NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Russia and China are teaming up to challenge the U.S. and E.U. in the commercial aircraft manufacturing market with a new wide-body jet.
Russia's United Aircraft and China's Commercial Aircraft Corp., aka Comac, are talking up their plans to jointly design and develop the plane. The move follows a signed agreement from May 2014. The two state-run companies hope to claim a share of the wide-body market now dominated by America's Boeing(BA) - Get Report and Europe's Airbus Group (EADSY) .
Developing and manufacturing the jet could require as much as $20 billion in investments, according to Bloomberg News.
Some say recent moves by Russian President Vladimir Putin to broaden ties with China is aimed at countering the influence of the U.S. and Europe. Relations between Russia and the U.S. have been deeply strained since March of last year, when Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine. The country has also continued to support pro-Russian rebels fighting Ukrainian government forces in eastern Ukraine.
Russia and China's new twin-aisle aircraft would be a challenger in the wide-body aircraft segment, and demand for such planes continues to grow. Airlines are expected to need 1,500 wide body planes in China alone, and nearly 9,000 worldwide over the next two decades, according to Boeing's research.
Shares of Boeing have risen roughly 3% over the past year. Meanwhile, shares of Airbus Group have gained about 26% so far in 2015. Over the past year, the stock is up a little more than 1%.