MAKS-2021: Through the Prism of Management Challenges


Supersonic liners, artificial intelligence, unmanned systems, and new materials -these and other important trends will be presented at MAKS-2021.


The International Aviation and Space Salon (MAKS) deservedly occupies one of the leading places among world air shows. The interest in "MAKS strengthening its position as a reputable platform for business communication, exchange of ideas and conclusion of mutually beneficial contracts" was stressed by Russian President Vladimir Putin when he spoke at the opening of the air show in 2019. In 2021, MAKS will be held for the 15th time. Industry representatives will gather in Zhukovsky near Moscow on 20-25 July to discuss market prospects and backbone development trends in the aerospace sector in Russia and around the world. 

In an interview with the New Defence Order. Strategy, the organisers of MAKS-2021 talked about the premiers of the Show, peculiarities of the business programme, and the participation of foreign companies in the Show. 


MAKS is an important event for the aerospace industry; it is at MAKS that companies try to present novelties designed for both domestic and export customers. What premieres will take place at MAKS-2021?

Indeed, Russian aircraft manufacturers in the past years "saved" their novelties for them to be demonstrated at MAKS. This year they will also present many other developments, both completely new and thoroughly modernised aircraft.

MAKS-2021 will see the premiere demonstration of the MC-21-310, powered by the Russian PD-14 engine. The significance of this novelty is extremely high: for the first time in [Russia] a civil aircraft engine is created without reliance on Soviet achievements. 

 For the first time, two aircraft that will change transportation on regional and local routes will be presented to a wide audience. These are the fully modernised IL-114-300, which will replace the An-24; and the light multipurpose aircraft LMS-901, which replaces the veteran An-2. In the light aircraft segment, a premiere is also expected: Aviatech company will showcase the L-175 amphibious aircraft.

A large proportion of Russia's arms exports come from the aviation and air defence sectors. Could you tell us what export-oriented models of military hardware will be exhibited?

ROSOBORONEXPORT traditionally uses MAKS as a platform to promote domestic armaments and military equipment for foreign markets. This year a large-scale exposition will be formed, which will give an idea of the capabilities and advantages of domestic combat, transport, multipurpose and special aircraft, as well as helicopters and air defence equipment. Alexander Mikheev, Director General of ROSOBORONEXPORT, announced that the exhibition will present the IL-112V, IL-114-300, Ka-32A11M, Ansat-M, Mi-171A3, as well as the S-350 Vityaz long-range surface-to-air missile (SAM) system, as well as Su-35 and Su-57E flight simulators for the first time. Other well-known products will also be on display.

What models will be exhibited in the civil aviation sector?

In addition to the already mentioned MC-21-310 and IL-114-300, the exhibition will feature the MC-21-300 with American engines. This airliner will be involved in demonstration flights, along with the Sukhoi Superjet 100, one of which has been fitted with a VIP-class cabin, will head the line of business jets at MAKS. Another Superjet will be in the livery of Rossiya Airlines, the largest operator of domestic airliners.

Will there be any upgraded models of aviation equipment at the exhibition, and if so, which ones?

Helicopter manufacturers will be presenting the largest number of upgraded aircraft models. The Mi-171A3 is a new version of the well-proven helicopter [Mi-171A2], designed for use in offshore transportation. Ansat-M which differs from the basic version in having a highly efficient anti-icing system and an additional fuel tank. Another new development directly linked to helicopter technology is a new fire extinguishing system which can be used on the Ka-32; thanks to the heating system, it can be used even in sub-zero temperatures.

MAKS is not only about planes and helicopters. A significant part of the exposition will be represented by enterprises of the engine building and space industries. Tell us about the main exhibits of enterprises of these industries at MAKS-2021.

Domestic engine construction has received quite a powerful impetus for development in the past years. Just look at the following: the PD-14 engine has been developed and work has already started on the PD-35 heavy-duty engine; the development of a new PD-8 engine, which is to be installed on SSJ-New, is in full swing. Work is underway on the new VK-650V and VK-1600V helicopter engines, as well as their aircraft versions. Hybrid propulsion systems are under development. All these innovations will be reflected in the exposition of United Engine Corporation (UEC), which will be placed in a separate pavilion in 2021.

As for the space theme, ROSCOSMOS will present a whole range of its projects: launch vehicles of different classes including the new heavy Angara-5 and prospective Amur-SPG, orbital stations, satellites for monitoring, telecommunication, navigation, and ground space infrastructure.

What will foreign companies present at the exhibition? Will there be national expositions of foreign guests?

Despite the difficult epidemiological situation, MAKS will preserve wide international participation. There are about 70 foreign companies from 16 countries on the list of registered participants now, and we are still negotiating with others. It is encouraging, that the MAKS venue is used by the world's leading manufacturers to promote their products. Airbus will demonstrate the A350 and, for the first time in the history of MAKS, A220 Pilatus Aircrafts will bring its latest PC-12 NGX to MAKS.

Traditionally, a rich business programme is organised at MAKS - not only negotiations but also discussion platforms - conferences, seminars, round tables. What interesting things are awaiting the participants of the MAKS business programme this year?

As usual, participants of the Show will see the rich business programme, including about 70 events, which will be held on the venue of MAKS, as well as several "external" congresses and conferences, in time with MAKS-2021. 

The main areas are the implementation of investment projects in the aviation industry, regulation and development of unmanned aircraft systems, creation of a new generation of supersonic civil airliners, development of digital technologies and artificial intelligence, as well as the development of materials and advanced manufacturing technologies. 

The Eurasian Aerospace Congress will once again take place during MAKS. What issues does the Congress focus on this year?

The fourth Eurasian Aerospace Congress will be held before the opening of MAKS-2021 in Moscow. The event will retain its high status: the Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov and his counterpart Deputy Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Roman Sklyar, high-ranking officials, businessmen, heads of scientific and educational organisations are expected to participate. In addition to a plenary session, more than a dozen conferences and roundtables organised by the Eurasian Economic Commission, ROSCOSMOS State Corporation, United Aircraft Corporation, United Engine Corporation, Russian Helicopters Holding Company, and Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute (TsAGI) will take place.  The cross-cutting theme of the congresses - Strategic Changes in the Global Aerospace Industry - is considered through the prism of management challenges. Participants of the event will objectively consider particular applied issues, define the ways of solving existing problems and agree on cooperation within the roundtables.

The organisers of MAKS pay attention to the future of the industry, so the programme of the Salon includes events for children and youth. Tell us more about them.

The Future Hub section was organised for the first time at MAKS in 2019, and this format has proven its effectiveness. At a time of rapid change and with the highest competition for the best aerospace industry personnel, it is critically important to position ourselves correctly as an employer offering interesting and promising activities and ample opportunities for self-realisation.

As in previous years, the traditional "Student Day" will take place, when full-time students of higher and secondary educational institutions can visit the exhibition free of charge, learn about the latest developments in aerospace engineering and aerospace, find out more about potential employers, and take part in career guidance activities and job fairs.  

©«New Defence Order. Strategy» 2021

About MAKS-2021

The Fifteenth International Aviation and Space Salon MAKS-2021 will be held in Zhukovsky, Moscow Region, on July 20-25, 2021. The event is sponsored by the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation, and the State Corporation for Assistance to Development, Production, and Export of Advanced Technology Industrial Product “Rostec”. The organizer of MAKS-2021 is Aviasalon JSC.

The New Defence Order. Strategy is an official media partner of the International Aviation and Space Salon MAKS-2021. Follow the news of the Salon on our website in the MAKS Airshow special section.


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