Europe

Russia presents new airliner

  • Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev speaks at the unveiling ceremony of a new passenger jet MC-21-300 at a plane at "Irkut" corporation assembling plant in Irkutsk, Russia, Wednesday, June 8, 2016. Russia unveiled new MC-21-300 airliner ahead of flight tests for the new passenger jet. (Alexander Astafyev/Sputnik, Government Press Service Pool Photo via AP)

    Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev speaks at the unveiling ceremony of a new passenger jet MC-21-300 at a plane at "Irkut" corporation assembling plant in Irkutsk, Russia, Wednesday, June 8, 2016. Russia unveiled new MC-21-300 airliner ahead of flight tests for the new passenger jet. (Alexander Astafyev/Sputnik, Government Press Service Pool Photo via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev speaks at the unveiling ceremony of a new passenger jet MC-21-300 at a plane at "Irkut" corporation assembling plant in Irkutsk, Russia, Wednesday, June 8, 2016. Russia unveils new MC-21-300 airliner ahead of flight tests for the new passenger jet. (Alexander Astafyev/Sputnik, Government Press Service Pool Photo via AP)

    Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev speaks at the unveiling ceremony of a new passenger jet MC-21-300 at a plane at "Irkut" corporation assembling plant in Irkutsk, Russia, Wednesday, June 8, 2016. Russia unveils new MC-21-300 airliner ahead of flight tests for the new passenger jet. (Alexander Astafyev/Sputnik, Government Press Service Pool Photo via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev walks to speak at the unveiling ceremony of a new passenger jet MC-21-300 at a plane at "Irkut" corporation assembling plant in Irkutsk, Russia, Wednesday, June 8, 2016. Russia unveiled new MC-21-300 airliner ahead of flight tests for the new passenger jet. (Alexander Astafyev/Sputnik, Government Press Service Pool Photo via AP)

    Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev walks to speak at the unveiling ceremony of a new passenger jet MC-21-300 at a plane at "Irkut" corporation assembling plant in Irkutsk, Russia, Wednesday, June 8, 2016. Russia unveiled new MC-21-300 airliner ahead of flight tests for the new passenger jet. (Alexander Astafyev/Sputnik, Government Press Service Pool Photo via AP)  (The Associated Press)

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.

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.