Italians to help build Sukhoi's new passenger plane

An Italian aircraft maker will take a 25 per cent blocking stake, plus one share, in Russian aviation company Sukhoi Civil Jets. Alenia Aeronautica will also play a part in building and servicing the new Russian passenger plane, the SuperJet-100.

According to the agreement, approved by President Putin, Alenia Aeronautica will take on at least 25 per cent of the project.

The Sukhoi Superjet 100 is being developed for short and medium-haul regional flights.

About half of all work will be done in Russia with the rest divided between Western partners.

The plane is on sale despite the fact that production hasn't yet started.  It is hoped that 70 planes a year will be built by 2011.