Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi inaugurated the 14th edition of Asia’s biggest aero show – Aero India 2023 – at Air Force Station, Yelahanka in Bengaluru on February 13, 2023. The five-day event, on the theme ‘The runway to a billion opportunities’, showcased India’s growth in aerospace and defence capabilities. It was aimed to display indigenous equipment/technologies and forge partnerships with foreign companies, in line with the ‘Make in India, Make for the World’ vision for a secure and prosperous future.
The Prime Minister said that Aero India 2023 is a shining example of India’s growing capabilities and the presence of around 100 nations at this event shows the trust that the entire world shows in India. He noted the participation of more than 800 exhibitors including Indian MSMEs and startups along with the well-renowned companies of the world. Throwing light on the theme of Aero India 2023 ‘The Runway to a Billion Opportunities’, the Prime Minister expressed that the strength of Aatmanirbhar Bharat keeps on growing with each passing day.
The Prime Minister underscored the importance of Aero India taking place in Karnataka which is the hub of India’s technological advancement. He said that this will open new avenues for the youth of Karnataka in the aviation sector. The Prime Minister called upon the youth of Karnataka to deploy their technological expertise in the field of defence to strengthen the country.
The Prime Minister said that India’s successes are bearing witness to its capabilities. Tejas, INS Vikrant, advanced manufacturing facilities in Surat and Tumkur, said the Prime Minister, are the potential of Aatmanirbhar Bharat with which the world’s new alternatives and opportunities are linked.
He underlined that the nation which used to be the largest defence importer for decades has now started exporting defence equipment to 75 countries in the world. Referring to the transformation of the defence sector in the last 8-9 years, the Prime Minister said that the aim is to take defence exports from 1.5 billion to 5 billion by 2024-25. “From here India will take rapid strides to be included among the largest defence manufacturing countries and our private sector and investors will play a big role in that”, the Prime Minister said. The Prime Minister called upon the private sector to invest in the defence sector which will create new opportunities for them in India and in many other countries.
“Aero India’s deafening roar echoes India’s message of Reform, Perform and Transform”, the Prime Minister remarked. He mentioned that the entire world is taking note of the reforms made for ‘Ease of Doing Business’ in India and touched upon the various steps taken to create an environment that favours global investments as well as Indian innovation. He touched upon the reforms made in Foreign Direct Investments in defence and other sectors and the simplification of processes for issuing licenses to industries while also increasing their validity. The Prime Minister said that in this year’s Budget, tax benefits for manufacturing units have been enhanced.
Shri Rajnath Singh asserted that India has become a promising manufacturing destination due to its business-friendly environment and cost-competitiveness. “India has become the fifth largest economy in the world due to the vision and determination of our Prime Minister. It is well on course to become the third-largest economy in the next 4-5 years. India’s G-20 presidency this year is also a reflection of India’s growing stature on the international platforms,” he said.
The major exhibitors include Airbus, Boeing, Dassault Aviation, Lockheed Martin, Israel Aerospace Industry, BrahMos Aerospace, Army Aviation, HC Robotics, SAAB, Safran, Rolls Royce, Larsen & Toubro, Bharat Forge Limited, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) and BEML Limited. About five lakh visitors are expected to attend the event physically and many millions more will connect through Television and the internet.
The event aims to promote the export of indigenous air platforms like Light Combat Aircraft (LCA)-Tejas, HTT-40, Dornier Light Utility Helicopter (LUH), Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) and Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH). It will integrate domestic MSMEs and start-ups in the global supply chain and attract foreign investments including partnerships for co-development and co-production.
The ‘India Pavilion’, based on the ‘Fixed Wing Platform’ theme, showcased India’s growth in the area, including future prospects. There were a total of 115 companies, displaying 227 products. The growth of India in developing an ecosystem for Fixed Wing platforms which includes the demonstration of various structural modules, simulators, systems (Line Replacement Units) etc. of LCA-Tejas aircraft being produced by Private Partners was showcased. There was a section for Defence space, new technologies and a UAV section which to give an insight into the growth of India in each sector. A full-scale LCA-Tejas aircraft in Full Operational Capability (FOC) configuration was at the centre stage of the India Pavilion. LCA Tejas is a single-engine, lightweight, highly agile, multi-role supersonic fighter. It has a quadruplex digital fly-by-wire Flight Control System (FCS) with associated advanced flight control laws. The aircraft with a delta wing is designed for ‘air combat’ and ‘offensive air support’ with ‘reconnaissance’ and ‘anti-ship’ as its secondary roles. Extensive use of advanced composites in the airframe gives a high strength-to-weight ratio, long fatigue life and low radar signatures.