Aero India 2005, a five-day international aerospace and defence exposition, will start Feb 9 at the Yelahanka Indian Air Force (IAF) base, 20 km from here.
Billed as one of the largest air shows in South Asia, the fifth edition of the aero show will see global aerospace and aviation firms at full throttle to showcase their aircraft, hi-tech products and technologies for lucrative deals and collaborative ventures with their Indian counterparts.
About 325 leading aerospace and aviation firms, including 100 from India, and high-level delegations from 45 countries are participating in the biennial event. During the last aero show in 2003, about 250 firms, including 176 from overseas and 24 foreign delegations took part.
Being organised by the Defence Ministry in association with Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and the IAF, the biennial event will witness the spectacular display of air prowess by about 50 aircraft, including fighter and trainer jets, helicopters and transport and civilian planes.
Among the star attractions will be the indigenously built Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), the Intermediate Jet Trainer (IJT) and the Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH) of the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL).
The three prototypes of LCA and two prototypes of IJT will be seen in action to demonstrate India's capability for manufacturing the most-modern fighter and trainer aircraft.
The IAF will be displaying their Jaguars, MiG 21s, MI-8 choppers and IL-72 transport planes, besides Surya Kirans for aerobatics and formations, while the Indian Navy will fly its Sea Harriers and choppers.
Global aviation majors such as the US, Britain, Russia, France, Sweden and Israel will be present to match the Indian air power with flying and static display of their magnificent machines.
Participating in a big way this time, the US will display two F-15 Strike Eagle fighter jets along with Hercules Charlie 130 carrier aircraft, P3C Orion maritime surveillance aircraft and Bell helicopters.
Contrary to earlier indications, F-16 falcon will not be in the US fleet. However, F-15E will offer the IAF pilots an opportunity to match the skills of their MiGs and Sukhois with the multi-role, all weather, two-seater fighter aircraft.
Aero-India joint director R.K. Dhingra told IANS the British Aerospace Systems (BAE) will be demonstrating its Hawk AJT (advanced jet trainer), being inducted into the IAF for training its pilots at supersonic speed.
Of the total 66 AJTs, BAE will supply 24 and the remaining 42 will be built by HAL at its Bangalore complex by 2010-12.
"The Russians will be showcasing their flagship products such as Sukhoi-30 MKI, some of which are already in service with the IAF, the MiG 29 M2, MiG 21, and IL and AN-12 transport plane," Dhingra said.
French major Dassault Aviation will also exhibit its latest Mirage 2000-05, with an eye on bagging an order from the IAF, which is scouting for about 125 multi-role fighter aircraft to replace the aging MiG 21s and strengthen its existing fleet.
Swedish major Gripen and MiG RAC with its MiG 29 M2 will also be in the race for the multi-billion dollar deal from the IAF.
"For the static display, 72 aircraft, including 50 from India have been lined up, including Dorniers, Hansa, IL-76 TD and IL-114 from Ukraine. Aeronautic Defence Systems from Israel will be showcasing its unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)," Dhingra said.
Complimenting the air show, an international seminar by the DRDO on "Aerospace Technologies - Developments and Strategies" will be held, besides a summit on the "Indian Civil Aviation" in partnership with the CII to focus on the growth of the civilian sector in the sub-continent.