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MAKS-2007 air show opens near Moscow -1

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MAKS-2007, an aviation exhibition held every two years, opened Tuesday in the town of Zhukovsky, near the Russian capital.
(Changes lead, clarifies date, adds Putin's remark in last paragraph)

MOSCOW, August 21 (RIA Novosti) - MAKS-2007, an aviation exhibition held every two years, opened Tuesday in the town of Zhukovsky, near the Russian capital.

The organizers said over 540 Russian companies and at least 240 foreign firms from over 100 countries are participating in the air show this year.

Major Russian aircraft manufacturers will exhibit their civilian and military aircraft as part of the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), rather than as separate companies.

UAC, which was formed in 2006 to help overcome the crisis in Russia's aircraft industry, incorporates many of the country's best-known aircraft builders, including Sukhoi, Mikoyan, Ilyushin, Irkut, Sukhoi, Tupolev, and Yakovlev, and other enterprises in the industry.

The Sukhoi concern said it would conclude a number of export deals for its famed family of Su-27 Flanker-B and Su-30 Flanker-C fighters. The company will also announce a date for the first public showing of its SuperJet-100 passenger plane.

The MiG corporation will showcase its MiG-29K fighter, a modernized version of the famous MiG-29 Fulcrum.

Overall, the Russian Air Force will be represented at the MAKS-2007 air show by more than 20 models of modern aircraft, including Tu-160 Blackjack and Tu-95MS Bear strategic bombers, the new Yak-130 light fighter/trainer, the Su-34 Fullback strike aircraft, and the Ka-50 Hokum attack helicopter.

Alexei Fyodorov, UAC general director, earlier said that Russia is planning to manufacture more than 4,500 civilian and military aircraft by 2025, worth $250 billion.

President Vladimir Putin, who attended the opening ceremony, said Russia would strive to preserve its global leadership in the production of military aircraft and to expand its presence on global civilian aviation markets.

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