Visiting MAKS-2021 International Aviation and Space Salon 2021-07-20 13:35:00 Zhukovsky, Moscow Region Vladimir Putin attended the opening ceremony of the 15th International Aviation and Space Salon MAKS-2021. The President toured the Salon’s exhibition featuring advanced models of Russian aircraft, equipment and components. For example, he was shown a new Sukhoi single-engine light tactical fighter. While at the Salon, Vladimir Putin also watched some demonstration flights, including those carried out by aerobatic display teams. The International Aviation and Space Salon MAKS is one of the world's largest aviation forums. This year’s event is attended by about 290 foreign companies from more than 50 countries in person or remotely. The aviation salon is taking place in Zhukovsky outside Moscow from July 20 to 25. * * * Speech at MAKS-2021 opening ceremony President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues, friends. Ladies and Gentlemen, I am delighted to welcome everyone to the opening of the 15th International Aviation and Space Salon. Over the past three decades or so, MAKS has become an important and popular platform to present the most recent achievements of domestic and foreign aviation. It sparks lively discussions about the future of the global aircraft industry. It is a tradition to offer an exciting flight programme, and contracts concluded during the event open up wide opportunities for cooperation and the implementation of mutually beneficial projects. It is vital that this year, despite the difficulties caused by the coronavirus pandemic, MAKS has lived up to its international status, as over 250 foreign companies from more than 50 countries are present at its sites directly or remotely. I would like to emphasise that our neighbour and ally, the Republic of Kazakhstan, is Russia's partner country at the current aviation forum. We intend to enhance cooperation with our Kazakhstani colleagues and other members of the Eurasian Economic Union in such high-tech industry as aircraft-building. Industrial facilities in both countries are already implementing a number of promising projects. Helicopters of the Mi family are assembled in Kazakhstan. Roscosmos is promoting the Baiterek joint project. Its goal is to create an organisational and technical system for launching spacecraft from the legendary Baikonur Cosmodrome using an environmentally friendly launch vehicle. Russia is certainly open for cooperation with all interested countries in aviation and astronautics. Improving flight safety, reducing aviation’s impact on the environment, and studying extra-terrestrial space are the fields in which researchers, designers and other specialists from different countries should unite to achieve new breakthrough results. Everything that we can see in Zhukovsky today shows vividly that Russian aviation has an impressive development potential, and that the national aircraft industry continues to create new competitive aviation products. Russian air carriers are acquiring modern Superjet airliners. The brand-new MC-21 passenger airliner is to start flying soon. The current Aviation and Space Salon MAKS features the MC-21’s modified version with a Russian-made PD-14 engine for the first time. This aircraft will be followed by the Ilyushin Il-114–300 regional airliner, the Baikal light-engine multipurpose aircraft and the long-awaited new helicopters. I am confident that modern, effective and safe Russian-made technology will help Russian airlines meet the growing passenger demand, and that it will occupy a worthy place on the global market and will therefore strengthen Russia’s position as a recognised leader of the aerospace sector. We also have a lot to offer to our partners in the field of fundamental research and R&D projects. In the Year of Science and Technology, I would like to point out that Russian research agencies have scored successes in various high-tech fields, and a considerable part of these achievements are represented at MAKS stands and open sites. This includes solutions in the field of electric and hybrid power stations and low-noise civilian supersonic transport (SST). We are actively developing the latter. MAKS is looking into the future that belongs to unmanned aircraft and robotic complexes, as well as the use of artificial intelligence in aviation. The Aviation and Space Salon MAKS also features all these aspects on a large scale. And, of course, we strive to actively involve young and promising professionals in the aerospace sector. In this connection, I would like to note that one stage of the Personnel for the Digital Industry national contest is taking place on the sidelines of the Aviation and Space Salon. The contest aims to create a system for the earlier-than-planned training and retraining of specialists for the aviation industry and radio-electronic sector that will largely determine the future of Russian aviation. Friends, At all times, true leaders are distinguished by the ability to perceive challenges as new opportunities. Importantly, the organisers of this [15th] anniversary aviation forum have managed to combine direct contacts and operations at stationary stands with video conferences and virtual displays. All of this is creating new prospects for presenting achievements in aviation and aircraft building and for new contacts and interesting discussions. I would like to thank the organisers and participants of this forum for their extensive work. Lying ahead are several days of a packed business programme, scientific symposiums, demonstrations of new models, and performances by the best air display teams. At the end, of course, I would like to wish all of us success, but I cannot but mention one more thing. It so happens that this year our country is celebrating the air festival, MAKS-2021, and yet another festival – I will speak about it shortly – practically at the same time. I am referring to the festival celebrated by a considerable number of Russian citizens – Muslims. Today, they have one of their principal religious festivals, Eid al-Adha. I would like to note that approximately 15–20 percent of Muslims are employed in aviation and the aircraft industry. Our major, leading engine- and aircraft-building companies operate in predominantly Muslim-populated regions of the Russian Federation. There are many people who are celebrating this double festival among pilots and airmen as well. I would like to take this occasion to extend my best wishes to all of them on this. And, of course, I would like once again to wish success to the MAKS aviation forum, as well as a pleasant and useful pastime and good joint work to all of you. Thank you for your time.