IRKUTSK, July 29. /TASS/. Russia's MC-21 aircraft compete with its Western counterparts for a niche on the international market, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said on Thursday.
He was visiting the Irkutsk Aircraft Plant (IAZ) of Irkut Corporation, where automated lines for the final assembly of the MC-21 are deployed.
"Specialists engaged in aircraft engineering understand that composite materials, new technologies that [are applied] here will enable it (the aircraft - TASS) to be competitive with the similar aircraft of Airbus, Boeing and others. And as for others - there are not many, actually. So, you can compete for an international niche as well," the head of government said.
"Despite the sanctions that were applied, and the attempt by a number of countries, let's say, to limit the possibilities of our production - and we had good production and cooperation ties with other countries - our industry was able to create analogues in the shortest possible time, to produce composite materials," Mishustin noted. Her recalled that composite materials for the wings of the MC-21 is produced in the republic of Tatarstan by an enterprise, which is part of the Rosatom nuclear corporation.
"By now this issue has been resolved. This is a very big achievement for engineers, scientists, technologists, because it gives unique advantages and capabilities to this aircraft," the Prime Minister stressed.
He also assured that the government will continue to support this project.
"No one should have any doubts about that," Mishustin concluded.
In May, IAZ received a 17.5-meter long wing console for MC-21-300 aircraft made of Russian composite materials.
Sergey Chemezov, CEO of Russia’s Rostec corporation, said earlier that the plane with the composite wing would undergo trials by the end of the year, while in 2022, the jet’s serial production would start.
The MC-21 is a narrow-body airliner under development. The plane is being developed with two types of engines: a PD-14 one and the American Pratt & Whitney (PW140). Last fall, Rostec completed the construction of the first MC-21-310 jet with Russian PD-14 engines. The first flight with the domestically-produced engine was performed last December. The liner with the PW140 engines is undergoing certification trials.
Earlier, the US slapped sanctions on the United Aircraft Corporation and Rostec, which led to the suspension of composite material supplies for the MC-21 jet’s wing. After that Russia started the production of its own composite components.