Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on February 13, inaugurated the 14th edition of Aero India, the country’s largest aerospace and defence exhibition, at Air Force Station, Yelahanka, in Bengaluru. This event supported the “Made in India” programme and gave the domestic aviation industry a new lease on life. The five-day event (Feb 13-17) highlighted India’s expanding aerospace and defence capabilities under the theme “The runway to a billion opportunities”. Glimpses of the takeaways from the mega-event:
Aero India 2023 put emphasis on ‘Atmanirbharta’ in the Aerospace & Defense sector. The event was a spectacle of indigenous strength of Indian Aerospace & Defense Industry, providing a stage that brought leading technologies to the event.
Over 200 agreements worth around Rs 80,000 crore were signed during the 14th edition of Aero India, around 800 defence companies took part in the show, 700 of which were Indian. (Photo: PIB)
Over 160 delegates from 80 countries, including 27 Defence Ministers and Deputy Defence Ministers, 15 Defence and Service Chiefs and 12 permanent secretaries participated in the event. (Photo:@Prodef_blr)
India’s Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas, a single-engine, lightweight, highly agile, multi-role supersonic fighter, was the showstopper at the aero-display. Tejas-maker HAL is in talks with at least four countries – Argentina, Egypt, Malaysia and Botswana to sell the LCA.
The United States brought its most advanced 5th generation fighter jet, the F-35, to woo India for the first time was the surprise element of the event. The two stealth fighters flew to bngaluru from the Hill Air Force Base in Utah and Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska to take part in the air show. The display of the multirole F-35A Lightning II and F-35A Joint Strike Fighters Aero India for the first time was a sign of New Delhi’s growing strategic importance to Washington.
In addition to the F-35, an F-16 Fighting Falcon duo also conducted daily aerial demonstrations from February 13-17, showcasing the capability of one of the leading fighter jets of US Air Force in an effort to be part of the IAF. The first-ever landing of the B-1 heavy bomber in India took place in 2021 during the last Aero India show.
Lending a proactive push to Asia’s biggest air show Aero India, the US landed two B-1B Lancers at the Yelahanka air base in Bengaluru in a move that underlines a deepening strategic partnership with India.
Boeing’s F/A-18 Super Hornets also took part in the Air Show, which has already entered the race to supply fighter jets for the Indian Navy’s second aircraft carrier.
Visitors watch aircraft perform aerobatic manoeuvres of the Aero India 2023 at Yelahanka air base in Bengaluru.
Indian Air Force’s Sukhoi 30MKI, a twin-jet multirole air superiority fighter known as the backbone of the Indian Air Force, showcased its agile and manoeuvrable nature at the air show.
Indian Air Force’s aerobatic team Suryakiran flew in a formation on the fourth day of the Aero India 2023 at Yelahanka air base in Bengaluru.
Indian Air Force’s aerobatic team Sarang flies in a formation.