The 14th edition of Aero India, Asia's largest aero show, took place in Bengaluru for five days from Monday with the aim of displaying indigenous equipment and technologies and forging partnerships with foreign companies. The theme of Aero India 2023 was "The Runway to a Billion Opportunities", in line with the Indian Prime Minister's emphasis on Aatmanirbharta in the Indian Defence sector.
The event showcased the country's progress in design leadership, growth in UAVs Sector, Defence Space and futuristic technologies. The focus was on promoting the export of indigenous air platforms like Light Combat Aircraft (LCA)-Tejas, HTT-40, Dornier Light Utility Helicopter (LUH), Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) and Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH). The event helped to integrate domestic MSMEs and start-ups in the global supply chain and attract foreign investments, including partnerships for co-development and co-production.
The event was held at Air Force Station, Yelahanka, in a total area of around 35,000 sqm, and it was the biggest-ever to date. It was attended by the Defence Ministers of 32 countries, Air Chiefs of 29 countries, and 73 CEOs of global and Indian OEMs. There were 809 defence companies, including MSMEs and start-ups, showcasing the advancement in niche technologies and growth in the aerospace and defence sectors. Major exhibitors included Airbus, Boeing, Dassault Aviation, Lockheed Martin, Israel Aerospace Industry, BrahMos Aerospace, Army Aviation, HC Robotics, SAAB, Safran, Rolls Royce, Larsen & Toubro, Bharat Forge Limited, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) and BEML Limited.
The event was estimated to unlock investment to the tune of around Rs 75,000 crore, with around 250 business-to-business agreements expected to be firmed up. There was a section for Defence space, New Technologies, and a UAV section that gave an insight into the growth of India in each sector. A full-scale LCA-Tejas aircraft in Full Operational Capability (FOC) configuration was at the centre stage of the India Pavilion, showcasing its single-engine, lightweight, highly agile, multi-role supersonic fighter capabilities. At the event,Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, "The sky of Bengaluru is becoming a witness to the capability of New India. Today, the nation is touching new heights and even crossing it."
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