Aero India 2011: Global defence majors eyeing big deals from Indian armed forces

Bangalore, Feb 8 (ANI): Eyeing big deals from the Indian armed forces, all major defence producers of the world are present here for the ninth edition of the Asia's biggest air show -- Aero India 2011 -- taking place from February 9 to 13 at Bangalore.

Defence Minister A K Antony will formally inaugurate Aero India 2011, a biennial event, on Wednesday at the Air Force Station, Yelahanka.

Civil and military aerospace manufacturers from 30 countries, including the US, Britain, Russia, France, Germany, Italy, Israel, Belgium, Brazil, Spain, Ukraine and the Netherlands, will participate in the show.

All contenders are trying hard to woo Indian defence players as big deals awaiting clearance include an order for 126 combat jets worth 1.2 billion dollars, six mid-air refuelling tankers for two billion dollars, 197 utility helicopters for 750 million dollars, 22 attack choppers for 600 million dollars and a fleet of trainer aircraft for the Indian Air Force.

With 30 countries participating this year in the Aero India show, including India, official representation from 60 countries numbering 350 delegates show a three-fold plus increase in the number, both officials as well as in business.

The USA is leading the list with 250 companies participating in Aero India, Germany-35, Italy-10, and 35 from remaining countries.

The event will see the largest US participation to date. Top of the line aircraft like the F-16 Fighting Falcon, F/A-18 Super Hornet, C-17 Globemaster III, C-130J Hercules (recently procured by India) and KC-135 Stratotanker will be on display and will participate in numerous flight demonstrations.S ambassador Timothy J Roemer, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, Assistant Secretary of State for Political and Military Affairs Andrew Shapiro and top military officers and US Department of defence officials will be present.

India's largest defence partner Russia will showcase over 80 types of weaponry and will be represented by 35 companies at the upcoming Aero India 2011.

Russia will showcase its MiG , Sukhoi and Almaz-Antei range, besides works from the Engineering Design Bureau.

There are 675 exhibitors in Aero India 2011 registering a 16 percent increase over the last edition that had 581 in all. As with all previous editions, this time around also international exhibitors score over the domestic ones in terms of participation.

Around 100 types of civilian and military aircraft would be on display compared with 67 in 2009.

Aero India 2011 will provide a platform for companies to not only network with the Indian industry, but also to benefit from sharing of research and development expertise and pave the way for cooperation in different fields of military and civil aviation.

The flying displays will see some of the latest fighter planes, including Eurofighter Typhoons, Sweden's Gripen, the French Dassault Rafael, Boeing's F-16 Super Viper and Lockheed Martin's F-18 Super Hornet, besid besides unmanned aerial vehicles and helicopters.

India will display its indigenously built supersonic light combat aircraft and light combat helicopter, which will be on the display for the first time. By Praful Kumar Singh (ANI)

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