Paris, June 19: The world's largest aviation and space industry event will kick off here tomorrow with participation of nearly 2,100 global exhibitors including top aircraft manufacturers and defence firms who will showcase their latest technological innovations to secure contracts from countries like India.
Top plane makers like Boeing, Airbus and leading defence systems producers have descended here with their latest production line to bag lucrative contracts at the six-day Paris Air Show, which has been a leading event in the aviation and air defence system for over 100 years. Vying for a pie of India's huge defence expenditure—estimated at around USD 80 billion in the next eight to ten years—top manufacturers of missile and air defence systems will also showcase their latest innovations to win contract from the booming Asian giant.
There is a special interest this time among the defence majors participating in the event in the wake of internal strife and turmoil in the Arab world as they are “expecting impressive orders” from the countries of the region to upgrade their security apparatus due to the increasing unrest.
“All nations (in the region) are very interested in protecting their economies and I think the defence industry will have lot of opportunities to protect and ensure their economic security,” Tom Kennedy, President of Raytheon's Integrated Defence Systems told PTI. The top executive of the US defence major said the company was really upbeat about the event as it was taking place in the backdrop of economies of major countries showing signs of recovery after the financial downturn. William Blair, President of Raytheon India, said the company was looking for enhancing its ties with India by providing various security solutions.
According to organisers, over 140 aircraft will be displayed in the event to be participated by top 100 companies in the aviation and defence industry worldwide apart from 2,000 other firms which will be exhibiting their expertise, mostly in the regional and national pavilions. They said the economic crisis has left its mark however, and most large companies have reduced their budgets by between 10 and 30 per cent, leaving space for newcomers or components manufacturers wishing to reinforce their presence. As per estimate of the organisers, 340,000 trade and general public are expected to visit the air show besides 200 international delegations from across the world. The Paris Air Show, which was first held in 1909 at the Grand Palais in Paris, is the world's oldest and largest show for the industry.
The International Paris Air Show, is organised by SIAE, a 100 per cent-owned subsidiary of GIFAS (Groupement des Industries Françaises Aéronautiques et Spatiales). PTI