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BEIJING, March 25. /ITAR-TASS/. China’s private O-bay Aircraft Company, based in the Henan province, intends to buy 100 Russia Sukhoi Superjet-100 (SSJ-100) planes from Sukhoi company to the total worth of 3.5 billion US dollars, the Beijing-based China Daily reported, noting that the corresponding agreement had been signed on Saturday.
The report says that the Russian company will provide assistance to the Chinese side in setting up an assembly plant in Zhengzhou (administrative centre of Henan). Several other Chinese companies have also displayed an interest in this project.
The newspaper reports that Russia’s Sukhoi company is well known in China thanks to its military planes. The Sukhoi civilian assembly line is to be put into operation in 2016 and reach full capacity in 2018. The project is yet to be approved by the Chinese State Council, according to China Daily. It notes that the Russian plane will become direct competitor to the regional ARJ-21 plane that is being created by China’s aircraft building corporation.
It is not clear whether the State government will approve it because the city does not have the necessary industrial foundation and professional human resources, despite the local government being passionate about the aviation industry, the newspaper notes. If the SSJ-100 is built in China, the Chinese State-owned airplane manufacturer will have a direct rival: Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China Ltd is working on the ARJ-21, a regional aircraft with 70 to 90 seats.