Pratt & Whitney has formally inked a deal with Irkut to begin preliminary design activities on the PW1000G geared turbofan that will power Russia's all-new MS-21 twinjet.

The contract represents the beginning of development of the third airframe application for the GTF engine, which has already been selected to power the Bombardier CSeries and Mitsubishi MRJ.

P&W has designated the higher-thrurst GTF for the 150- to 210-seat MS-21 - the PW1400G, which is rated at between 25,000lb (111kN) and 32,000lb thrust.

With core testing in progress and full engine testing scheduled this year for the CSeries and MRJ applications, P&W says the engine programme "fully supports" the Irkut MS-21 development timeline, which calls for a 2014 first flight and service entry in 2016.

Source: Flight International