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MAKS-2015 brims with evidence Russia remains among aircraft-building powers

August 26, 2015, 20:26 UTC+3 Zamyatina Tamara
MiG-29 aircrafts of the Strizhi aerobatic display team perform during a demonstration flight at the opening of the 2015 MAKS International Aviation and Space Salon in the town of Zhukovsky, Moscow region

MiG-29 aircrafts of the Strizhi aerobatic display team perform during a demonstration flight at the opening of the 2015 MAKS International Aviation and Space Salon in the town of Zhukovsky, Moscow region

© Sergei Bobylev/TASS

MOSCOW, August 26. /TASS/. MAKS-2015 international air show, which opened in the town of Zhukovsky, near Moscow, on Tuesday is brimming with evidence Russia remains among the leading aviation powers and its aircraft-building industry is still a promising trading partner in defiance of Western sanctions, polled experts have told TASS.

It is expected that MAKS-2015, ending August 30 will welcome delegations from more than 80 countries. The exhibition has attracted 600 Russian organizations and 150 foreign companies from 30 countries. On display there are products from Airbus, Boeing, Pratt & Whitney, Safran and Rolls-Royce, which are pushing ahead with cooperation with the Russian defence-industrial complex.

Several major contracts were signed on the first day of the air show. Russia’s state leasing company and Kazakhstan’s Scat concluded a framework agreement on the supply of 15 Sukhoi Superjet-100 planes. Mexico will have ten such planes. In all, Sukhoi Civil Aircraft hopes to sell no less than one hundred SSJ-100 liners. Boeing and VSMPO-Avisma corporation concluded a contract for the supply of titanium components for the new wing of the Boeing-777X plane. Sukhoi-35S fighters and Ka-32A11VS helicopters will be supplied to China. Countries in the European Union, Latin America and the Middle East are interested in having Russian aircraft industry products.

A member of the Russian government’s military-industrial commission, Mikhail Remizov, believes that MAKS is one of the most prestigious demonstration sites in the world air and space industry.

"MAKS is expected to demonstrate Russia’s high technologies and the openness of Russia’s domestic market to joint projects with foreign partners. Russia retains the leading role in the manufacturing of combat aircraft and has breakthrough ideas in space. At the same time it is to eliminate its lagging behind in the manufacture of civilian aircraft," Remizov told TASS.

"The newest fighter jet Sukhoi-35S has attracted the specialists greatest attention. It is a cutting edge combat aircraft. Some specialists have described it as a fifth generation plane. Objectively, it is a ‘generation four plus’ plane, which is not bad, either," Remizov said.

Among the Russian aircraft industry’s civil projects Remizov emphasized the medium haul passenger plane MS-21. He believes that when the MS-21 begins to be produced serially Russia may regain the status of a major producer of civilian aircraft.

"In the space industry Russia seeks to retain the leading positions with its program for building the Angara family of space rockets. They are far less hazardous to the environment and far more fuel efficient and reliable than the Protons, which suffered a series of setbacks of late," Remizov said.

Russia’s cosmonaut Yuri Baturin believes the international air show MAKS demonstrates the horizons of high technologies.

"On the list of promising Russian projects of the future one should emphasize the production of medium haul planes, gliders and research into aerodynamics. It does not matter that Sukhoi is made of both Russian and foreign parts and components. This is evidence of how successful international cooperation in air and space industries can be and make joint projects commercially beneficial," Baturin told TASS.

"As for the western sanctions targeted against Russia, the economy is machinery that cannot be stopped just by pushing several ‘sanction buttons’. Disruption of that machinery’s operation would endanger the whole world, and not just one country the sanctions have been imposed on," Baturin said.

"Sanctions are unable to harm the development of manned space missions. I’ve been in space twice — on board the orbiting station Mir and the International Space Station. The ISS is open to cosmonauts from different countries and sanctions have no bearing on it. Sanctions against Russia have been in effect for a year, while air and space technologies take decades to make. Such a small-scale event is unable to suppress far more significant projects," Baturin believes.

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