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The MAKS 2021 International Aviation and Space Salon kicked off on July 20th, and during its first days it was a resounding success.
MAKS-2021 has become a venue for world-class premiere screenings.
Russian President Vladimir Putin personally took a look at promising domestic aircraft, in particular the light multipurpose aircraft LMS-901 Baikal, the helicopter Ka-62, a specialized helicopter for offshore operations Mi-171A3, the upgraded helicopters Ansat-M with an increased flight range, Ka-32A11M, unmanned helicopter VRT300 and others.
A keystone event was the unveiling of Sukhoi’s “Checkmate” multi-role single-engine fighter jet, with an ambitious technical specification. Putin was the first to inspect it and appeared to be pleased.
The new fighter jet, which is touted as a light fifth-generation aircraft, purportedly has a max speed of about Mach 2, a range of about 2,900 kilometers, and a payload capacity of around 7,300 kilos.
The plane was designed by Sukhoi, part of Rostec, within the light tactical aircraft program. It is expected to make its maiden flight in 2023 with fielding starting in 2026. The cost of the aircraft is projected to range from $25 to $30 million.
The Orion-E strike variant UAV was also presented during MAKS-2021.
It belongs to the class of MALE UAVs and is equipped with a complex of weapons, including unguided and adjustable aerial bombs, as well as various guided missiles. Deliveries of the Orion-E strike drone to foreign customers will begin in 2022 after the start of serial production at a new enterprise in Moscow Region. It is specifically aimed at export, and there are reportedly several countries already showing their interest in acquiring this piece of equipment.
A new ZALA VTOL unmanned vertical take-off and landing complex was also presented at MAKS-2021. The device combines the qualities of an airplane-type UAV and a tilt-rotor. It can fly for up to four hours, and has a flight range of up to 200 km.
On the second day, a keystone event was the large-scale presentation of the LMS-901Baikal aircraft, which will replace An-2 single-engine biplane.
The exhibition program of MAKS-2021 included up to 829 companies from 56 countries of the world, including Belgium, Germany, Iran, Canada, Belarus, France and the Czech Republic.
The Salon was opened with a parade of units produced by Russian Helicopters, as well as a solo helicopter flight. During its flight, the Su-57 aircraft demonstrated amazing maneuverability and the most complex aerobatic techniques.
Group and solo flights of the MS-21 aircraft, highlighted the major Russian domestic achievements in the field of civil aircraft, impressing audience with the low level of engine noise.
Orders for a plethora of aircraft were concluded with various Russian and international clients, including purchases of Mi-8AMT, Mi-8MTV-1, Ansat helicopters, IL-76 aircraft, Sukhoi Superjet 100, IL-114-300 and others.
Each day, the organizers of the event boasted of the new units being revealed and the many deals that have been signed.
The MAKS-2021 was held amid global COVID-19 pandemic. The air show has become a unique event for the global aviation industry since similar events around the world, including Airshow China 2020 or the Paris Air Show, were cancelled.