INTRODUCTION: The 1981 Paris International Air Show opens at Le Bourget on Thursday (4 June).
GV Breguet Atlantic aircraft flying over airfield
GV French naval fighter aircraft parked
GV SF-211 parked and being inspected
GV & SV Mirage F-1 parked along-side armaments (2 shots)
GV Jetstream 31 parked (2 shots)
GV Ariane rocket
GV Dornier 228-200 parked (2 shots)
GV MBB Fan Trainer (2 shots)
GV United States NQM 107 missile 39
GV MBB BK117 helicopter
GV & SV Aertalia G222 fire fighting aircraft
LV F-16 aircraft overhead
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Background: INTRODUCTION: The 1981 Paris International Air Show opens at Le Bourget on Thursday (4 June). The ten day event features the world's largest display of planes and high technology weapons, and manufacturers from Europe and the United States will be competing for orders against a mixed background of world recession and increased defence spending by many countries.
SYNOPSIS: This Atlantic aircraft is built by the private French company Dassault-Breguet--a company which tops socialist President Francois Mitterrand's list of enterprises he wants to nationalise.
Military aircraft like this French naval fighter will be of interest to the many Arab defence ministers and service chiefs, who will be visiting this year's show along with more than 100 other foreign leaders.
France's new administration has changed the country's policy on foreign arms sales. Last week Foreign Minister Claude Cheysson announced that France would honour all existing defence contracts but would not sign new deals with what he called fascist or racist states. But special emissaries have been sent to Arab countries to give assurances of France's continuing friendship.
The United States has one of the biggest stands at this year's show. Exhibits include combat aircraft, helicopters, and missiles as well as civilian planes.
This U.S.-built General Dynamics F-16, is one aircraft expected to attract foreign buyers, but competition from rival companies is bound to be tough.