The new Russian-made PD-14 engine is an important event in domestic aircraft-making, President Vladimir Putin said at an annual press conference on Thursday.

“Do you know that the most important event has just occurred in engine-making? This is the PD-14 new engine,” Putin said.

“This is the first product of this type since the late 1980s. This is a big achievement of our engine makers,” the Russian president said.

The new engine will help Russia develop the domestic aircraft-manufacturing industry  further, including the Ilyushin Il-96 plane, Putin said.

The PD-14 engine’s sustainability and possibilities “allow us to develop a whole family of medium-and long-haul planes,” the Russian president said.

Engines were previously a weak point in the Russian aviation industry, Putin added.

“I believe we’ll be able to cope with avionics but this (engine development) was a weak point because we had to use either Pratt&Whitney or Rolls-Royce,” the Russian president said.

“They have good engines but ours is better. And our aircraft will also be better,” Putin said.

The Russian president said he wanted to use this occasion to congratulate all persons who had helped develop the new engine.

The Russian president also mentioned plans to develop domestic civil aircraft-making. Putin specifically referred to the Russian-Chinese project of developing a wide-body airliner based on the MS-21 plane and the project of developing regional aviation on the basis of the Il-114 aircraft.