The presidential plane and six Su-57 fighter jets flying alongside it — this video has become the highlight of the news that covered a series of meetings of Vladimir Putin in the framework of the Ministry of Defense. The essence of what is happening today in our defense industry is just amazing. Hypersonic and laser weapons are coming out of science-fiction and into reality.
If we take the disastrous condition our armed forces were in not long ago, it becomes clear that we've witnessed really fantastic changes.
Vladimir Putin: "We haven't done anything of the kind in the past 40 years".
One can only guess what the passengers of Air Force One thought when they saw the fighters only a few meters away. The six fifth-generation Su-57 fighters performed incredible aerobatic maneuvers in the sky. Everyone on the ground stood motionless. Even the gophers on the grass of the airfield were craning their neck, curious. After Air Force One landed, when the president was examining new models of military equipment, the fighters again made everyone to look to the sky.
Vladimir Putin: "The planes from the escort are just beautiful!"
At the Chkalov Flight Test Center, the excellent aircraft is being honed to perfection.
Vladimir Putin: "So it will be the best in the world".
As promised six months ago, Putin decided to carry out a series of meetings on the development of the defense industry with the departure to the plants and the troops. The president set a goal — Russia should re-arm, using cutting-edge technology which can defend even against hypersonic weapons if necessary.
Vladimir Putin: No one in the whole world has such weaponry. No one except Russia. But we are aware that the world's leading countries will have such weapons sooner or later. The "later" for them would be better for us. What does this "later" mean? It means we should have a means of defense from such weapons in advance.
"Stop! Put on shoe covers!" This is a sign at the Kazan Aircraft Factory where strategic bombers are upgraded.
"Our country needs this deep modernization. I'm deeply proud of the industry".
The workers buried themselves in the study of documents. They were studying them since before Putin arrived. And they froze on the spot with them. The ones who'd been working inside the planes carefully peeped out from there. Putin said there would be a lot of work. There's a contract for ten aircraft, and another ten aircraft are to be modernized.
Ramil Miftakhov, employee: I see prospects here.
- What kind of prospects?
- Well, in terms of salaries, first of all. Young people come here and we become mentors for them. We hold competitions for them according to the World Skills methods. We would like to invite you to the opening of the World Skills.
Vladimir Putin: I can only attend the opening ceremony, I can't do anything that you can.
Here in Kazan, civil aircraft are also produced, which are used all over the country. 42 such helicopters have been allocated for the air medical service. The helicopters are called Ansat which is translated from Tatar as "simple, uncomplicated". This is indeed a simple, uncomplicated machine but it's capable of many things and is necessary for emergency medicine. Putin was examining it closely when he suddenly noticed our crew's cameraman.
Vladimir Putin: This helicopter will be used.
- The module can take readings.
- Well, it's functional and beautiful.
The factory operates in a stable manner. Here, it's hard to believe that some time ago it was on the brink of extinction.
Vladimir Putin: "I hope those tragic years, the middle of the 90s, and the most tragic 1995, will never happen again in the history of the country and the factory. They used to bring food here to give out to the workers".
Khaidar Saberov, employee: "We were paid with bread, flour. Yeah, that was a tough situation we worked in".
That day, a repaired Tu-160 took off from the runway. In addition to all records it holds, it's the fastest bomber in the world. It means it'll reach the home station in no time.
From piping hot Kazan, Putin flew to a strangely colder Sochi to hold another meeting.
- How was it there?
It was 86°F there!
They talked there about systems which seemed impossible not long ago.
Vladimir Putin: "You could meet them only in science fiction. I mean combat tactical-level laser systems. They've already been created".
The new technology can be useful for civilian purposes as well.
The number of ordered aircraft is just fantastic. It's never happened before. And the prices made quite a panic in the United States. They shouted it's impossible, it's too cheap. Although we said that we learned how to make one of the best, maybe even the best, fighters and even how to make them cheaper.