The Russian government has allocated an additional ₽1.6b ($24.2m) in subsidies to the Irkut MC-21. The announcement comes after a report by Russia’s accounting chamber that claimed the total cost estimate for the program increased from ₽125b to ₽438b.
The MC-21 has seen quite a few set backs since it’s initial introduction in 2008 due to many of the sanctions placed by the US government. The design goal for the MC-21 was to seat around 150 passengers with a range of about 3,000nm to replace the Tupolev TU-154 which was first introduced 46 years ago.
United Aviation Corporation (UAC) issued a statement earlier this month stating additional measured had been taken in an effort to overcome US imposed sanctions by involving more Russian corporations.
Currently the MC-21 has 2 prototypes that have flown a combined 122 flights.
As of writing there are 175 confirmed orders for the MC-21 including a commitment from Aeroflot as a launch customer with service to start 2020.
On launch 2 versions will be available the MC-21-200 which will seat around 150 passengers and the MC-21-300 which will hold 175 passengers. Both versions will be powered by either the Russian Aviadvigatel PD-14 high bypass turbo fan engine or the Pratt and Whitney PW1000G found on the Airbus A320neo and A220 series aircraft. The MC-21 aims to fill a gap in the market for a Russian built narrow-body airliner that is currently filled by Airbus and Boeing with their A320 and 737 products. Currently the only other Russian aircraft that is still in production that also falls into this category is the Sukhoi SSJ100 “Superjet” which only seats 87-98 passengers and has a range of 2,472nm in the LR configuration. The MC-21 will cost between 72 and 91 million US dollars which will offer carriers a cheaper alternative to the more popular Boeing and Airbus offerings.