Russia is staging its largest air show since the end of the Soviet Union, an all-Russian showcase for military and civil hardware. Nearly 800 companies from 100 nations are attending, with big Chinese, Latin American, and Arab delegations. President Putin has used the show to make two big announcements; a huge boost in state spending and restructuring to revive Russian aviation and challenge Boeing and Airbus’s market dominance, and the redeployment of bombers in the air round the clock, cold-war style.
“The task stands before us of supporting our leadership in the production of military aviation technology. At the air show you will see the unique space potential that our country has. I emphasise that Russia, which today has new financial capabilities, will devote its utmost attention to the development of high technology in the future”, said Putin.
Russia is to invest nearly 200 billion euros between now and 2025, with the aim of building 4500 passenger jets to totally overhaul the civil fleet. Putin also wants all Russian planemakers to merge into a giant company capable of taking on the market leaders. He tried his hand at a flight simulator during the show. Putin will be hoping he can pilot an industrial revival as smoothly.