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    Russia's new state-controlled aircraft construction holding has been registered with the tax authorities, an Industry and Energy Ministry official said Monday.

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    MOSCOW, November 20 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's new state-controlled aircraft construction holding has been registered with the tax authorities, an Industry and Energy Ministry official said Monday.

    The government is setting up the United Aircraft Building Corporation (UABC), which will incorporate Russia's leading manufacturers, design offices and dealers in a bid to streamline the industry and raise its competitiveness.

    "In line with a timetable for the government commission to ensure the integration of aircraft industry enterprises led by [Industry and Energy Minister] Viktor Khristenko, United Aircraft Building Corporation has received a registration certificate from tax bodies today," the ministry said.

    The new company's charter capital will total 96.7 billion rubles ($3.62 billion). The government is expected to contribute 100% of shares in military jet maker Sukhoi, an 86% stake in the Ilyushin aircraft manufacturer, and 90.8% of shares in Tupolev, as well as other assets, to the charter capital and will hold at least 75% in the corporation, according to the ministry.

    The corporation's assets are expected to be fully formed in the first quarter of 2007, and its shares will be issued on foreign markets in 2007-2008.

    The corporation will cover four areas: the production of combat aircraft, civilian aircraft, transport aircraft, and component parts. Alexei Fyodorov, head of the state-owned combat aircraft maker, has been appointed UABC board chairman.

    Russia's defense minister and a deputy prime minister, Sergei Ivanov, who will head the UABC Board of Directors, said earlier that foreign investors will not have access to combat aviation, but will be encouraged to invest in other sectors.

    Russia's combat jet industry is highly successful, whereas its civilian aircraft industry makes only several planes a year. Media reports said the unified corporation will allow the country to produce about 120 civilian aircraft a year.

    President Vladimir Putin signed a decree to set up the corporation in February 2006, although the idea had been discussed for several years already. The move falls in line with the Kremlin strategy of establishing national champions in key sectors of the economy.

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