Putin: Russia Will Be World's Largest Military Aircraft Maker

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday he is determined to make Russia the world’s leading producer of military aircraft, the Guardian reports.

Putin said Russian-made aircraft would be a priority after decades of taking a back seat to the West.

"Russia has a very important goal, which is to retain leadership in the production of military equipment," said Putin, who made his comments during Russia’s air show.

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The announcement comes amid tense relationships with the West and just a week after he said long-range missions were to resume, with patrols flying over the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic for the first time since 1992. The strategic bomber aircraft are capable of hitting the United States with a nuclear weapon.

Russian officials hinted production of Tu-160 and Tu-95 strategic nuclear bombers could be resuming soon since the aircraft are flying "combat missions" and would be used as a "means of strategic deterrence," presidential aide Alexander Burutin told Interfax.

Putin also said Russia would resume the large-scale manufacture of civilian planes.