The 14 th edition of the biennial Aero India which will see participation of 809 Indian and foreign companies spread over 35,000 sq.m. is excepted to see conclusion of 251 Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) worth ₹75,000 crore during the three business days, defence officials said. At the Defence Ministers’ conclave for which 32 foreign Defence Ministers have confirmed participation, India will make a strong pitch for indigenous military hardware.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the five-day Aero India 2023 on Monday. While the first three days (February 13-15) are business days, February 16 and 17 have been set as public days.
In a first, at the expo, European defence majors Airbus and Thales have announced that they would hold interactions for potential recruitment with aspiring candidates during the two public days.
The aim of the event is to promote exports of air platforms with focus on the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) and also attract foreign investments including on co-development and co-production, said Cdr. Achal Malhotra, Director, Defence Exhibition Organisation in the Ministry of Defence (MoD) at the curtain-raiser event on Sunday.
The expo comprises a Defence Ministers’ conclave; a CEOs round table; Manthan (brainstorming) start-up event; Bandhan ceremony, air shows, a large exhibition; India Pavilion and a trade fair of aerospace companies.
Addressing mediapersons, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said Aero India 2023 will showcase the country’s manufacturing prowess and the progress achieved towards realising Aatmanirbhar Bharat. “A strong and self-reliant defence sector will play a pivotal role in helping India emerge as one of the top three world economies in the times to come. Achievements in the defence sector provide wide spin-off benefits to the Indian economy. The technologies developed in the field are equally useful for civilian purposes,” he said.
This year’s event will see the participation of 98 countries and Defence Ministers of 32 countries, Air Chiefs of 29 countries and 73 CEOs of global and Indian original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).
The event aims to promote 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), officials said. It will integrate domestic Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and start-ups in global supply chain and attract foreign investments including partnerships for co-development and co-production, officials said.
The Defence Ministers’ conclave would address aspects related to deepening cooperation for capacity building (through investments, R&D, joint venture, co-development, co-production and provisioning of defence equipment), training, space, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and maritime security to grow together. The conclave is an opportunity for the Defence Ministers to engage with each other to carry forward the ‘Make in India, Make for the World’ vision, Defence Ministry said.
The CEOs round table is expected to lay the foundation of a more robust interaction between the industry partners and government with an eye on bolstering the ‘Make in India’ campaign, Mr. Singh said. He added the round table will provide an opportunity to explore the strength and capabilities of Indian defence industry in the presence of world’s top business leaders.
The annual defence innovation event, Manthan, being organised by Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX), will bring the leading innovators, start-ups, MSMEs, incubators, academia and investors from defence and aerospace ecosystem under one roof. The ‘India Pavilion’ will have a total of 115 companies, displaying 227 products including the LCA.
A series of seminars are also lined up on various themes including ‘India’s Defence Space Initiative: Opportunities for shaping Indian private space ecosystem’; ‘Indigenous development of futuristic aerospace technologies, including aero engines’; ‘Destination Karnataka: U.S.-India defence cooperation innovation and Make in India’; ‘Advancement in maritime surveillance equipment and assets’; ‘Sustenance in MRO [Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul] and obsolescence mitigation and achieving excellence in defence grade drones’ and ‘ Aatmanirbharta in Aero armament sustenance’. A separate Karnataka Pavilion will showcase to the participants the opportunities available in the State.
Airbus will host a public ‘meet-and-greet’ event aimed at recruiting engineering and information technology (IT) talent at the Aero India air show where aspiring candidates can meet Airbus executives where they can explore career opportunities in airframe design, avionics, aircraft systems simulation, data analytics, cybersecurity and cabin engineering, Airbus said in a statement.
Thales said their HR team will also be available during the public days to meet engineers interested in joining the organisation and share various career opportunities at their engineering centres in Bengaluru and Noida.