Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has signed a decree on allocation of 1.6 bln rubles ($24.24 mln) worth of subsidies for the MC-21 airliner project.
"I have signed a governmental decree to allocate subsidies for production and support of MC-21 airliner for the first time. Almost 1.6 bln rubles will be spent on that in 2019," he said at a meeting with deputy prime ministers on Monday.
According to the document released on the cabinet’s website, it is planned to earmark 4.11 bln rubles ($62.2 mln) and 4.81 bln rubles ($72.8 mln) for those purposes in 2020 and 2021, respectively. The total amount of funds provided by the decree for three years is 10.5 bln rubles ($159 mln).
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov said that certification tests of the MC-21 passenger jet are scheduled for completion in the second half of 2020.
"Completion of certification tests is planned in the second half of 2020. 122 flights have been made to date. Everything is on track. We have no doubts the airplane will become fully operation exactly within the stated timeframe," the official said.
Russian companies participating in the project have already been upgraded, the testing base was renewed and the modern research and production environment was established, Borisov said.
Firm orders for the MC-21 passenger jet total 175, he added. "175 orders are available to date. Furthermore, these have been paid. Aeroflot is the initial customer," the official said.
The global demand for MC-21 format aircraft is about 850 airplanes, Borisov noted.
"The business plan provides that the primary production facility [for MC-21 aircraft] is Irkut in Irkutsk. Production of up to 70 airplanes is stipulated for the peak," the official said. "Nevertheless, I think this figure can be higher: colleagues from the Ministry of Industry and we view an opportunity, relying on the domestic market alone, <…> to reach the volume of about 100 aircraft per year," Borisov said.
MC-21 is a medium-haul passenger jet being developed by the United Aircraft Corporation. It may come in two configurations - MC-21-200 (seating 132 to 165) and MC-21-300 (163 to 211). Another configuration, MC-21-400 with up to 250 seats, is also planned.
Currently only the MC-21-300 plane is being developed. It performed its first flight at the end of May 2017. First jets are expected to be delivered in 2020. Certificating and the launch of serial production are also due in 2020.
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