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US Army choppers, F-16s to fly at Aero India show
US Army helicopters and F-16 jets made by American aviation major Lockheed Martin will be seen in action at the Aero India show to be held here Feb 9-13.

This will be the first time after Washington lifted its sanctions against New Delhi two years ago that the US Army has decided to participate in the International Aerospace and Defence Exhibition at the Indian Air Force (IAF) base at Yelahanka on the outskirts of the city.

"The US Army has confirmed its participation in the bi-annual event. It will showcase its helicopters for static and flying display. The number of helicopters and variants will be known by next month," Air Commodore Satish Pal Singh told reporters here Friday.

"Lockheed Martin is bringing in one or two F-16 fighters for demonstrating its air prowess."

The US has stepped up efforts in recent months to pitch the F-16s and Bell 407 helicopters to the IAF, and the display of these aircraft at the prestigious Aero India show is being seen as part of that move.

Billed as one of the largest aero shows in South Asia, the five-day event will see about 200 firms from 25 countries displaying products and technologies in the military and commercial sectors.

"Till date, 78 aviation and aerospace firms from different countries have confirmed their presence at the event. By January-end, we will have a complete list of participants and the representative countries," Singh said at a preview of the event.

"Many firms will exhibit their products and expertise for promoting or marketing their wares, while some will bring in their aircraft, helicopters, transport planes and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for static and flying display."

Apart from the F-16s, Sukhois, MiG-29, MiG-21BIS and transport planes from Russia, Mirage-2000 from France and commercial and business jets from European countries will take to the skies during the show.

Some leading firms that have confirmed their participation are Gulf Stream, Dassault, Northrop Grumman, Tashkent Aviation Corporation, Raytheon, Bell Aviation, Embraer, Boeing and Airbus Industrie.

International participation will see delegations from the US, Britain, Russia, France, Germany, Brazil, Israel and a host of other countries making a beeline to the venue, 20 km from India's hi-tech capital.

From the subcontinent, India's leading aerospace and aviation firms in the public and private sectors will also pitch in, vying for global attention and export markets.

Leading the Indian contingent will be Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA), Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL), Taneja Aerospace and the IAF.

"The event will serve as a platform for all stakeholders in the aviation and aerospace industries serving the military and civilian markets," said Singh.

Besides flying displays twice daily of defence and commercial aircraft, fighters, helicopters, transport planes and UAVs, the IAF will conduct aerobatics and formation flying with its Surya Kiran squadron and Sarang fleet of advanced light helicopters.

The IAF will also fly the first indigenously built Su-30.

ADA will demonstrate the flying prowess of its light combat aircraft (LCA), the supersonic fighter jet being built in collaboration with HAL and DRDO.

All three versions of LCA, christened Tejas -- Technology Demonstrator-1, Technology Demonstrator-2 and Prototype Vehicle will take part in flying displays.

HAL will also showcase two prototypes of its intermediate jet trainer (IJT), being built to train IAF's rookie pilots.

The British Hawk, the advanced jet trainer of BAE Systems, will be seen in action again. India this year signed a deal to purchase 66 Hawks.


Posted by Jehangir Unwalla @ 8:16 AM


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This blog focuses on current issues concerning defense and national security for the world's largest democracy - India. It is updated regularly providing readers with in-depth information on technology transfer, acquisitions, counter-terrorism, security and military collaboration and strategic dialogue between India and the United States. The site includes links to top defense policy & research institutes, think-tanks, military sites and research organizations.
Cooperative Cope Thunder
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