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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.

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UDHAMPUR: Defence Minister Shri Manohar Parrikar has urged the private construction companies to play a big role in developing the infrastructures along the border. Addressing a national workshop on Border Roads for private sector’s participation in construction of roads, bridges and tunnels in Border Areas at New Delhi he said developing infrastructures along the border has become mandatory and private companies support is required in this regard. Shri Parrikar said that this is huge task and there are many challenges but these can be overcome by the use of modern techniques and materials.

The aim of this workshop was to enhance private sector participation in the construction of roads, bridges and tunnels in border areas thereby enhancing the speed of construction and meeting strategic needs of the Army. BRO is entrusted with the responsibility of developing infrastructure in the border areas of the country and there has been a phenomenal increase in quantum of works entrusted to the organization. There exists a gap in the desired level of strategic infrastructure and construction capability of BRO. Hence, there is a need to correct this imbalance for which participation of Private Sectors for infrastructure development in Border areas has become mandatory.


The workshop was conducted in three sessions namely, Construction of road in Border areas, construction of Tunnels & Bridges and Modern Technology & Equipment in Road Construction. Eminent speakers from various industries like HCC, L&T and AFCON Infrastructure presented variety of technical papers for construction of infrastructure with speed and quality using latest techniques and materials. The workshop also addressed the issues pertaining to the Regulatory mechanism and procedural hurdles for enhancing the Private Sector’s Participation in Construction.


In order to take forward the initiative taken by CII and BRO to ensure implementation of take away from the workshop, three groups were set up. These groups would submit the recommendations jointly to MoD and CII and the progress on the recommendations would be monitored in the ensuing workshops. These groups will each look after contract matters, roads & tunnels and new technologies. The speakers at the Workshop amongst other included eminent personalities like Shri RK Mathur, Defence Secretary, Lt Gen RM Mittal, Director General Border Roads and Shri Chandrajit Banerjee Director General, CII.


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UDHAMPUR: Aerial displays are the core attractions of any air show that bring visitors thronging to the event. Aero India 2015 also promises to live up to its reputation as the biggest air show in Asia. More than 15 teams comprising 23 or more aircraft will perform precision flying twice daily in the coming days. Usually at any airfield, civil or military, it is the controller at the Air Traffic Control (ATC) tower who regulates the movement of all aircraft taking off, landing or operating over the airfield.


Contrary to belief it is not the ATC controller who orchestrates the aerial choreography but is done by a small team comprising a few pilots and sharp-eyed air warriors among others. At the specially erected Flight Display Control cabin, a team of officers and men from the Aircraft Systems & Testing Establishment keep a hawk-like vigil on all proceedings ensuring the displays remain flawless, and more importantly, safe.


“Whenever we have any flying display it is a very coordinated activity. People are flying to their edges. Also in a very time bound manner they have to get airborne, plus safeties are involved. So while the normal controlling of the aircraft are continued from the ATC, the control of the flying display aircraft is additionally done from here,” explains Flight Display Director, Air Commodore AP Singh who ensures no air violations happen.


To ensure this, proper pre-flight briefings are held every day. At the end of the display, proper debriefs are also held, he adds. An array of marked display screens in the control cabin indicate the heights and distances that these aircraft cannot not violate. These are ensured strictly by all operators. The task of keeping tight vigil is additionally ensured through specially erected cameras at various airfield locations as well as over demarcated areas to ensure flight safety. “From here I can exercise ‘veto control’ to stop and recall any aircraft should it endanger safety or violate laid down safety parameters,” explains Air Cmde Singh.


To make the display attractive and more appealing the aircraft usually fly low and closer to the viewing area. Depending on the speed and the class of aircraft, the height and distances are laid down taking into consideration various factors including the line-up of the static aircraft here on display.


Meanwhile, to make the visual spectacle more delightful a commentary team in an adjoining cabin will relay the proceedings explaining the manoeuvres being performed while also providing basic and background information all the while. “We want to make the spectacle as informative and entertaining for our viewers,” promises Wg Cdr Prabhjeet Singh, the officer heading the IAF commentary team before heading off to the microphone as aircraft begin lining up for their last rehearsals for the day.