Wednesday, February 4, 2009

New Delhi: The world may have been hit by economic recession but India will continue to shop for arms and weapons systems. A top ranking Defence Ministry official on Monday claimed that there were enough funds for modernisation of the Armed Forces and the new acquisitions would continue despite the economic slowdown.
The message would cheer up at least the global military aviation industry which will show up in full strength in Bangalore for the latest edition of Aero India 2009 beginning next week.
Secretary (Defence Production) Pradeep Kumar, who is the chief organiser of the air show, claimed that the country’s military programme will continue as before dispelling any doubts despite economic turmoil.
Perhaps, this is the reason why the world’s aviation companies have turned up in large numbers at Bangalore making Aero India one of the biggest air shows in this part of the world. This is the 7th show and by far the biggest.All the dominant aviation players will be there as usual but some new grounds have been broken. For the first time China, which has stayed away from previous air shows, has decided to send a 10-member delegation.
There will not be any Chinese aircraft though. China has been making rapid strides in aviation and is even producing its own aircraft specifically targeted for the Third World markets.
One of the obvious attentions during Aero India, starting on February 11, would be on fighter jets.
The process of acquisition of 126 multi-role combat fighters for the Indian Air Force has reached a decisive stage. Those in the fray are going to display their combat jets at the air show.
For the first time, India will have a close look at Eurofighter Typhoon.
A total of 592 companies have registered for the show out of which 303 are foreign. The maximum number of companies will be from Germany and France (31 each) followed by the UK, Russia, the US, Italy, Belgium, Israel and Australia.
The US with 22 companies will occupy the largest space at the show. There will be a lot of flying activities over Bangalore’s air space during the show and organisers were satisfied that there have been no cancellations despite 26/11.
03/02/09 Gautam Datt/ExpressBuzz

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