The five-day biennial Aero India show, starting on 13 February in Bengaluru, is all set to draw a record number of aerospace industries’ CEOs and Defence Ministers of friendly foreign countries. According to the Ministry of Defence (MoD), Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will chair the aerospace and defence industries’ “CEOs Round Table” on February 13 following the inauguration of the 14th edition of the Aero India show by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday.
The platform with the theme “Sky is not the Limit: Opportunities beyond Boundaries” is expected to lay the foundation of a robust interaction between the industry partners and government to give thrust to the ‘Make-in India’ campaign, a senior official of MoD said.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will also host the largest congregation of the “Defence Ministers at the Conclave” on 14 February, who will also be attending the Aero India show.
“This time, the invitation has been extended to 160 countries, unlike the last edition in which the Indian Ocean Region Defence Ministers were invited to the aero show 2021. We expect a large participation of Defence Ministers of friendly foreign countries in the conclave,” disclosed the official without confirming the exact number of foreign delegates attending the event.
The conclave would address aspects related to deepening cooperation for capacity building through investments, research and development, joint ventures, co-development, co-production and provisioning of defence equipment, training, space, artificial intelligence and maritime security to grow together in tune with the broad theme – ‘Shared Prosperity through Enhanced Engagement in Defence (SPEED), the official said.
Rajnath Singh will also be the Chief Guest at the ‘Bandhan Ceremony’ on February 15. Bandhan ceremony is mainly a tie-up with firms by signing memoranda of understanding, agreements, major announcements, and product launches by the private and public sectors.
Apart from mega conclaves, there will also be discussions and seminars during the show. Aviation companies and component manufacturers will also display their products during the show.
According to Aero India’s official website, 807 exhibitors, including 109 from abroad, of more than 80 countries, have confirmed their participation at the Air Force Station, Yelahanka in Bengaluru. Defence officials said many fighter aircrafts and helicopters would perform during the aerospace and defence exhibition.
India’s Light Combat Aircraft Tejas, a single-engine, lightweight, highly agile, multi-role supersonic fighter, will be at the centre stage of the India Pavilion. LCA has come a long way in terms of development and is presently available with the Air Force as Tejas Mark I, Mark 1A and Trainer. A model for the Navy is also undergoing trials. Other variants like LCA LIFT (lead-in fighter trainer) and MK-2 are being developed. There will be an India Pavilion at the Aero India show, based on a Fixed Wing Platforms, to showcase India’s growth in the area.
There will also be a section for Space, New Technologies and a UAV section which will give an insight into the growth of India in each sector. Aero India is a biennial aero show, and an aviation exhibition will be held in Bengaluru at Yelahanka Air Force Station between 13 to17 February. The Ministry of Defence organises the show. It is one of the biggest aero shows in Asia. As manifested by its theme “The Runway to a Billion Opportunities”, Aero India provides a platform for various national and international aerospace and defence companies to showcase their advanced products and capabilities to explore business opportunities. The show is expected to attract a large crowd this time, as the show was restricted to a few visitors in 2021 owing to the Covid-19 situation.