Bengaluru: Aero India, Asia’s biggest air show and aviation exhibition, will start at Bengaluru’s Yelahanka airbase, on Monday. The prime minister, Narendra Modi, will inaugurate the five-day biennial mega event organized by the defence ministry’s Defence Exhibition Organization.
This year’s edition of Aero India will be the biggest in the history of the event since it started in 1996. According to a defence ministry’s media release, 809 companies will showcase India’s aerospace and defence capabilities during the event. The event will witness many new deals being struck and memorandums of understanding (MoUs) signed between domestic and foreign defence companies. Over 250 MoUs worth an estimated ₹75,000 crore are expected to be signed.
In the event, defence ministers of 32 countries and 73 CEOs of global and Indian original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are expected to participate in the event.
The theme of Aero India – 2023 is “The runway to a billion opportunities”. India’s focus will be to showcase its indigenously built equipment and developed technologies and forging partnerships with foreign companies, in line with “Make in India, Make for the World” vision for a secure and prosperous future, the media release said.
The defence minister, Rajnath Singh, while addressing the event-eve news conference in Bengaluru, on Sunday, said Aero India – 2023 will showcase the country’s manufacturing prowess and the progress achieved towards realizing the “Aatmanirbhar Bharat” (self-reliant India) as envisioned by the prime minister. This event will significantly contribute to the development of the aerospace and aviation sector, he added.
Some of the global participants in the event include Airbus, Boeing, Dassault Aviation, Israel Aerospace Industry, Lockheed Martin, Rolls Royce, SAAB, and Safran. India will be represented by Army Aviation, BEML, Bharat Electronics Limited, Bharat Dynamics Limited, Bharat Forge Limited, BrahMos Aerospace, Defence Research and Development Organization, HC Robotics, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, and Larsen & Toubro, etc.
Aero India – 2023 will showcase India’s design leadership in aerospace, growth in the UAV sector, defence space, and futuristic technologies. The event aims to promote export of indigenous air platforms, like the light combat aircraft (LCA) Tejas, HTT-40, Dornier light utility helicopter (LUH), light combat helicopter (LCH) and advanced light helicopter (ALH). It will integrate domestic micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and startups in the global supply chain and attract foreign investments, including the partnerships for co-development and co-production.
The theme of the “India Pavilion” in Aero India – 2023 is “Fixed-Wing Platform”. It will showcase India’s growth in the area, including the future prospects. According to the media release, there will be a total of 115 companies, displaying 227 products. It will further showcase the growth of India in developing an ecosystem for fixed-wing platform, which includes the demonstration of various structural modules, simulators, systems (LRUs), etc, of LCA-Tejas aircraft being produced by private partners. There will also be a section for defence space, New Technologies and a UAV section which will give an insight about the growth of India in each sector.
A full scale LCA-Tejas aircraft in full operational capability (FOC) configuration will be at the centre stage of the India Pavilion.
In this year’s edition, which will be the biggest ever Aero India, February 13, 14, and 15 will be business days, while February 16 and 17 have been set as public days to allow people to witness the show. The event will also feature breathtaking aerobatic displays by fighters and other aircraft apart from static display of aerial platforms and weapons systems.
About five lakh visitors are expected to attend the event physically and many millions more will connect through television and internet.