Zhuhai - The Sino-Russian wide-body aircraft CR929 will most probably be equipped with the engines of General Electric at first stage, said Viktor Kladov, Director for International Cooperation and Regional Policy of Rostec.

During the China International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition in Zhuhai, Viktor Kladov said that the CR929 would most probably be equipped with an engine by General Electric at the first stage and then be replaced by a Sino-Russian engine at a further stage of production.

China-Russia Commercial Aircraft International Corporation (CRAIC), a joint venture between Chinese COMAC and Russian United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), will make a final decision for the engine to be used on CR929. A Rolls-Royce engine could be another option, Kladov added.

The conceptual design phase of the Sino-Russian wide-body started in 2018. Aircraft systems and equipment suppliers will also be selected in one and half year.

The twinjet wide-body will be designed to have 280 seats with a flight range of 12,000 kilometers (6480 NM) in the basic version. The aircraft will be assembled in China and designed in Russia. The overall program budget is estimated at $13 billion.

The joint venture was officially launched on May 22, 2017, in Shanghai. The year 2025 is targeted for maiden flight and 2028 for the first delivery.

The partnership of Chinese and Russian aircraft manufacturers is seen as a challenge to the Airbus and Boeing duopoly. It aims to grab 10% of a market dominated by Boeing and Airbus for 9,100 widebodies needed over 20 years.