French customs barred Russian armament firm, Rosoboronexport from bringing in aircraft, helicopters and weapons for display and demonstration at the Paris Air Show 2017 forcing it to make do with scale models shown at its stand.
A source from the Rosoboronexport told Tass news agency, ''while the show organizing committee had not imposed any restrictions and had guaranteed Russia the safety of its exhibits and its exposition, the French customs bodies banned delivering full-scale items of military products to the country."
That is why, the Russian exposition’s military component was present in the form of scale models and promotional materials, the source said. The move is seen in the light of US-led sanctions against Russian defence entities and certain individuals linked to its military establishment and government.
While the US F-35 stole the thunder of the flying displays, Russia air show wonders, the super-maneuverable aircraft such as the Sukhoi Su-30 and Su-35 have been absent from Paris' skies since the last two editions.
However, Rosoboronexport displayed scale models of Mikoyan MiG-29M/M2 multipurpose frontline fighter jet, the Sukhoi Su-35 multirole fighter, modifications of the Su-30MK plane, the Yak-130 combat trainer, the Yak-152 training plane, the Kamov Ka-52 reconnaissance and attack helicopter, the Mil Mi-28NE combat rotocraft, the Mi-35 combat transport helicopter, the Ka-226T lightweight multirole, helicopter, the Mi-26T2 heavy transport helicopter, and also the Russian-Indian project of a perspective multipurpose fighter (PAK-FA T-50).
Despite the limitations of displaying only scale models, Rosoboronexport was able to attract potential customers and announce important contracts at the show.
The selection by Egypt for the delivery of shipborne helicopters for Egyptian Mistral-class amphibious assault ships and a contract for the delivery of Sukhoi Su-30SM fighter jets to Belarus were announced at Paris Air Show 2017, the source added.