Rus­sia, UAE in Early Talks to Build Civil Air­craft


DUBAI (Dis­patches) - Rus­sia has ini­ti­ated pre­lim­i­nary talks with the United Arab Emi­rates for joint pro­duc­tion of a civil air­craft in the Gulf state, the head of Rus­sia’s state-owned de­fense com­pany said.

The air­craft would be based on Rus­sia’s new sin­gle aisle twin pas­sen­ger jet, the MC 21-400, and would com­pete with sim­i­lar jets from Boe­ing and Air­bus.

“A work­ing group will be cre­ated to dis­cuss it fur­ther. The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi ex­pressed his de­sire to start pro­duc­tion of the MC 21-400,” Rostec’s CEO Sergei Che­me­zov told Reuters in an in­ter­view at the Dubai Air Show.

Che­me­zov said he met Sheikh Mo­hammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Com­man­der of the UAE Armed Forces, on Sun­day and dis­cussed the joint pro­duc­tion of the pas­sen­ger jet and other ar­eas of co­op­er­a­tion. Sev­eral Mid­dle East­ern coun­tries have shown in­ter­est in the pas­sen­ger jet but no spe­cific con­tracts have been signed yet, he said.

“The Mid­dle East North Africa re­gion is im­por­tant for us, ac­count­ing for around 48 per­cent of our to­tal sales, both civil and mil­i­tary,” Che­me­zov said.

Rus­sia rolled out its sin­gle-aisle twin pas­sen­ger jet, the MC 21-300, in 2016 with its first flight in May 2017. It is ex­pected to start fly­ing pas­sen­gers in 2019 af­ter com­plet­ing test­ing.

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