Putin vows support for Russian aircraft makers

Associated Press
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, right, First Vice Premier Sergei Ivanov, left, and Col.-Gen. Alexander Zelin, center, attend the MAKS-2011 International Aviation and Space Show in Zhukovsky, outside Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2011. (AP Photo/Mikhail Metzel)
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Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, right, First Vice Premier Sergei Ivanov, left, and Col.-Gen. Alexander …

ZHUKOVSKY, Russia (AP) — Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has vowed to keep the development of national aerospace industries a top priority for his government.

Putin spoke Wednesday at Moscow's International Aviation and Space Show at Zhukovsky air base outside Moscow, saying that supporting aircraft makers will be an "absolute strategic priority."

The show features Russia's state-of-the art planes. Boeing, Airbus and other international aircraft makers also have sent their latest products to the event.

Putin hailed Russia's latest aircraft designs, including its first stealth fighter, the T-50.

The T-50 closely resembles the U.S. F-22 Raptor it's intended to match. The Russian fighter made its maiden flight in January 2010 but was kept out of the public eye before its Wednesday's public debut in Putin's presence.

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