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289 Indian companies taking part in Aero India

The LCA Aircraft Tejas being made ready for the inaugural fly past on February 11, 2009 at Yelahanka Air Base, in Bengaluru for the Aero India 2009. PIB photo

BANGALORE (BNS): Nearly 300 Indian companies are taking part in the Aero India show that will get underway from Wednesday February 11. This is nearly 50 per cent of the total companies participating in the show. The number has grown from a mere 66 in the first air show in 1998 to 289 in its seventh edition this year.

One of the major participants, the Indian Air Force (IAF) would be in full strength with majority of its fire power on display. This would include the air superiority fighter Sukhoi-30 MKI, Mirage-2000, Jaguar, the basic and intermediate jet trainer Kiran and the advanced jet trainer Hawk; rotor power in the form of MI-8s and ALH, and transport support by IL-78 MKI tanker, the workhorses AN32 and the Dornier-228.

The Indian Army will showcase its prowess through Army Aviation Corps that will display a mock special heliborne operation.

Other major Indian agencies taking part in the show are Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO), Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA), Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), Centre for Airborne Systems and the National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL).

The ADA will be presenting the Light Combat Aircraft - Tejas. The world's smallest fighter aircraft weighing a little over 7 tonnes and with a capacity to carry about 60 per cent of its basic weight as ordnance, a feat unmatched by any modern aircraft, Tejas will be a major attraction of the show.

On the other hand, HAL will showcase its Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) – Dhruv. This light-weight, multipurpose flying machine has already been inducted into Indian Armed Forces. Also on display from the HAL stables are the Intermediate Jet Trainer HJT - 36 and Hawk MK 123.

The multi-role aircraft Saras from the NAL will be another attraction of this year's show along with Hansa, the super light-weight trainer.

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