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Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 September 2007, 10:39 GMT 11:39 UK
Russia unveils new passenger jet
Superjet 100 being unveiled
Sukhoi wants to export six planes a month by 2010
Russia has unveiled a new passenger jet it hopes will establish its place as a global seller of commercial aircraft.

The 110-seat Superjet 100 has been developed by state-run business Sukhoi, in conjunction with Western partners including US giant Boeing.

Aiming to rival similar-sized models from Brazil's Embraer and Canada's Bombardier, the plane will undergo test flights later this year.

Sukhoi aims to make up to six planes a month for foreign airlines by 2010.

Diversification plans

"The first plane of the new Russia is of great importance, a priority project, because the domestic market is not enough for a world economy," said Russia's First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov.

Sukhoi plane
The Superjet has been competitively priced

Analysts say that if the plane is a commercial success, it would be a major realisation of Russian ambitions to diversify away from its current reliance upon oil and gas exports.

Italy's Alenia, and French groups Snecma and Thales, are also involved in the $1bn (500m) project.

The first plane was unveiled at a factory in Komsomolsk-on-Amur in Russia's Far East.

Russian flag-carrier Aeroflot has already placed an order for 15 Superjets, at a cost of $400m.

There are 73 orders in total, with the others coming mainly from Russian regional carriers, but Italian regional airline Itali also plans to buy 10 planes.

The Superjet retails for $28m, which is 25% lower than the rival Embraer 190.

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