Irkut targets to sell 200 MS-21s in India

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Russian airframer Irkut expects to sell up to 200 of its MS-21 passenger twinjets in India.

These aircraft will be sold in the next 10 to 15 years, said Kirill Budaev, Irkut's vice-president of sales and marketing at the India Aviation air show.

He added that the airframer is in talks with several Indian airlines and that a sale is likely to be made with a local carrier by next year.

"The Indian market is strategic for us due to the historical ties that connects us, and also because of the annual passenger growth in India," said Budaev.

He added that work design documents of the aircraft are being developed and that pre-production arrangements are underway.

The prototype of the MS-21's composite wing has also been designed and manufactured, and strength tests of the prototype have been successfully completed.

"Damage endurance tests are now being implemented," said Budaev, adding that the aircraft is on track to make its first flight in 2014, with certification and first deliveries by 2017.

The Russian aircraft has received 235 orders, about half of which are from different foreign firms.