Russia's United Aircraft to develop new twin-jet

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United Aircraft has outlined a project to complement its product line with a new twin-jet accommodating between 130 and 150 passengers.

The Russian carrier says the proposed aircraft type will draw from technology and expertise associated with the development of the Sukhoi Superjet 100 and Irkut MS-21.

Speaking at an air transport forum in Ulyanovsk, chief executive Mikhail Pogosyan argued that taking this approach should help reduce development timeframe and costs.

"The new aircraft type will have a great degree of commonality both with the Superjet and MS-21 and fit in between them in terms of capacity," said Pogosyan.

While the Superjet concept envisages a family of aircraft seating between 90 and 130 passengers, the updated MS-21 programme targets a segment from 165 to 210 seats.

Pogosyan estimated potential global demand for the jet with intermediate capacity at between 4,000 and 5,000 units, of which Russia's domestic market might absorb up to 400.

"There will be two variants powered either by domestic or western engines," said Pogosyan, adding that both variants will have composite wings.

Russian industry and trade deputy minister Yuri Slyusar expects the federal treasury to allocate around Rb900 million ($28 million) to carry out marketing research and preliminary design work on the proposed aircraft.