Aero India 2013: Over 600 companies confirm participation
While the previous edition of the airshow was stolen by the buzz over selection of $11 billion contract for Medium Multirole Combat Aircraft (MMRCA), the 2013 will be about Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA).
Even though the Indian government is yet to come out clearly on the FGFA programme, there is already strong lobbying for the $25 billion deal. It has always been understood that Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd and Russia's Rosoboronexport and Sukhoi Design Bureau will jointly develop and produce the FGFA, based on Russia's T-50 aircraft, the US has indicated its interest way back in 2011.
In fact, on display will be Indo-Russian FGFA and the homemade weaponized version of the Advance Light Helicopter Mark-4.
Other countries showcasing their products are France (49 participants), United Kingdom (33), Russia (29) and Germany showing a bit reduced interest with 22 companies participation.
India will display homemade Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) and the Rustom and Nishant UAVs. Seen at the show will be Boeing's C-17 Globemaster transporter and the Pilatus PC-7 Mark-2 basic trainer from Switzerland. India has signed deals with these companies to buy these aircraft. The country may additional C-17s from the 10 already contracted for at a cost of $4.1 billion.
The Indian Air Force plans to induct more than 350 fighter jet aircraft by the end of the decade and thus the airshow will be of huge interest to the defence sector in India.