Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Bangalore: Riding high on the winds of change in India-U.S. ties since the signing of the civilian nuclear deal, American aerospace prowess will be at full throttle during the Aero India-2009 international air show beginning here on Wednesday.
"The U.S. will be the largest participant at Aero India 2009 in terms of space taken up to showcase an array of military and civilian aircraft for static and flying displays. With a huge contingent, our presence will be larger than at any previous Indian air show," a U.S. consulate official told IANS.
Though the number of U.S. firms participating in the five-day biannual event at 22 is lower than that of other countries, the presence of its aerospace majors such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, General Dynamics and Bell Helicopter with their fleet of fighter jets, transport planes, helicopters, hi-tech equipment and products will be a major attraction and show of strength.
"Our participation in a big way highlights the U.S. administration's commitment to increase defence cooperation with India and the importance it places in international defence arena. Besides top military leaders and defence department officials, top officials of aerospace firms will be present at the event," the official said, requesting anonymity.
Owing to security and operational reasons, detailed information on the products and technologies being showcased and marketed by the participating firms have not been made public.
Lockheed's F-16 and Boeing's F/A-18F Super Hornet are in a hot race to win the Indian Air Force (IAF) contract for 126 medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA). Both have flown in a couple of the combat-proven strike fighters for static and aerial demos with a full weapons payload involving breath-taking maneouvres twice a day at the Yelahanka air force station, 20 km from the city.
Vying with F-16 and F-18 in displaying air power will be Eurofighter Typhoon of EADS (European Aeronautic Defence and Space), Gripen of Saab, French Rafale of Dassault and Russian MiG-35 of MiG for the lucrative IAF order, estimated at about Rs 50,000 crore ($10 billion).
09/02/09 IANS/The Hindu

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Day Before & Day 1
Day 1 : Feb 11, 2009
Day 2 : Feb 12, 2009
Day 3 : Feb 13, 2009
Day 4 : Feb 14, 2009
Day 5 : Feb 15, 2009
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