The Russian Defense Ministry plans to purchase several dozen MC-21 passenger jets to replace its aging fleet of Tu-134s and Tu-154s, the head of sales for the plane's producer, Irkut, told RIA Novosti.
"We haven't yet begun talks with the [Russian] Defense Ministry on the precise base configurations, but it's assumed this process will begin soon," he added.
Irkut MC-21 is a new narrow-body design mid-range passenger jet, the production of which will be mostly localized in Russia.
In November 2014, Russian Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov said that the first MC-21 aircraft would be constructed by the end of 2015.
According to Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, Russia plans to sell up to 1,000 MC-21 jets within the next 20 years and has so far garnered 175 orders.
CORRECTION: The original version of this article stated that Irkut planned to create a reconnaissance aircraft similar to the US AWACS, but the corporation later withdrew this statement as inaccurate.