Russia will start the production of the Antonov design bureau's An-158 passenger jet in 2011, the head of Ukrainian Motor Sich engine manufacturer said on Monday.
"This winter we are planning to receive a certificate for the An-158. Tests will be held in Yakutia [Russian northern region] in temperatures of minus 50 degrees Celsius (-58 degrees Fahrenheit)" Vyacheslav Boguslayev said at the Farnborough Air Show near London.
After the jet is certified, documents for starting production in Russia will be prepared, he said.
The An-158 is a stretched variant of the 85-seat An-148 regional jet with a payload of 99 passengers. It has an increased takeoff weight of 43.7 tons and maximum range of 2,500 km.
The aircraft will require a take-off runway length of 1,900m at its maximum weight, and a landing distance of 2,000m at maximum landing weight.
Over 200 enterprises from 15 countries including Russia are involved in construction of the aircraft. At least 70% of the An-148 and An-158's hardware is made by Russian producers.
Sales of the An-158 will start in the first quarter of 2011 with deliveries to customers in the second quarter of 2011.
Moscow has renewed long-stalled cooperation with Ukrainian aircraft manufacturers for eventual joint production of the airplanes, following the recent thaw in Russian-Ukrainian relations. Along with the joint production of the An-158, Russia plans to buy the Ukrainian-designed Antonov An-124 and An-70 military transport aircraft as part of the new state arms procurement program for 2011-2020.
FARNBOROUGH, July 19 (RIA Novosti)