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Sukhoi Says It Will Repair Defects In Grounded Planes By Late January

A Sukhoi Superjet 100

Russian plane maker Sukhoi said it will repair defects in its Superjet 100 aircraft by late January after safety problems prompted the grounding of 18 planes in Mexico and Russia.

The Russian aviation authority discovered a defect last week in the tail section of the Superjet -- a midrange passenger jet that Russia has marketed aggressively abroad -- and ordered safety inspections.

Sukhoi said on December 28 that it has completed the inspections and aircraft that passed its checks have already resumed flying.

For planes found with defective parts, it said replacement of those parts will be completed by late January.

Sukhoi said the problem is not of a critical nature.

Mexico's Interjet airline said this week that it had detected "potential anomalies" in 11 Superjet 100s while Russia's Aeroflot grounded six planes. Another Superjet 100 operated by Russian carrier Iraero also was grounded.

Sukhoi, which is part of state-owned United Aircraft, has been dogged by safety concerns over the Superjet line.

In 2012, 45 people were killed when a Superjet crashed in Indonesia during a promotional flight, causing Aeroflot to ground four planes.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters