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​Russia presents new airliner

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MOSCOW -- Russia has presented a new airliner intended to revive the nation's aircraft-making prowess and reduce its reliance on Western planes.

The MC-21, a twin-engine short- and mid-range passenger jet, was unveiled Wednesday in the Siberian city of Irkutsk. It has been built by the Irkut Corporation, part of the state-controlled United Aircraft Corporation.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev attends a ceremony to present the Irkut MC-21 mid-range jet airliner at the Irkutsk Aviation Plant in Irkutsk, on June 8, 2016. Sputnik/Alexander Astafyev/Pool/via REUTERS

Unlike the old Soviet designs, the new jet is built with a broad use of composite materials helping reduce weight and enhance its commercial efficiency. It will be powered by new Russian engines now under development.

Deliveries are expected to start in 2018.

Russia's flag carrier Aeroflot and other Russian airlines have increasingly relied on Boeings and Airbuses, but the government has made the revival of domestic aircraft-making industries a top priority.

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