MOSCOW, October 4 (RIA Novosti) – Russia could agree on a deal to start assembling Sukhoi Superjet 100 and Irkut MS-21 passenger jets in India, an official at the Russian Economic Development Ministry said Friday.
Russia is considering a number of projects to promote the country’s airliners “with the possibility of cooperating in their production,” said Yevgeny Popov, who heads the ministry’s department of Asia and Africa, adding that this concerns both the Sukhoi Superjet 100, now being built in Russia, and the next-generation Irkut MS-21, due to enter production in a few years.
He did not provide more details.
Popov made the statement ahead of the 19th meeting of the Russian-Indian intergovernmental commission on trade, economic, scientific, technical and cultural cooperation in Moscow on Friday.
According to Indian experts, assembling the Russian passenger jets in India could cut production costs per plane by 40 percent, Popov told journalists.
The Superjet 100 is a medium-haul passenger aircraft capable of carrying 75-95 passengers developed by the Sukhoi Corporation in cooperation with US and European aerospace companies.
The MS-21 is a family of twin-engine jet airliners still under development by the Irkut and the Yakovlev design bureau, part of Russia's United Aircraft Corporation. It has a capacity of 150-212 passengers.
India has a long history of building Soviet and later Russian aircraft under license at Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), going back to the MiG-21 in the 1960’s, but has only assembled military types. HAL is currently license-building the Russian Su-30MKI strike aircraft in India.