Aero India-2015 aims to bolster 'Make in India' in defence manufacturing

Aero India-2015, the tenth international edition of the aerospace and aviation exhibition being organised at Bengaluru from 18 to 22 February will have `Make in India' as the major theme and will include sectors like defence manufacturing and airport infrastructure besides aerospace, defence and civil aviation.

This year, 64 companies from the US, the lead participant, will be participating in the exhibition. Other participants fielding more than 15 companies include France (58), UK (48), Russia (41), Israel (25) and Germany (17).

Around 300 CEOs from Indian and foreign industries are expected to attend the event. Business-to-business (B2B) and round-table meetings of Indian companies with those of Israel, UK and Poland will also be held at the event.

Stating that the pre-eminence of the exposition has grown manifold since the inaugural exhibition in 1996, secretary (defence production) G Mohan Kumar outlined the impetus of the `Make in India' initiative during the forthcoming edition of the event.

''We want to set 'Make in India' as the major theme of the exhibition and see 'Make in India' progress in the defence sector also,'' Kumar said at a curtain raiser for Aero India 2015 in New Delhi on Monday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the premium air show. Besides 54 ministerial and other high-level delegations from several countries that are slated to attend the inaugural event, the exhibition will also see participation by over 600 companies, including 295 Indian and 328 foreign companies.

Heads and senior representatives from the Indian armed forces and paramilitary forces besides service chiefs from nine foreign countries are also among those attending the event.

For the first time, a few states who want to be partners in defence production and are keen to set up defence-related industry and SEZs are also participating in the exhibition. These include Karnataka, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh.

A `Make in India' Defence Manufacturing Investors Summit and Global CEOs Conference to be chaired by defence minister will also be held for the first time during the air show.

Representatives from leading Indian defence industries, including Tata, Mahindra, L&T, Adani, Bharat Forge and chiefs of leading Indian business chambers (CII, FICCI, ASSOCHAM and PHD) will also share their vision on defence manufacturing in India.

Role of cyber security in defence, aerospace and civil aviation, public-private partnership, integrating Indian aerospace industry into a global supply chain, creation of infrastructure and enhancing regional-rural connectivity, empowering and incentivising Indian MSMEs in defence and aerospace sectors, using defence offsets to create a vibrant domestic defence industrial base are among some of the topics to be featured at the CII, FICCI and PHD held air show seminars.

About 150,000 business visitors are expected to visit the air show this year, nearly 50 per cent more than in the last edition, while spectators are expected in even larger numbers to witness the static and air display by various aircraft including fighter, transport, helicopter and aerobatic display teams.

The number of aircraft participating in static and air displays is tentatively placed at 72.

Some scintillating and enthralling displays by Indian Air Force Sarang Team, air display teams from Sweden, UK, Czech Republic and open sky jump by USA Special Forces are among the major attractions at Aero India-2015.

Among the foreign military aircraft that will be seen at the air show include F-15C Eagle, Lockheed F-16C, Boeing KC-135, Boeing C-17 A Globemaster III, Boeing P-8A Posedon, Rafale Dassault and Emb-145 I.

The foreign civil aircraft participation includes PC-12 NG, Falcon 2000, Phenom 100E, Boeing B 75, Boeing A 75, Viking, Catwalk, WASP, RRJ 95, EMB 505, Bell 407 GX Helicopter, King Air 350 ER, 19-seater Turbo Prop, AI Industry, Z Lin Z 50 LX, OMA SUD Sky Car, Falcon 7 X and Dornier 228-New Gen.