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MAKS 2011 international air show begins in Russia

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MOSCOW (BNS): Russia will showcase a wide range of its military and civilian aerospace technology, including latest fighter aircraft, at the biennial MAKS international air show that opens at Zhukovsky, Moscow on Tuesday.

The 10th edition of the Aviation and Space Salon MAKS 2011 is expected to draw participation of over 600 aerospace companies from countries including the USA, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Turkey, India and South Korea among others.

Russia will lead the largest contingent of around 470 civilian and military aerospace companies including aviation giants Sukhoi, MiG and the United Aircraft Corporation which will display a range of military jets, helicopters and civilian planes.

The state-run arms exporter Rosoboronexport will also be present at the event.

The exhibition, featuring latest aerospace and related technology including unmanned aerial vehicles, air defence systems, spacecraft and missile systems, will provide a platform for the international aerospace industry to clinch new military deals and ink joint venture programmes.

The biggest draw of MAKS 2011 would be Russia’s new fifth-generation stealth fighter, dubbed PAK FA T-50. The supersonic combat jet that began flight trials in January 2010 will make its first public appearance at the air show.

The warplane is equipped with latest avionics, state-of-the-art radar and has in-flight fuelling capability. It has been designed to compete with the US’s F-22 Raptor – world’s only operational fifth-generation stealth fighter.

The new fighter is expected to enter service with the Russian Air Force in 2015. India, which is a partner in the project, intends to acquire 50 such fighters for its air force.

A number of Russian aircraft, including the Su-30 and Su-35 multi-role fighters, and the Superjet 100 passenger plane, will also make aerial displays at MAKS 2011.

The US Air Force, which is participating in the exhibition after a gap of four years, would display for the first time its new C-5 Galaxy heavy-lift transport plane. Its A-10 Thunderbolt attack aircraft and P-3C Orion ASW plane will also be exhibited at the show.

Major Indian defence and aerospace companies participating in the international event include BrahMos Aerospace - the producer of BRAHMOS supersonic cruise missile system, and Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) among others.

The exhibition will conclude on August 21.

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