The country's premier aerospace and defence exhibition, Aero India 2021 takes off today in Bengaluru, amidst the Covid-19 pandemic with buzz around "AatmaNirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan" and "Make in India" push. With a combination of both physical and virtual exhibition, the 13th edition of the biennial international event at Air Force Station Yelahanka will be the world's first hybrid aerospace show.
Taking to Twitter, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, "India offers unlimited potential in defence and aerospace."
"The decision to organise Aero India in these testing times forced by the twin challenges of the COVID pandemic and also the security challenges thrust upon us along the northern borders was not easy." The biennial international event is organised at Air Force Station Yelahanka in Bengaluru," Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said.
As many as 601 exhibitors -- 523 Indian and 78 foreign -- and 14 countries have confirmed participation, they said. Companies are showcasing their capabilities, latest technologies, solutions, products and services at the show. Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) will exhibit its latest defence technologies and demonstrate many systems.
One of the highlights of the show, a B-1B Lancer heavy bomber, of the 28thBomb Wing based out of Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota, will perform a "fly-by." Bengaluru-headquartered Hindustan Aeronautics Limited would showcase Aatmanirbhar Formation Flight.
The 'Aatmanirbhar Formation Flight' consisting HAL products such as LCA trainer (LIFT Trainer), HTT-40, IJT, Advanced Hawk Mk 132 and Civil Do-228 will fly in a special formation showcasing the spectrum of trainers and signifying self-sufficiency in the trainer segment, it said.
Sneak-peek of Asia’s biggest defence and aerospace exhibition
Aero India takes off amidst Covid with buzz around 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat'
Corporate Regional Director, India, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. Director & Industry lead for Aerospace & Defense in India, Dassault Systemes, Ravikiran Pothukuchi said the aerospace & defence sector in India is at an inflection point, given the large scale modernisation and indigenisation programmes being undertaken by the government.
Alex Zino, Executive Vice President Business Development & Future Programmes (Defence), Rolls-Royce said: "We recognise that India's defence requirements are evolving, making indigenous development of modern defence hardware and technology a top priority for the Indian government".
"Aligned with the Indian governments Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan and the Make in India initiative, we look forward to participating in Aero India 2021 and reinforcing our commitment to supporting the growth of an indigenous defence manufacturing ecosystem while continuing to deliver our best capabilities to support the Indian MoD and Services, said William (Bill) Blair, vice president and chief executive, Lockheed Martin India.
Among the key attractions will be flight display by 'Surya Kiran' aircraft and 'Sarang' helicopters. Don Heflin, US Charg affairs, will lead a high- level delegation of US Government officials and defence industry representatives to Aero India 2021.
A negative Covid-19 RT-PCR test report (dated January 31, 9 am or later) is a must to attend the three-day event, where each day only 3,000 visitors will be allowed at the flight display venue in view of the pandemic.