Bangalore: Nearly a hundred aircraft are likely to take part in a five-day international air show, Aero India 2009, hosted on a biennial basis at the Indian Air Force's Yelahanka Air Force Station, located on the outskirts of the city. The five-day (11-15 February) show is Asia's largest and most prestigious.
The show will be preceded by a prestigious international seminar on aerospace technologies and applications (9-11 February), hosted by India's umbrella defence research set up, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). The seminar has been gaining in prestige with every edition and experienced eager participation from aerospace and defence luminaries from around the world in 2007.
These included chief executives of global aerospace and defence companies from Europe, Israel, USA and Russia. The seminar also saw a whole host of top-notch scientists in the sector presenting papers.
Initai reports suggest that participation is expected to be equally enthusiastic this year.
First rolled out in 1996, Aero India 2009 is the seventh edition of the show. Hosted by the ministry of defence, it is also considered to be the world's fourth largest.
According to officials, the five-day programme will include flight and static displays of nearly 100 civil and military aircraft from around the world. The aircraft are likely to include fighter jets, maritime surveillance and transport aircraft along with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV).
The show will also see representation from about 600 firms, global and indigenous. In all, these companies will be representing about 50 countries.
The largest air shows, so far, include Farnborough in UK, Paris in France and Singapore. These positions are likely to change, hwoever, as Asiatic centres, such as Dubai, begin to gain clout, particulalry over Singapore.
However, it remains to be seen if Dubai's money-power can overhaul India' strategic importance as a defence market.