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Moscow to unveil new 5th generation fighter jet at MAKS 2021 airshow


Moscow to unveil new 5th generation fighter jet at MAKS 2021 airshow

Photo: AP

Russian state-owned United Aircraft Corporation will unveil a new fighter jet today at the MAKS-2021 International Aviation and Space Salon in Moscow.

Not much is yet known about the jet, but it is reportedly designed to compete with two existing US-built fighter jets. Russia is one of the world’s few arms manufacturers with start-to-finish capabilities for constructing advanced aircraft systems.

Russia’s ongoing military technology modernization serves a dual purpose. While it is a defensive reaction to ongoing strains with the West, it also functions as a crucial economic engine. Russia is the world’s second largest arms exporter, and weapons sales play critical roles in maintaining its strategic partnerships.

At the air show, expect basic details of the new jet to be released, including its name, capabilities and deployment prospects. Unlikely to be revealed is whether its engine contains supersonic capabilities, which would represent an advantage over US competitors. Additionally, expect Russian President Putin Vladimir Putin to appear at the show, including at the jet’s unveiling. Long the face of Russian military might, Putin will likely use the opportunity to highlight Russia’s weapons capabilities against the West. The jets will also prove useful for maintaining weapons sales-based relationships, like with China.

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