Bengaluru, Feb 16:
India’s aerospace hub is revving up to treat thousands of spectators with daring aerobatic feats by metal birds of different kind at the five-day air show on the city’s outskirts from Wednesday.
To be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Yelahanka air base of the Indian Air Force (IAF), 20 km away from the city’s northern suburb, the 10th edition of Aero India will witness jet fighters, transport aircraft, helicopters and drones vying for eye balls during their thrilling flying display till Sunday.
“We have lined up a range of military aircraft, including the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas, Sukhoi, Mirage, Hawk of the IAF for flying display twice a day along with transport aircraft and choppers,” defence exhibition organisation director M.D. Singh told IANS ahead of the biennial event.
Competing with the IAF aircraft and copters will be the Rafael multirole medium combat aircraft (MMRCA) from Dassault Aviation of France, F-16 of Lockheed Martin and F15-C of Boeing from the US to display their air prowess with some thrilling aerial feats.
The IAF has short listed Rafael for induction in place of the ageing Russian-made MiG-21 aircraft in its frontline fleet.
“As we are expecting more visitors to throng the air show this time, we have invited four aerobatics teams from Europe and one from the US to participate in the event and inspire the pubic with breathtaking manouevres,” Singh said.
Besides the Sarang aerobatics team of the IAF with its Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) Dhruv, the Flying Bulls of Czech Republic, Aero Super Baltics and Aerowind Services from Britain, Scandinavian air show team Wasp and Open Skydiving of the US Special Forces are raring to display their daredevilry.
“In all, 72 military aircraft will be on flying and static display this time as against 63 in 2013, including the heavy-lift transport plane C-17 Globemaster-III, P8-A maritime reconnaissance aircraft and KC-135 tanker from Boeing and EMB-145 Embraer from Brazil,” Singh said.
In addition, 17 types of civil aircraft, including business jets and helicopters will be on display for hardselling in the growing Indian aviation market.
The state-run organisation has chosen ‘Make in India’ programme of the government as the event theme to pitch for overseas investments in designing, developing and manufacturing aerospace products and platforms for the global military and civil aviation markets, especially in the Indian sub-continent.
“Of the 110 countries participating, the US is representing in a big way with a 64-member delegation, followed by France with 58 delegates, Britain 48, Russia 41 and Israel 25,” Singh noted.
About 300 chief executives (CEOs) from global aerospace majors will hold business meetings with their Indian counterparts to explore joint ventures, co-development and outsourcing sub-systems, accessories and components.
About 600 multinational and Indian firms, including state-run enterprises will showcase their technologies and products at the expo in dozen pavilions spread over 2.5-lakh square metres at the sprawling venue.
Business-to-business (B2B) and roundtable meetings of Indian firms with those of Israel, Britain and Poland will be held at the event.
Heads and representatives from the Indian armed forces and paramilitary forces besides service chiefs from nine countries are among those attending the event.
Three states — Karnataka, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh — will have Special Economic Zone (SEZ) pavilions.
A record number of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are also participating in the event to help in pushing the ‘Make in India’ campaign. IANS