Bangalore: Kicking off Asia's biggest aerospace exposition here, Defence Minister AK Antony on February 6 said the focus of the country is achieving self reliance in the defence sector. Aero India 2013 showcases the latest international technology in military and civil aircraft, avionics and sub-systems, as well as radars in the defence and aerospace sectors.
"Self reliance in defence area is our focus area," said Antony in his inaugural address at the biennial event at Yelahanka Airbase here. "We want to create a strong defence industrial base in the country," he said at the event witnessed by a galaxy of officials, industry delegates, exhibitors and representatives from India and abroad.
He stated that India has put in place a road-map in the form of defence production policy and is encouraging the country's public and private sector industries to become active partners in such endeavours. "There are big opportunities for major international aerospace companies to enter into new alliances and forge partnerships with Indian industry and set up bases in India", Antony said.
Aero India 2013 will project India's emergence as a fast-growing and an attractive market, as well as a key outsourcing hub for global aerospace firms, he added. With the airshow integral to the ceremony, the display began with three Mi-8 helicopters trooping the tricolour, IAF ensign and the Aero India flag just before the event. A scintillating display of LCA Tejas flown by Gp Capt S Krishna was applauded by all.
The Tiger Moth aircraft resurrected recently as part of the IAF vintage flight flew for the first time in Aero India 2013. The 'de Havilland DH82 'Tiger Moth' is a two-seat, single bay biplane powered by a 145 hp GYPSY MAJOR four cylinder
inverted air-cooled engine.It was the primary trainer aircraft for Royal Air Force during the Second World War and was also the basic trainer aircraft in the IAF right from 1940.
"Flying Bulls", considered one of the world's leading aerobatic display team from the Czech Republic, performed at the air show, enthralling the audience. Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh, Minister of State for Defence Jitendra Singh, Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne, Karnataka Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar, Defence Secretary Shashi Kant Sharma, Defence Production Secretary RK Mathur, Defence (R&D) Secretary VK Saraswat and FICCI Chief Naina Lal Kidwai were among those present at the inaugural ceremony.
The ninth edition of the biennial air show and aviation exhibition,organised by the Defence Ministry along with Indian Air Force, Defence Research and Development Organisation, Department of Space and Civil Aviation Ministry, aims at showcasing the range of products and services offered by the Indian Defence Industry in the international market.
It also provides an exposure to the Indian Armed Forces, R&D personnel and young engineers, to latest technologies and advancements in the aviation and aerospace Industries.
More than 600 companies from India and overseas are participating in the event. Major participants are companies from the United States, Israel, Russia, France, the UK, Germany and Belgium, Bulgaria, Italy, Ukraine, Australia, Belarus, Czech Republic, Japan, Norway, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Netherlands, Romania, Sweden, the UAE and Singapore.
The leader of the Indian representation (DRDO ADA) with the largest indoor and outdoor area of about 2561 square metres, is closely followed by HAL, BEL and TATA. The largest international participation indoor (area-wise) is by USA and outdoor by EADS. USA is followed by Israel and Russia in this category. Maximum participants from any single country is from the USA, followed by France, the UK, Russia, Germany, Israel and Belgium.
A total of 27 countries are participating with 10 country pavilions namely Belgium, Bulgaria, Italy, Israel, Russia, Germany, France, USA, UK and Ukraine.