Asia''s largest air show begins today, Antony to handover Dhruv to Ecuador

Asia''s largest air show begins today, Antony to handover Dhruv to EcuadorBengaluru, Feb 11 : Asia''s largest air show, Aero India 2009, will be inaugurated by Defence Minister A K Antony today at the Yelahanka Air Force station here.

Antony will also hand over the keys of the Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) on display at the air show to the Ecuadorian Air Chief, making it first export of the Dhruv ALH from the stables of the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.

This is the first instance of India exporting Dhruv and talks are also on with Mauritius and Surinam in this regard.

The seventh edition of the five-day show would see the participation of 592 companies from 25 countries -- 303 international and 289 Indian. In size and number this is going to be the biggest air show hosted by India, so far.

Billed as Asia''s premier event in the aviation sector, the five-day international trade expo-cum-conference will showcase an array of fighter jets, helicopters, transport and civil aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles and a host of products/technologies that form the eco-system of the multi-billion dollar global aerospace industry.

Aero India 2009 will provide an ideal window of opportunity for companies to not only network with the Indian Industry but also to benefit from the sharing of expertise in the fields of research and development production and product support with other global players.

A number of aircraft, including F-16, F-18, MiG-35D, Eurofighter, IJT, Dhruv, Hawk, C-17, Embraer 135 business jet Legacy 600, C-130J, Citation XLS, G 550, AN-12 Cargo and A-310 MRTT are on display.

A 10 member Chinese delegation is here for the show for the first time. Defence Ministers of France, Peru, Bolivia, Surinam, Mongolia, Oman and Maldives will also witness the show. Sixteen junior ministers and Air Force chiefs of 11 countries are also Participating in the Aero India 2009.

Aero India 2009 is organised by the Ministry of Defence and managed by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

Germany and Italy are the largest participants with 31 company each coming to the show. The UK (26), Russia (24), USA (22), Australia (10), Belgium (17), Italy (19), Israel
(11) are the other countries having large number of their companies coming to Aero India 2009.

The highlights of the Aero India 2009 are business-to-business meetings and human resource focused activities, apart from a space pavilion. There will be structured business-to-business meetings to offer maximum business opportunities to participants. (ANI)