Russia’s S7 Technics performs jet engine overhauls under sanctions

S7 Technics has begun carrying out complex restoration work on the sections of CFM56-5B and 7B turbine engines that power many Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 passenger jets in Russia’s airline fleet.

A major Russian aircraft engineering company has started performing extensive overhauls on jet engines used by domestic airlines, a capability it previously lacked due to Western restrictions, according to industry sources.

S7 Technics has begun carrying out complex restoration work on the hot sections of CFM56-5B and 7B turbine engines that power many Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 passenger jets in Russia’s airline fleets, the sources told Kommersant.

The hot section refers to the combustion, turbine, and exhaust components that operate at extreme temperatures inside the engine. Overhauling this critical area requires specialized expertise and equipment that Russian firms have traditionally lacked for these widely-used Western engines.

However, sweeping sanctions imposed by the U.S., EU, and others in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have cut off the country’s airlines from international repair services, forcing a self-reliant approach.

According to the report, S7 Technics confirmed that its engineers had already completed 12 overhauls of CFM56-5B’s and 7B’s hot sections in the company’s workshop at Sheremetyevo International Airport near Moscow.

Before the sanctions, Russian carriers regularly sent their engines to approved overseas facilities for major maintenance and restorations. But those options disappeared amid trade restrictions and Russia’s growing isolation.

With Western-built aircraft comprising the bulk of Russia’s civil aviation fleet, the ability to service and maintain those aeroplanes independently has become an urgent priority to keep them airworthy.

Last year, President Vladimir Putin said Russia had overcome sanctions-related problems and was moving to the “next stage of development” following the punitive economic measures.

Taking on hot section overhauls represents a key step toward self-sufficiency for the aviation sector. However, it remains unclear if Russian companies can fully recreate the specialized capabilities and supply chains required for comprehensive jet engine restorations long-term.