UPDATE 1-Russian airshow kicks off with Superjet deals

Tue Aug 27, 2013 1:27pm EDT
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* Sukhoi strikes several deals for Superjet at airshow

* Russia's MS-21 planes win orders

* PM Medvedev promises to make industry more competitive

* International jetmakers see growth, deals in Russia

By Thomas Grove and Megan Davies

ZHUKOVSKY, Russia, Aug 27 (Reuters) - Russia's first civil plane since the fall of the Soviet Union bagged a clutch of deals with mainly domestic buyers on the first day of an airshow near Moscow, as the country battles to revive its aircraft industry amid stiff foreign competition.

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev pledged at the event on Tuesday to make Russian aircraft more competitive as part of the Kremlin's drive to sell planes worth $250 billion by 2025.

But analysts think that target will be tough as the flagship Superjet 100 struggles to recover from delays and a fatal crash on a 2012 test flight in Indonesia due to pilot error.

The world's top aircraft makers such as Boeing Co, Airbus and Bombardier Inc, meanwhile, are predicting strong orders from Russia, where ageing fleets need replacing and passenger numbers are rising.   Continued...