years. Company turnover in 2001 was Lei577 million, of which exports accounted for more than 70 per cent.
Aerostar's main product for many years has been Iak-52 trainer, joined in 2001 by Aerostar 01. Manufactures airframes for German ULBI Wild Thing ultralight and components for Flug Werk replicas of Focke-Wulf Fw 190. North American P-51 Mustang replica available 2003 from Fighter Factory LLC, 13545 Sycamore Avenue, San Martin, California 95046, USA. Aerostar also responsible for Lancer and Sniper Romanian Air Force upgrade programmes for MiG-21 (comleted April 2003) and MiG-29.
Landing gears and/or hydraulic/pneumatic equipment have been produced for IAR-316B (Alouette III), IAR-330 (Puma), IAR-93, IAR-99, Romaero (BAC) One-Eleven and Iak-52. From 2003, producing sheet metal for Stork Aerospace contribution to manufacture of components for Airbus and Cessna. Engines include M-14P for Iak-52, M-14V26 for Ka-26 and RU-19A-300 APU for An-24; reduction gears include R-26. Avionics factory produces radio altimeters, radio compasses, marker beacon receivers, IFF and other radio/radar items.