MC-21: Russians hail new airliner as better than Boeing or Airbus
Siberian-built plane is cool, says prime minister Dmitry Medvedev, as Kremlin targets foreign sales amid push to revitalise industries hit by sanctions
Russia has unveiled a medium-range passenger plane that state media hailed as superior in many ways to western-made counterparts.
In a glitzy Siberian ceremony attended by the prime minister, Dmitry Medvedev, the Irkut Corporation rolled out its new MC-21 airliner, which is still undergoing testing but is due to enter serial production in 2017. The plane is sometimes also known as MS-21.
Medvedev hailed the new twin-engine short and medium-range aircraft as cool, saying it was important that Russia remained in what he called the top league of aircraft makers despite the high costs involved.
Squeezed by western sanctions over its role in the Ukraine crisis, the Russian government is trying to rejuvenate domestic industrial production to make the country less dependent on foreign firms.
I only want to say that I am absolutely certain that the airliner will be the pride of Russian civil aviation, and that our citizens and foreign people will take pleasure in flights on MC-21, said Medvedev.