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LIMA '09 begins with stunning aerobatic display

NEW DELHI (BNS): Captivating aerobatic display by several aircraft held the audience enthralled at the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition 2009, LIMA 09, which begin here today.

Three Royal Malaysian Air Force’s (RMAF) MIG-29N dubbed Taufan Ganas began the aerial show displaying death defying aerobatic manoeuvres, according to Bernama news.

Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi opened LIMA 09 at Mahsuri International Exhibition Center (MIEC) here.

Malaysia plans to decommission its fleet of 18 MIG-29N aircraft next year and replace it with a more capable and all-rounder multi role combat aircraft (MRCA).

The most capable, state-of-the-art fighter aircraft in Malaysia's inventory Sukhoi SU-30MKM, also held the dignitaries spellbound with its textbook precision display.

Besides the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) Apache AH-64D Longbow attack helicopter, Guam-based United States B-52 "Stratofortress" made a historic flypast over Langkawi skies for the first time at LIMA 09, while the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) F-111 "Aadvark" made a comeback.

Another highlight of LIMA 09 was the presence of a B-52, famous for its "carpet bombing" role during the Vietnam and the Gulf war.

Over 325 exhibitors from 25 countries are participating at LIMA 09 and international defence companies like Eurocopter, Thales, DCNS, BAE Systems and AgustaWestland.

Local participants include companies such as National Aerospace & Defence Industries Sdn Bhd (NADI), Airod Sdn Bhd, Boustead Naval Shipyard and Composites Technology & Research Malaysia (CTRM).

A total of 15 aircraft and helicopters have been slated to perform daily aerial displays throughout LIMA 09, which is expected to draw over 30,000 visitors.

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