The ninth edition of Aero India, a biennial air show, will be held from February 6 to 10 at the Yelahanka Air Force station in Bangalore, with over 53 civil and military aircraft from leading manufacturers and suppliers across the globe participating in the premier air show of Asia.

“I hope it will be bigger show compared to earlier editions. We are getting support from various stakeholders and I expect good response to the show,” Secretary (Defence Production) R.K. Mathur said at a press conference in New Delhi on Monday.

Mr. Mathur said that China has also been invited to the show but a confirmation has not been received yet. He said that more confirmations were expected. “We expect the number to be higher than the last year,’’ he added. Aero India-2011 had featured 63 aircrafts. He said of the aircraft participating, 55 per cent were civilian. As many as 27 countries will be participating in the show.

He said the aero show provides an ideal window of opportunity to companies to not only network with Indian industries but also benefit from the sharing of expertise in research and development and product support with other global players. “The show has its own merits for development of defence industry in the country,’’ he said.

Aerobatic teams from India, Russia and the Czeh Republic will take part in the event. He said leading engineering colleges from the country would display designs of their students.

Mr. Mathur said business done due to Aero India shows had led “to offsets of Rs.19,000 crore.” He said business opportunities of Rs.14,000 crore have already been generated for the private sector. Since 2006, all defence deals above Rs. 300 crore require the vendors to reinvest 30 per cent in India's defence industry.

India is projected to become the third largest defence spender after the US and China with $ 80-100 billion worth of acquisitions lined up for next five years. As per the 13 Finance Commission report, defence budget is set to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 10 per cent per annum during 2010-15. Presuming the same rate of growth for the balance plan period, the total Defence capital budget in the 12 plan will be an estimated Rs. 4,45,500 crore with a capital acquisition budget ranging up to 85 per cent on an average.

Top decision makers from the Defence Ministry, Armed Forces, ISRO, DRDO, military delegations from overseas will be among the visitors at the show, organised by the Defence Ministry. Leading aircraft manufacturers such as Dassault Aviation, Pilatus Aircraft Limited, Embraer, Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Bombardier Aerospace, will be displaying their machines at Aero India 2013.

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