BENGALURU: The 10th biennial edition of International Aerospace and Defence Exhibition – Aero India 2015 – got off to a spectacular start at Air Force Station, Yelahanka in Bengaluru today. Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi formally inaugurated the event that has ‘Make in India’ as its theme. A formation of three Mi-8 helicopters timed with the Prime Minister’s arrival, trooping the National tricolour, Indian Air Force (IAF) and Aero India flags set off the aviation-related event.
Also present were Karnataka Governor Shri Vajubhai Vala, Union Ministers for Defence, Shri Manohar Parrikar; Civil Aviation, Shri Ashok Gajapathi Raju; Law and Justice, Shri DV Sadananda Gowda; Chemicals and Fertilisers, Shri Ananth Kumar, Karnataka Chief Minister, Shri Siddaramiah and Minister of State (Defence), Shri Rao Inderjit Singh among others.
The three Service Chiefs, Secretaries of Defence, and Defence Production, delegations from several foreign countries, senior serving officers from the three Services, veterans, and senior executives from defence industries were also present. “Given the security scenario of our country, it is very important that India becomes self-sufficient in defence and defence production,” Defence Minister Parrikar said in his welcome address. He also said that the Department of Defence Production has taken upon itself to make Prime Minister’s clarion call of ‘Make in India’ in defence production a success.
Organised by the Department of Defence Production, 635 aerospace companies and nearly 300 CEOs from India and abroad including delegates from 42 countries are participating in the five-day aerospace exhibition. The aerial display that followed the inauguration began with an IAF vintage Tiger Moth reminding of our modest origins in the then emerging era of warplanes.
Transcending into the present era, and aptly in keeping with the ‘Make in India’ theme, two indigenous creations - Light Combat Aircraft and a Light Combat Helicopter – dotted the horizon in quick succession showcasing India’s technological leap in aircraft production. A Sukhoi-30 MKI then left the gathering spellbound with its versatility and agility. This was followed with impressive displays by an F-16 and a French Rafale jet fighter.
After the deafening roars of the jets subsided, aerial stunts were performed by few foreign aerobatic teams. The show-stopping moment was provided by ‘Sarang’, the IAF’s helicopter display team in their sprightly coloured, peacock-themed, Advanced Light Helicopters. By the time Aero India 2015 ends on Sunday, thousands would have witnessed the aerial spectacle even as serious business deals get negotiated propelling self-reliance in defence production in keeping with the credo - Make in India.