Monday, February 05, 2007

Bangalore: The stage is set for the inaugural here Wednesday of India's biggest international air show that will see the participation of over 400 companies, including global aviation majors from 28 nations.
About 100 civilian and military aircraft, including frontline F-16 and F-18 combat jets, will feature at the sixth edition of the five-day Aero India international aerospace and defence exhibition that concludes Feb 11.
Not unexpectedly, the focus is likely to be on the two US fighters as their manufacturers Lockheed Martin and Boeing aggressively position the planes for an IAF order for 126 aircraft to ramp up its depleting force levels.
This is not to detract from the other 418 participants - 252 from abroad and 166 from India - who will be showcasing an array of aircraft, weaponry and equipment catering to both military and civilian markets.
Given the fact that 70 percent of India's military hardware has been acquired from Russia, it is not surprising that the maximum foreign participation is from that country with 47 companies, including giants like Sukhoi, MiG, Kamov, FGUP NPP and Rosoboron Export to name just a few.
The 43 French participants constitute the second largest foreign block.Be it GIFAS, Thales, Snecma, Dassault, or Arienaspace, the represent the creme del a creme of the French civilian and military aircraft industry.
With 30, the US will also have a major presence at the show - backed by the Department of Defence.
The focus of the Indian participation will, undoubtedly be on state-owned aircraft major Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd -, which will showcase a full scale mock up of a light combat helicopter - it is designing, along with the previously displayed Tejas Light Combat Aircraft -, the Dhruv Advanced Light Helicopter - and the Intermediate Jet trainer -.
Of the military aircraft on display, eight foreign manufacturers will showcase 34 machines and Indian companies another 22.
04/02/07 RxPG NEWS, US


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