Warplanes thundered and helicopters performed in style in the Yelahanka skies to mark the curtain raising of Aero India 2013 on Wednesday. The Asia's biggest air extravaganza, the air show that was held in the national aerospace heartland was a display of the country's military strike power. A coordinated flypast of three MI-8 helicopters, carrying the flags of the Army, Navy and the Air Force, signalled the start of the event on a sunny morning.
Indigineous built HAL Tejas is welcomed by huge cheer from the crowds.The Rafale, however, stole the thunder. Its maker, French major Dassault Aviation, has brought in two of them for flying and one for display.The Rafale will join the IAF's attack fleet, if the Ministry's ongoing price negotiations for the estimated Rs. 50,000-crore deal clicks.
An armed variant of HAL's Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH), Rudra was formally granted Initial Operational Clearance (IOC) by the Centre for Military Airworthiness and Certification (CEMILAC) at a function here Sunday.The main stealer of show was the new attack helicopter from HAL, which has been delivered to the Indian army on Friday.
"This gives us the confidence and it is a proud moment for the country and boosts our indigenous activities," R.K. Tyagi, chairman and managing director of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited said on the occasion.
The British-made Hawk jet trainer, Boeing's C-17 military transport plane, both acquired by the IAF, HAL's weaponised light helicopter Rudra and the prototype of the light combat helicopter will also do daily flying displays.
Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh, IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal N.A.K. Browne, Karnataka Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar, Minister of State for Defence Jitendra Singh, Defence R&D Secretary V.K. Saraswat, Defence Secretary Shashi Kant Sharma, Defence Production Secretary R.K. Mathur and co-organiser FICCI's chairperson Naina Lal Kidwai witnessed the show.
The five-day air show and exposition, attended by over 25 countries and 650 national and overseas companies, was proof of the country's growing presence in civil and military aviation, Defence Minister A.K. Antony said during his opening speech in the ninth edition of the event.Heads of global aerospace companies, military chiefs, air force personnel, scientists and officials are attended the inaguration event.