Aero India 2021: How air show made its way to become Asia's biggest strategic event
Bengaluru, Feb 03: Since 1996, Aero India has come a long way to become Asia's largest defence and aerospace air show over the years. In its 25th year, the government is using it to further geopolitical goals with strategic events.
In a first, the 13th edition will see an Indian Ocean Region (IOR) defence minister's conclave as India seeks a bigger role in this volatile hub of global geopolitical rivalry. It can be seen that the conclave is an initiative that promotes dialogue in an institutional, economic and cooperative environment that can foster development of peace and stability.
Of the 28 countries invited, 18 countries, including Iran's defence minister, confirmed physical participation, while nine more will participate virtually. The Indian Air Force will also host the Chiefs of Air Staff (CAS) conclave on two days which deals with aerospace power strategy and technological developments.
In a press release, the Indian Air Force said, "Around 75 countries may attend," adding the conclave will provide a platform to discuss military aviation, space operations and aerospace strategy apart from giving them opportunities to learn about each others' best practices.
It can be seen that Bengaluru has hosted all 13 editions of the show. Defence minister Rajnath Singh, who addressed a curtain-raiser conference, said, "Experience tells us Bengaluru is most appropriate for the show."