Monday, February 05, 2007

Mumbai: With global media attention at Aero India 2007, airlines, aircraft and equipment manufacturers as well as IT companies have lined up announcements worth millions of dollars on deals, mostly from deals that have been in the pipeline for some time.
No major defence contracts will be awarded though sources said HAL will announce collaborations with Russian aerospace companies on new programmes. On the commercial aviation front GoAir, Kingfisher Airlines and Air Deccan are expected to come up with some contracts in the aircraft, helicopter and aviation infrastructure space.
Like its larger global counterparts at Farnborough, Le Bourget and Dubai, Aero India, a biennial event, has evolved to be a meeting ground for buyers and sellers in defence and civil aviation in south Asia.
Much of the jousting among the participants, will be directed towards the 126 aircraft multi-role combat aircraft (MRCA) deal, for which the Indian Air Force is expected to announce requests for proposal later this year.
Boeing IDS (integrated defence systems), Lockheed Martin, Saab, the Russian MIG, and Eurofighter are among the top contenders for the order.
While Boeing IDS has the F-18, the C-17 and the Chinook heavy lift helicopter that senior IAF officers can try out, rival US company Lockheed-Martin is bringing out the F-16 fighter and the C-130J.
Vendors who could not bring in aircraft, like the European fighter jet maker Eurofighter, will have cockpit demonstrators at their stands.
05/02/07 Cuckoo Paul/Economic Times


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