Rasheed Kappan

It will showcase its military muscle at Aero Show

BANGALORE: Offering its F/A-18 Super Hornet Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MRCA) to meet the Indian Air Force (IAF)'s much publicised need for 126 such aircraft, the U.S.-based Boeing Integrated Defence Systems (IDS) has geared up to showcase its military muscle at the Aero-India international aerospace exposition early next year.

Till the last air show, Boeing's commercial wing had dominated the American presence at the biennial exposition. But this year, with the IAF and the Defence Ministry showing a keen interest in MRCA on offer, Boeing will display not just the Super Hornet, but the heavy lift CH-47 Chinook helicopter, a twin-engine, tandem rotor aircraft designed for transportation of cargo, troops, and weapons during day, night, visual, and instrument conditions.

On display will be the T-45A aircraft, the Navy version of the British Aerospace Hawk aircraft, used for intermediate and advanced portions of the Navy pilot training programme for jet carrier aviation and tactical strike missions.

The P-8I Multimission Maritime Aircraft (MMA) will be another key display at the air show.

This aircraft has the objective of searching and destroying submarines, conduct shipping interdiction, and possibly engage in an electronic intelligence role.

Currently awaiting a formal request from the Government for the F/A-18 Super Hornet, Boeing IDS is confident that once the Indo-U.S. nuclear deal comes through, the aircraft would have a big chance of grabbing IAF's biggest acquisition deal.

"When the civilian nuclear deal is through that will establish a level of trust (between the two countries)," Mr. Chris Chadwick, vice-president and general manager, Global Strike Systems, IDS, told The Hindu .