PARIS — Russia's United Aircraft Corporation wants a new wide-body aircraft it is developing with a Chinese company to be flying by 2025, as part of an ambitious project to take on Western plane makers Airbus and Boeing Co.
Commercial Aircraft Corp of China Ltd and United Aircraft Corporation, both state-controlled companies, have been considering the joint development of a new advanced wide-body jet since May 2014.
United Aircraft Corporation's new president Yury Slyusar, who took the reins in January, said the Russian and Chinese governments would from September be in a position to decide on whether to proceed with the project after it is presented that month.
"We would like to develop, certify and produce the first aircraft within 10 years, so by 2025 we should begin deliveries," Slyusar, speaking through a translator, told reporters at the Paris air show on Monday.
The joint project could give both China and Russia a chance to compete in the wide-body segment which currently operates as a virtual duopoly under Europe's Airbus and U.S. rival Boeing.
While Soviet Russia had developed wide-body technology some decades ago, Slyusar said this jet would be a new design.
"The aircraft has to be developed from scratch," he said.
"The level of the Chinese industry that we're seeing leads us to believe that it will be a very innovative aircraft."
China is in the process of developing a home-grown narrow-body commercial jet, the Comac C919, but it is behind schedule and delivery could be pushed back as much as two years, dealing a blow to any challenge to Airbus and Boeing in smaller planes.
Slyusar acknowledged the plan to compete in wide-bodies was a high stakes game. "It will determine the level of competitiveness of both Russia and China's aviation industries," he said.
The engine for any new wide-bodied jet would likely be sourced from either U.S. aero-engine maker GE or Britain's Rolls-Royce, Slyusar added.
"We're not commenting if we're speaking with them or not because it's too early, the decision has not been made yet," a United Aircraft Corporation spokesman said on the sidelines of the press conference.