The 2014 International Air and Space Show, or FIDAE, has opened in Santiago, Chile, where nearly 600 exhibitors from 43 countries are showing off the latest in aerospace and defense industry equipment.

The air show, which runs until Sunday, provides participants with a venue to do deals and the public with an opportunity to watch pilots perform acrobatic maneuvers and showcase aircraft.

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet helped inaugurate FIDAE, which is held every two years, on Monday.

Defense Minister Jorge Burgos and other Cabinet members also participated in the inauguration ceremony.

FIDAE allows visitors to see "the emerging trends and the most advanced scientific and technology concepts applied to aviation and defense," Burgos said in an address.

The air show started in 1980 and was expanded 10 years later to include civilian and commercial aircraft, as well as the aerospace sector.

A total of 43 countries have a presence at FIDAE 2014, with Malaysia, Indonesia, Lithuania and Slovenia participating for the first time.

U.S. defense contractors, such as Lockheed Martin and Rockwell Collins, have a big presence at the air and space show.

Companies from Argentina, Brazil, Israel, Russia and Turkey are also making a strong push for business at FIDAE.

Spain has a pavillion that is being run by the Spanish Defense, Aeronautics and Space Technology Companies Association, or TEDAE, and showcases the wares of a dozen firms, including Indra and Navantia. EFE