Monday, February 12, 2007

Bangalore: Tens of thousands of people watched awesome aerial displays on the final day today of the Aero India show that saw makers of combat jets raise their sales pitch to bag a major Indian contract.
After three days earmarked for business, the sixth edition of Aero India was thrown open to the public yesterday and aviation buffs thronged Yelahanka airbase in droves to see the metal war-birds perform breathtaking manoeuvres.
Organisers had expected nearly two lakh people to visit the show and the response did not fall short of their expectation. Traffic choked the National Highway leading to the Yelahanka air force station.
The show witnessed participation by some 500 companies, including 275 foreign firms. Among the top guns were defence aviation majors Lockheed Martin and Boeing.
With India's planned acquisition of 126 multi-role combat aircraft in its sight, Lockheed Martin raised the pitch for its F-16, Boeing for its F-18 and Gripen International for its new generation JAS-39 fighter.
France's Rafale, Eurofighter Typhoon and Russia's MiG-35 are also in the race for the multi-billion dollar deal. Russia's MiG Corporation unveiled its MiG-35 to the world at the airshow. The seventh edition of Aero India will be held here in February 2009.
11/02/07 PTI/The Hindu


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