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Plan to spend USD 130 billion on Defence modernisation in next 7-8 years: Rajnath

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Bengaluru, Feb 03: The country's premier aerospace and defence exhibition, Aero India 2021 takes off in Bengaluru on Wednesday. The show is hosted by the Air Force Station Yelahanka in Bangaluru, which is going to be the first international aviation event in the COVID-19 era.

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    Addressing the event, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said,''Despite the constraints caused by the global pandemic, I am pleased to see such a large number of participants in this year's event. It is coming from the world's leading nations in the field of military and aviation.''

    ''The Aero India 21 will display the vast potential of India, and the multifarious opportunities that our country offers in the field of defence and aerospace sector. It also promises to be the World's First Ever Hybrid Aero & Defence exhibition,'' he said.

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    ''In order to maximize the reach & participation, event is being conducted in a hybrid format with a concurrent Virtual Exhibition which will integrate Seminars, B2B interactions etc. It'll be not incorrect to say, that Aero India 21 has truly gone digital & global,'' Defence Minister further said.

    Singh said,''I have been informed that about 540 exhibitors including 80 foreign companies, Defence Ministers, Delegates, Service chiefs & officials from more than 55 nations are participating in this event. It reflects growing optimism of the global community.''

    He also expressed deep sense of gratitude to the Defence Ministers from Maldives, Ukraine, Equatorial Guinea, Iran, Comoros and Madagascar who have joined this show in person, and many others who are joining virtually.

    ''We've taken steps to strengthen our security apparatus. Domestic manufacturing of bigger &complex defence platforms has now become focus of our policy under 'Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan'.We plan to spend 130 Billion Dollar on military modernization in next 7-8,'' Singh added.

    This will be the 13th edition of the international event in which several aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF), Indian Army, Indian Navy, Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) and the Coast Guard will be participating.

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    This edition will see a combination of both physical and virtual exhibition with 601 exhibitors, including 523 from India and 78 from 14 foreign countries, expected to participate in the event.

    The show is expected to begin with the inking of a Rs 47,000 crore deal for 83 Light Combat Aircraft 'Tejas' for the Indian Air Force (IAF). Even the logo of this year's Aero India is inspired by the LCA. The tri-coloured figure of the Tejas LCA with the Ashok Chakra in the middle is the core concept of Aero India 2021.

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