Bengaluru is now all set to host the 14th edition of Aero India from February 13, 2023. Aero India, one of the biggest aero shows in Asia, is a biennial aero show and aviation exhibition to be held in Bengaluru at Yelahanka Air Force Station from February 13 to February 17, 2023. The show is organised by the Ministry of Defence. As manifested by its theme “The Runway to a Billion opportunities’, Aero India provides a platform for various national and international aerospace and defence companies to showcase their advanced products and capabilities to explore business opportunities.
Fillip to Make in India
As per reports, more than 550 companies from across the globe have registered through the official website, and the numbers are expected to go up. The show has received an incredible response due to the initiatives of the Ministry of Defence in the last few years. The five-day event will combine a major trade exhibition of the aerospace and defence industries and an aerial display by the Indian Air Force. Besides global leaders and big investors in the aerospace industry, the show will also see the participation of various think-tanks. This show will also provide a unique opportunity for the participants to exchange information, ideas, and new developments in the aviation industry. Furthermore, to give a fillip to the domestic aviation industry, it would advance the cause of Make in India.
Defence Ministers’ Conclave
This time, Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh will host Defence Ministers’ Conclave on February 14, 2023, on the show’s side lines. The conclave will comprise Defence Ministers of friendly countries. The conclave would address aspects related to deepening cooperation for capacity building, training, space, AI, and maritime security to grow together with the broad theme of ‘Shared Prosperity through Enhanced Engagements in Defence’ (SPEED). The conclave is an opportunity for Defence Ministers of all countries and India to engage with each other to carry forward Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of ‘Make in India, Make for the World’ for a secure and prosperous future for generations.
Notably, the Narendra Modi Government has launched a campaign for ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ (self-reliant India), in the defence sector, which is aimed at increasing indigenous defence manufacturing and production capability to develop a self-sufficient defence ecosystem. It involves like-minded nations in developing a reliable supply chain free of exploitation and disruptions by certain players and providing affordable and robust defence equipment to friendly countries.
Promising Growth Despite Pandemic
The Indian defence sector has shown promising growth despite the disruptions caused by COVID-19. India is shifting its focus towards defence innovation and technology incorporation to design and develop future weapon systems. While the domestic requirements are large enough to sustain the indigenous industry, India would like to partner with friendly countries to take defence production to the next level and share the benefits to ensure shared prosperity. The growth in the aviation sector has been impressive, and other sectors are also poised well for massive expansion. The aerospace market is expanding in India with the exponential rise in demand for military equipment by defence forces. The aerospace industry is also gearing up to cater to the need for aircraft (fixed and rotary wings), UAVs, and communication systems. The opportunities in the aerospace industry for the Indian industries will enhance favourable defence policies with the other countries by creating an ecosystem in India. Satellite-enabled technologies such as Information Technology, Artificial Intelligence (AI), chip manufacturing, and communication technology are areas where a massive scope for cooperation exists.
The Indian defence sector has shown promising growth despite the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. India is shifting its focus towards defence innovation and technology incorporation to design and develop future weapon systems
LCA Tejas at the Centre Stage
A full-scale LCA-Tejas aircraft in Final Operational Clearance (FOC) configuration will be at the centre stage of the “India Pavilion” at Aero India 2023. The 14th Edition of Aero India will have a separate “India Pavilion” based on the theme of ‘Fixed Wing Platform’ to showcase India’s growth in the fixed wing area, including the future prospects for the same. India Pavilion will further showcase the growth of India in developing an ecosystem for Fixed Wing platforms which includes the demonstration of various structural modules, simulators, systems (LRUs), etc., of LCA-Tejas aircraft being produced by private partners. There will also be a section for Defence space, new technologies, and a UAV section which will give an insight into the growth of India in each sector.
Highly Agile Machine
LCA Tejas is a single-engine, lightweight, highly agile, multi-role supersonic fighter. It has a quadruplex digital fly-by-wire Flight Control System (FCS) with associated advanced flight control laws. The aircraft with a delta wing is designed for ‘air combat’ and ‘offensive air support’ with ‘reconnaissance’ and ‘anti-ship’ as its secondary roles. Extensive use of advanced composites in the airframe gives a high strength-to-weight ratio, long fatigue life, and low radar signatures. Tejas is equipped with state-of-the-art features like a glass cockpit, zero-zero ejection seat, inflight refuelling probe, Jam proof AESA Radar, UEWS with SPJ, CMDS, HMDS DashV, BVR missile capability, and many more, which make the aircraft more lethal. LCA has come a long way in terms of development and is presently available in Air Force fighter & twin seater and LCA Navy fighter and twin seater. Other variants like LCA LIFT (Lead in fighter trainer) and MK-2 are being developed for LCA Tejas. Some of the uniqueness of the aircraft is that it is one of the smallest and lightest aircraft in its class. It has an excellent flight safety record, available in all four variants to meet all customer needs, composite constituting 90 per cent by area and 45 per cent by weight. It is supersonic at all altitudes with minimalistic RCS. It is a quad-redundant fly-by-wire aircraft with a payload carrying capacity of up to 30 per cent of AUW (all up weight). Its open architecture enables customised weapon integration and is maintenance-friendly with low operating costs.