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Raksha Mantri Inaugurates Aeroindia 2019

Raksha Mantri  Nirmala Sitharaman inaugurated the 12th biennial edition of International Aerospace and Defence Exhibition and declared the Aero India 2019 open 20 February 2019  amidst a lot of fanfare at Air Force Station Yelahanka in Bengaluru.


This edition of Aero India, for the first time, combines the defence and civil aviation segments into a holistic event with the co-involvement of the defence and civil aviation ministries in the event.

 More than 600 Indian Companies and 200 Foreign Companies are participating and witnessing the largest Air show of Asia.


Inviting investors to capitalise on aerospace and other sectors which can help manufacturing in India, the defence minister in her very comprehensive  inaugural speech said that the show intends to put India on the global map, and metaphorically to be a “Runway to a billion opportunities”. It evinces India’s extraordinary progress and powers over the years in the sectors of civil and defence aviation adding that this edition of Aero India intended and endeavoured to put India on the Global map and intended metaphorically to be a “Runway to a billion opportunities”!


She hailed the “Make in India” initiative of the Government that had provided the impetus for increased self-reliance in Defence and said that the country now had the potential for “Nose to tail production”.


 She also hailed Indian PSUs for manufacturing more than 4000 aircraft including LCA, LCH, ALH, C295 etc.


She touched upon all significant facts related to Defence such as 10,000 MSMEs which made 80% of components, Defence Investor Cell, FDI policy, the iDEX scheme, Mission Raksha Gyan Shakti’, setting up of two defence corridors one in Uttar Pradesh and another in Tamil Nadu.


She said, “With the policy initiatives and the procedural reforms, I am confident that India will emerge as a key player in the global defence arena.


During the inauguration, Union Minister of Civil Aviation, and Commerce & Industry, Suresh Prabhu announced “India will purchase 2,300 new airplanes. We are coming up with the strategy to set up the roadmap and ecosystem to improve the manufacturing destination in India.”

The Civil Aviation Minister said that “There are 103 airports and we want to build another 100 in coming years. We want to connect remote areas of the country to air, investing 65 billion dollars. Under the Udan, scheme, we launched a program to connect 235 new destinations.”

“India has introduced procedural reforms in defence manufacturing. We have space for everyone including of DPSUs, private firms and others. Aero India Show is a mega event that showcases India’s capabilities and strength in aerospace,” said Minister of State (MoS) for Defence Dr Subhash Bhamre at the inauguration of Aero India-2019.

The inaugural address was followed by breath-taking spectacular aerobatic display featuring Mi-17 V-5 helicopters, a solitary vintage Dakota, indigenousl  helicopters including the LUH, ALH Mk III and IV and LCH filled the skies with their jet wash. Following the fly past by the indigenous Dornier 228 flanked by the Hawk-i and HTT-40, came the Sukhoi flanked by LCA Tejas and Jaguar in the Missing man Formation as homage to Wg Cdr Sahil Gandhi who lost his life in a fatal air collision during a practice sortie of the Surya Kiran Aerobatic Team. This was followed by the fighters thundering over the grandstand through the skies displaying a host of aerobatic manoeuvres – the Su 30 MKI followed by indigenous Tejas LCA, the American F-16 Falcon and the French Rafale. A host of helicopters including the LUH, LCH, ALH Mk-IV and the Sarang helicopter display team enthralled the spectators with their performance.


The finale started with an air display by Airbus 330 Neo followed by a grand flyby by the majestic B-52 Bombers of 1950 vintage.A total of 61 aircraft are participating in the event out of which 31 are flying. The total area of the show has grown from 27,678 sq m to 28,398 sq m this year.

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