MOSCOW, RUSSIAIrkut MC-21, Russia's A320, and B737 competitor, marks another milestone in commercial aircraft development for decades.

The first composite wings produced by the Russian manufacturer AeroKompozit were mounted on an MC-21-300. The aircraft left the assembly on November 29 and handed over the flight-test division of the company.

Russia's aerospace industry had to turn to internal sources for the development of the wings after the sanctions imposed by the US government in 2018.

“Irkut specialists managed to cope with the import-substitution task and start mass production of the aircraft with Russian wings in the shortest possible time,” said Sergei Chemezov, the president of the state-owned technology firm Rostec.

Assembly of the first MC-21 with the domestic wing is a “victory over the sanctions and demonstrates the “maturity” of the country’s aviation technology, he added.

“It’s positive that the sanctions forced us to develop our own knowledge in composites,” said Irkut sales and marketing director Kirill Budaev.

The MC-21-310, the variant with Russian-built Aviadvigatel PD-14 engines, made its first overseas appearance at the Dubai air show last month.

Irkut has 175 firm orders in its order book from Russian airline operators and several hundred order commitments. The Russian airframer aims to produce 72 aircraft annually.

Irkut MC-21 is expected to make its commercial debut next year with the Aeroflot Group subsidiary Rossiya.