Jan 21, 2013
Radha Krishna Mathur, Secretary Defense Production who moved last year to the MoD from being Secretary, Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, seems to have tapped on his experience adeptly. This is apparent in the numerous MSMEs participating in the air show this year. All hoping to get a piece of the offsets pie, we assume.
It is clear this year, the 9th Aero India starting Feb 6, despite brave attempts, is not as dazzling as the previous years given that all the bidders of the MMRCA will not be there to wow the viewers. Add to it, a dithering economy with the defense budget sure to be diced taking away the sheen from future procurements. Also, let’s face it, India hasn’t delivered with the speed it was expected to.
We were told at a press conference held today the show would be "bigger and better" than the previous ones. However, with a fortnight left, aircraft confirmed for participation this year are 52 as against 63 in 2011. Mathur did add the air show is "not MMRCA centric or dependent (on MMRCA)". Rafale Grippen and F-16 are expected to fly. As is the Pilatus and some business aircraft and Bell and Eurocopter helicopters. An official confirmed to AerospaceDiary the AW 101 would not be exhibited nor fly “given the sensitive nature of equipment". We suspect it is also because of the controversy surrounding the buy. According to Mathur, 55% of the show has a civil aviation element to it.
Aerobatic display teams including the Czech Red Bulls team, the Russian 'Russian Knight' team comprising the Su-27 combat aircraft and IAF's ALH Dhruv Sarang helicopter display team.
The largest exhibitors at the show are from the US with 67 of companies participating followed by France, Russia and Israel. Of the 78 countries sending their representatives,27 will showcase their products.
And some good news. This year there will be 300 toilets as against 120 from last year. Hopefully, with100 chemical toilets being installed, good hygiene will prevail.
Have a great show!