Aero India 2023: Overview and Outcomes


    In Context

    • Recently, The 14th edition of India’s five day biennial air show ‘Aero India‘ took place at Air Force Station Yelahanka in Bengaluru.

    Aero India 2023

    • About:
      • Aero India is a premier global aviation trade fair, which provides an opportunity for the Indian aviation-defence industry, including the aerospace industry, to showcase its products, technologies and solutions to the national decision makers.
    • Key Highlights:
      • Theme for 2023: ‘‘The runway to a billion opportunities”.
      • The Aero India show is held every 2 years.
      • It was held by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) this year on behalf of the Department of Defence Production of the Ministry of Defence.
      • The first edition of the air show was held in 1996.
    • Objective
      • 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).
    • 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.
    • It highlighted India’s expanding aerospace and defence capabilities.
    • Participation:
      • 98 countries, 32 defence ministers, 29 air chiefs, and 73 chief executive officers of international and Indian original equipment manufacturers participated in the event.

    Key Takeaways

    • Over 200 agreements worth around Rs 80,000 crore were signed during the 2023 edition of Aero India.
    • The event focussed on indigenous aerospace and defence technologies, aligned with the Modi government’s push for ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat‘ (self-reliant India).
    • The US government put up a debut display of two fifth-generation fighters being used by its air force — the supersonic F-35A Lightning II and F-35A Joint Strike Fighter multirole jets.
    • Strategic Significance
      • The large US delegation and the decision to fly in their latest aircraft carry a strategic and geopolitical signal. 
      • The bulk of India’s military equipment is from Russia, which is under Western sanctions due to the war in Ukraine — and the US would like to wean India away from its dependence on Moscow, and to woo the Indian military establishment through partnership opportunities in defence projects.

    Main Attractions At Aero India 2023

    • A number of Made-in-India defence products were showcased at Aero India 2023 which included:
      • India’s futuristic indigenous aircraft E.g. 5th Generation Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft, LCA Mark2 ,Naval Twin Engine Deck-based Fighter jet, etc.
      • Jetpack Suits
        • A model of a soldier wearing a jetpack being developed by an Indian start-up will be inaugurated. 
      • Made-in-India Light Combat Helicopter Prachand
      • BrahMos Aerospace: Showcasing the models of the air-launched version of BrahMos supersonic cruise missile along with BrahMos NG missile.
      • HLFT-42: HAL is showcasing the supersonic trainer aircraft named HLFT-42 full-scale model at Aero India.