The Russian aircraft producer MiG has reported to have signed contracts with the Russian airlines Atlant-Soyuz and Aerofrakht on supplying its new-generation Tu-334 short-haul airplanes. The first supplies will be made in 2005, MiG's press service reported. The planes will be granted out on financial lease for $12.9m per aircraft to be paid over 10 years.
According to earlier reports, the certification of Tu-334 airplane is to be completed by the end of 2003, and mass production of Tu-334 is scheduled for May 2004. Under MiG's production strategy, in 2006 the company will be producing 16 to 32 airplanes a year, and by the end of 2008 this figure will be increased to 100. The volume of capital investments in the project is about $47m as of July 1, 2003.
US and Chinese experts believe that the Sukhoi Checkmate aircraft will become competition to their F-35 and FC-31 fighter jets in the arms market.