Shamila Janakiraman Business and Technology
Next month will witness a grand event in Bengaluru. Organized by the Ministry of Defense, AeroIndia 2011 a biennial Air Show is scheduled to take place from the 9th to 13th of February 2011. Aero India is Asia’s premier show held every two years at the Yelahanka Air Force Station in Bengaluru, India. As a prelude an international seminar will be conducted from the 7th to 9th of February by the Defense Research & Development Organisation in association with the Aeronautical Society of India. The seminar will highlight current and emerging technologies and will be held at the Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS) Convention Centre.
Aerospace professionals including scientists, designers, manufactures, operators and academia from across the globe are expected to interact and launch collaborative programmes in research, development and manufacture.
The seminar’s theme is “Aero and Space Technologies, Success through Global Co- operation”. Speakers at the event include CEOs and technologists from leading companies such as Eurojet, Boeing, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, SAAB, Goodrich, Professors from Indian Institute of Science, MIT USA, Scientists from DRDO, CSIR, and BEL.
The air show itself will be a feast to the eyes and will comprise of a flying display, a static display and an exhibition. The flying and static displays will showcase products from international participants.
This grand ensemble is slated to be more elaborate and massive compared to previous shows. India’s Tejas Light Combat Aircraft a remarkable achievement for the nation will be displayed besides Aerostat and live exhibits of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.
Several global armament majors will participate in the air show showcasing their fighters, helicopters, submarines, missiles, howitzers and many others. It is expected that about 380 foreign companies will display their products making a 25 percent leap compared to AeroIndia 2009. The number of exhibiting countries stands at 29 and the number of visiting countries will be 70 and eight countries will have their own pavilions, according to defense ministry sources.
Such huge numbers of foreign participants are here to serve the huge military requirements of India which imports 70 percent of its entire arms requirement. Remarkable participants are Boeing, Airbus Military, BAE Systems, EADS, Israeli Aerospace Industries, Dassault Aviation and Sukhoi Design Bureau.
The business opportunities are plenty. Big players like Boeing, have an eye for the huge Indo-US defense deal. The deal for 10 C-17 Globemaster-III strategic airlift aircrafts will be signed soon and India may go in for another six C-17s after the first 10. The air show will have 22 military and 27 civil aircrafts on display.
The Indian armed forces require a range of helicopters encompassing VVIP and heavy-lift to attack and light utility ones. Also on the cards are the purchase of UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles), ranging from micro and mini spy drones to attack and combat ones besides including surveillance planes. About 100 UAVs, mainly acquired from Israel, for surveillance and precision-targeting missions are presently in use by the forces. This presents a lucrative business proposition for suppliers
Northrop Grumman Corporation proposes to showcase its capabilities in intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) besides in airborne early warning and control systems for maritime reconnaissance, fire control radars and unmanned aerial vehicles during the air show and at the exhibition.
Not to be side lined Indian government owned Bharat Electronic Limited (BEL) will demonstrate its capabilities including network centric warfare technologies developed in-house including command and control system, air space management; multi sensor tracking, situation simulator and tactical algorithm for air defense applications; battlefield management system and an all-weather 24×7 coastal surveillance system among several others. The air show in Bengaluru will witness the participation of 295 domestic companies also.