MAKS 2021 international military-technical expo has turned into a big success for Russia’s state arms exporter Rosoboronexport, which signed 13 export contracts worth roughly $1.2 billion.
Rosoboronexport is the official sponsor of the MAKS-2021 International Air Show. The event takes place from July 20-25 at the Gromov Flight Research Institute’s airfield in Zhukovsky, 40 km (25 miles) southeast of Moscow.
“Rosoboronexport used the potential of MAKS-2021 to its maximum, inking 13 export contracts to supply Russian defense products worth over one billion euro, on the sidelines of the air show,” Izvestia quoted Alexander Mikheyev, the head of Rosoboronexport, as saying on Thursday.
The deals include contracts on the export of the Sukhoi Su-30 fighter jet, the Mi-35M and Mi-17B5 helicopters, Protivnik-GE radars, Verba, a Russian fourth-generation man-portable infrared homing surface-to-air missile (MANPADS or MPADS), and a variety of modern air defense weapons and armored vehicles.
For Rosoboronexport, a subsidiary of Russia’s state-owned Rostec corporation, MAKS remains the premier venue to present the latest achievements and new tech in the aviation sector to potential customers. At this year’s airshow, the company demonstrated its most advanced aircraft models, helicopters, anti-aircraft, and electronic warfare equipment to more than 30 delegations from 20 countries, mainly from the Asia-Pacific region, the Middle East, Africa, and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). The foreign partners have also shown their interest in the joint manufacturing of Russian fighter jets and helicopters.
“During negotiations at MAKS 2021, the company’s foreign partners showed interest in purchasing MiG-35D and Su-30SME fighters, Il-76MD-90A (E) military transport aircraft, Il-78MK-90A tanker aircraft, the Mi 28NE, Ka-52, Mi-171Sh, and Ka-226T helicopters, as well as air defense systems, including the Pantsir-S1 air defense missile system,” Mikheyev specified.
But Russia’s newest supersonic stealth fighter dubbed Checkmate and unveiled on the first day of the MAKS-2021 stole the spotlight.
The $30-million single-engine fighter features low radar signatures in various bands, a high thrust to weight ratio, a large weapon payload, and advanced air-launched armaments. It can fly at speeds 1.8-2 times greater than the speed of sound and be able to travel at a speed ranging between Mach 1.8 and 2, or 612.5 and 680.5 meters per second. The supersonic warplane is supposed to have a combat radius of 1,500 kilometers or 932 miles and a payload of 7,400 kilograms (16,300 pounds).
Checkmate is expected to take its first test flight in 2023, with further prototypes produced through 2024-2025. Its serial production is set to launch in 2026.
Organized by Russia’s Defense Ministry, the International Aviation and Space Salon attracts thousands of local and foreign experts, manufacturers, and entrepreneurs to its exhibitions, roundtables, and conferences every two years. This year’s edition brought together over 120 delegations from 65 countries - all hoping to lure customers and clinch new deals.
Russia is ranked the Caspian region’s largest arms exporter and the second-largest globally behind the United States. Weapons sales play a critical role in maintaining Moscow’s strategic partnerships with other countries and advancing its national interests, both political and economic. Russia is a crucial weapons exporter supplying countries in Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and East Asia.