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Russia launches passenger plane to take on Airbus, Boeing

A Russian plane maker has unveiled a new passenger jet that it believes will be able to compete with Boeing and Airbus.

The new MC-21 passenger plane is scheduled for serial production from early next year.

In a ceremony at a factory in Siberia, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev described the medium range aircraft as 'cool' and would soon be the pride of Russia's fleet.

"This is a huge victory for our aviation industry and Irkut Corporation, our scientists, designers, engineers and workers," said Medvedev according to Russian media.

Irkut Corporation is the developer of the plane which reports claim has cost approximately US$3.5 billion (100 billion rubles) to build.

Irkut's parent company United Aircraft Corporation told Reuters reporters at the launch that the plane would be able to service routes with a range up to 6,400 kilometers.


Photographer | Collection | Getty Images

The twin engine jet will be developed in two models with one offering up to 211 seats and a second accommodating a maximum 165 seats.

That puts it squarely in competition with Boeing's 757 and Airbus A320 family of planes.

Russian media reported that the corporation has confirmed orders for 175 aircraft from domestic and overseas clients.

The first airline to receive MC-21 aircraft in late 2018 will be Russia's domestic firm Aeroflot, which has ordered 50 units.