Russia's state-owned military-industrial giant Rostec said Sunday during the first day of Dubai airshow that it is looking to jointly produce the Irkut MC-21 narrowbody airliner overseas -- potentially in the United Arab Emirates.
According to a report by CNN Money, Rostec delegates held talks about the potential joint production of the plane with Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, the powerful crown prince of Abu Dhabi.
The UAE has been eager to expand its aerospace industry into manufacturing. Companies based in the country already produce some parts for Boeing and Airbus jets.
However, the spokesperson said it was too early to say what joint production would mean in practice, which could entail anything from assembly of completed MC-21 jetliners in the UAE to manufacturing components for jets that will be produced in Russia.
"Specific parameters will be determined during [the] negotiation process," the spokesperson said.
According to the report, Rostec and UAC may build the aircraft in the UAE based on the largest version, the MC-21-400, that seats up to 250 passengers and competes directly with the biggest single-aisle jets from Boeing and Airbus.
The MC-21 short-and medium-haul narrow-body aircraft conducted its maiden flight on May 28, 2017. Plans are in store to produce two of the plane’s versions: the MC-21-200, which will carry 132 to 165 passengers, and the MC-21-300, which will carry 163 to 211 passengers.
Currently, Irkut has 286 orders for the MC-21 aircraft. Of this number, final contracts were inked for the delivery of 175 aircraft while contracts for another 110 planes are preliminary agreements.