MINSK, 15 November (BelTA) – Belarus is mulling purchasing the MC-21 aircraft and suggests cooperation in the production of this new Russian passenger aircraft, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said as he met with Irkutsk Oblast Governor Sergei Levchenko on 15 November, BelTA has learned.
“The flagship of the Russian mechanical engineering industry, Irkutsk Aviation Plant, plans to launch the production of MC-21 aircraft in 2019. We are taking a close look at the aircraft. Our aviators suggest we buy these aircraft,” the head of state said.
Alexander Lukashenko also stressed that Belarus is looking into potential cooperation opportunities. He suggested cooperation with the relevant Belarusian companies and the aircraft repair plant, the new production facilities of which are located near Minsk National Airport. “With the wealth of experience in maintenance of Soviet-made aircraft, we would like to give new functions to our companies and our aircraft overhaul plant. We can expand its capacity if there is work for its team. We would be very interested in cooperation with your company,” the Belarusian leader said.
According to the TASS News Agency, MC-21 (21st-century airliner) is a series of twin-engine short-range and mid-range Russian jet airliners. Following Sukhoi Superjet 10, it is the second ambitious Russian project in civil aviation. The airliners are being designed by PAO Irkut Corporation with the participation of the Yakovlev Irkut Design Bureau (part of the United Aircraft Corporation). On 28 May 2017 the experimental MC-21-300 made a maiden flight in Irkutsk. Unlike Sukhoi Superjet, which is a regional aircraft designed for a flight range of 3,000km), MC-21 is designed cover about 6,000km and is set to replace Soviet Tu-134 and Tu-154 aircraft and its Western analogues.More about President