The seventh edition of Aero India 2009, billed as Asia’s largest biennial air show, which begins here tomorrow, will focus on business-to-business (B2B) deals that involve both Indian and foreign vendors as well as government organisations.
A large number of international defence and aerospace companies are expected to negotiate multi-billion-dollar defence contracts with the Indian government at the five-day show.
The show aims at bringing exhibitors from across the globe under one roof to showcase the best in the aviation sector. Aero India will have both flight and static displays of a wide range of civil and military aircraft from leading manufacturers, vendors and suppliers.
The show, being held at the Indian Air Force (IAF) station, Yelahanka, will see participation of 592 companies from 25 countries. Of these, 303 are international and 289 Indian.
“For the first time, we have developed software to facilitate B2B meetings and 300 companies have registered online. We expect around 500 meetings between Indian and foreign companies. Out of the B2B meetings, 142 will be at the industry level while 57 will be between industry and government,” Pradeep Kumar, secretary, defence production, told reporters here today.
However, no business deals are expected during the show, barring a few announcements, like the one by HAL regarding export of Advanced Light Helicopter, Dhruv, to Ecuador.
China is participating in the show for the first time with a seven-member delegation led by the deputy chief of the Chinese Air Force. Major participating countries include the US, Russia, the UK, Germany, Israel, Belgium and Romania. There will be 49 foreign delegations. Defence ministers of Bolivia, Botswana, France, Maldives, Mongolia, Oman and Surinam and air chiefs of Brazil, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Germany, Kazakhstan, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and the UK will be present.
Besides IAF’s aircraft, 14 other aircraft will be on display. These include F-16 from Lockheed Martin, F-18 from the US Air Force (USAF), MiG 35D from the Russian Federation Military, Euro Fighter from EADS, and C-17 and C-130J from the USAF.
Unprecedented security arrangements have been put in place for the show. Kumar said a three-tier security ring would be thrown around the venue.
“The CCTV coverage has been expanded. This year, 140 CCTVs will used as against 30 in 2007. The number of baggage-scanning machines has also been increased from two to eight. The effort is to ensure foolproof security,” he added.