13th Edition of Aero India commences in Bengaluru
Aero India, the 13th edition of India’s premier aerospace and defense exhibition, commenced on 3rd February with its theme revolving around ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’ and ‘Make in India’ program. As per Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, it is quite heartening to organize Aero India amidst the twin challenges of Covid-19 and the flare-up of hostilities along northern borders. He emphasized that more than 200 MoU agreements would be signed during Bandhan Event. The Biennial event at Air force Station Yelahanka would be the first-ever hybrid aerospace show comprising physical and virtual exhibitions.
Around 601 exhibitors (523 Indian and 78 Foreign) and 14 countries will be a part of this event. It is a platform for aerospace enthusiasts, defense industries, aspirant startups to participate and witness advances in the aerospace and defense sector. Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) will showcase its indigenous latest technologies. There will also be a flight display by Surya Kiran aircraft and Sarang helicopters. The Indian pavilion will be based on the theme ‘Rotary Wings, Conclave of Defence Ministers of Indian Ocean Region.’
There will be a display of new ideas and technologies with experts providing their inputs in crucial information exchange regarding developments in the aviation industry. Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) would display Aatmanirbhar Formation Flight consisting of its products like LCA Trainer, HTT-40, Advanced Hawk Mk 132, and Civil Do-228, signifying self-sufficiency in the trainer segment.
HAL turns its focus on new aircraft, displays models at Aero India
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) displayed a scaled model of the seaplane version of its Dornier 228 aircraft to be built under the Make in India program. This will be offered to commercial and military operators to establish a connection between the chain of islands in Andaman and Nicobar and Lakshadweep. This will help in inter-island communication, search and rescue, and reconnaissance of islands.
Also, HAL is supposed to get a request for quotation (RFQ) for Hindustan Turbo Trainer-40 (HTT-40) after Defence Ministry’s Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) accorded its Acceptance of Necessity (AON) for buying 106 HTT-40 aircrafts last year. It demonstrated critical six-turn spin test capability last year. It has been declared safe for rookie pilots and meets IAF’s exacting standards for trainer planes. It will be equipped with light bombs and rockets to be showcased as Light Strike Aircraft in International Market.
LCA Tejas Deal to be signed at the Aero India Summit
The Aero India event’s major attraction would be the inking of the LCA Tejas Aircraft Deal worth Rs 47,000 crores for the Indian Air Force (IAF). The fact that this event’s logo is a tri-colored figure of Tejas LCA with Ashok Chakra in the middle highlights the significance of this largest-ever deal for an Indian company.
In January, Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) gave its go-ahead for manufacturing 73 LCA Tejas Mk-1A fighter aircraft and 10 LCA Tejas Mk-1 Trainer aircraft. Apart from being indigenous, this version of Tejas is far better than its foreign equivalents and is also cheaper. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh also inaugurated the second assembly line for LCA at HAL to increase the production rate from 8 to 16 aircraft per year. This would help speedy deliveries of the aircraft within 36 months from today. All 83 aircraft would be delivered six years from then, as per Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) head R. Madhavan. There are four major add-ons on the current LCA version, like improvements in operational roles, enhancing the combat ability, and maintainability improvements. This will be ensured by the incorporation of AESA Radar, EW Suite, and BVR Missile capabilities. Indigenous BVR Missile (Astra Mk 1) will be integrated on Mk1A as a weapon of choice for IAF.
Chief of Air Staff Conclave to be held at Aero India
The Indian Air Force (IAF) will host the Chiefs of Air Staff Conclave on 3rd-4th February in Aero India event. It will be inaugurated by Honorable Defence Minister Mr. Rajnath Singh and will be attended by 75 countries physically and virtually, making it a first-ever hybrid conclave. It will provide a platform for Air Chiefs to discuss prevailing global issues from a military point of view and synergize their defense and aerospace sector modernization efforts. Diplomatically, this will be a great arena to forward alignments and mutual interests to maintain peace and harmony across the globe. Matters ranging from aviation to aerospace to maritime issues would help countries build mutual trust and transparency in various sectors.
What BEL has to offer at Aero India?
Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) will display its state-of-the-art products and systems during Aero India along with its Research and Defence capabilities, demonstrating its contribution to the Aatmanirbhar Bharat program. Technologies range from airborne and space, satellite application, self-protection suite with DIRCM, BE NAVIC 705, VPX architecture based SDR for airborne platforms, and airborne Sonar.
Under the Aatmanirbhar Bharat initiative, a total of 30 products and systems will be displayed along with innovative solutions and Artificial Intelligence-based systems like automatic trains supervision system for Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) and Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre. BEL will also present its land and naval products comprising QRSAM Radars, BFSR-XR AESA, DDA, Coastal Surveillance System, Weapon Control System, etc. The PSU will also display communication and Laser-based products, Software-defined Radio under communication and electro-optics segments. Products for non-application like ventilators, smart city platforms with the Internet of Things (IoT) components, etc., will also be showcased.
IAF moving ahead with indigenization in the maintenance of aircrafts
Indian Air Force (IAF) will focus on indigenization of aircraft and systems spares and setting up of Repair and Overhaul facilities for aggregates. From aircraft general-purpose spares to complex high technology spares, IAF intends to fast track indigenization with the Indian Aerospace and Defence Industry’s help, especially MSMEs. Base Repair Depots of IAF and Central Indigenization and Manufacturing Depot, Nashik is involved in maintenance repair of aircraft and its systems.
Aviation grade filters, hydraulic, circuit breakers, and all components have been lined up for indigenous production and repair. This will help the exchequer to save financially. This will boost domestic industries and employment and reduce time frames for repair, thereby enhancing operational availability of assets.