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India not to scale down military modernisation in face of global meltdown: MoD official news
02 February 2009

New Delhi: The global recessionary environment is not likely to impact India's military modernisation programme, which involves the purchase of hardware worth Rs146,430 crore ($30 billion) over the next five years, a top ministry of defence official said Monday.

'The global meltdown is a reality but India's military modernisation will continue as before. There is no question of scaling down our modernisation plans,' secretary (defence production) Pradeep Kumar said. He was addressing a press conference here ahead of the bi-annual AeroIndia 2009 military air show due to open for display at Bangalore from 11-15 February.

The air show has attracted a record 592 exhibitors - 303 from 25 countries and 289 from India - making the seventh edition of the event the biggest yet, Kumar pointed out.

'The offsets (reinvestment) policy provides a tremendous opportunity for foreign manufacturers and events like AeroIndia provide them the ideal opportunity to establish business-to-business contacts,' he added.

'AeroIndia will provide an ideal window of opportunity for companies to not only network with the Indian industry but also to benefit from the sharing of expertise in the fields of R&D production and product support with other global players,' Kumar maintained.

The bulk of the foreign participation - 31 companies each - is from Germany and France, followed by Britain (26), Russia (24), the US (22), Italy (19), Belgium (17), Israel (11) and Australia (10).

A number of foreign aircraft including the F-16, F-18, MiG-35D, Eurofighter, C-17, Embraer 135 business jet, C-130J, Citation XLS, AN-12 Cargo and A-310 MRTT, will be on display.

Indian aerospace major Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) will showcase the indigenous Intermediate Jet Trainer (IJT) and Dhruv Advanced Light Helicopter, as also the BAE Systems' Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer (AJT) it is building under license.

Defence ministers from eight countries,, including Bolivia, France, Oman and Peru will be present for the show. Also in attendance will be high-level delegations from 40 countries.

China will be represented for the first time through a token 10-member delegation.

'I would not read too much into this,' Kumar replied when asked whether this was a sign of the growing warmth between the two militaries.

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India not to scale down military modernisation in face of global meltdown: MoD official