India targets to triple military exports to $5bn in 2 years
New Delhi, Feb 13 (EFE).- Some 800 exhibitors have gathered in the southern city of Bengaluru for an aerospace exhibition, with India showing off its defense manufacturing prowess and targeting to more than triple its military exports to $5 billion in the next two years.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the 14th edition of Aero India 2023 at Air Force Station in the city known as the Silicon Valley of India.
Some 100 foreign and 700 Indian companies are attending the defense exhibition, focusing on India’s indigenous equipment and technologies and forging partnerships with foreign companies.
“This new height is the reality of New India. Today, India is touching new heights and transcending them too,” said Modi, addressing the gathering.
Modi said the show was a “shining example of India’s growing capabilities, and the presence of more than 100 nations at this event shows the trust that the entire world shows in India.”
He said his government wanted to take “defense exports from $1.5 billion to $5 billion by 2024-25.” “From here India will take rapid strides to be included among the largest defense manufacturing countries and our private sector and investors will play a big role in that.
The event will showcase the country’s growth in UAVs Sector, defense space, and futuristic technologies and promote the 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).
The event will also help in integrating domestic small and medium enterprises and start-ups in the global supply chain and attract foreign investments, including partnerships for co-development and co-production.
Among the attractions at the show is the United States Air Force’s newest fifth-generation fighter – the stealthy, supersonic, multirole F-35A Lightning II and F-35A Joint Strike Fighter.
The F-35A Lightning II demonstration team flew from Hill Air Force Base in Utah, US, and will impress crowds with a demo of its unique aerial capabilities, according to an embassy statement.
The F-35A Lightning II from Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska will be on static display.
“The F-35 represents the leading edge of US fighter technology. Aero India is an ideal forum to showcase the most advanced, capable, lethal, and interoperable weapons systems the US has to offer. This system and others are designed to penetrate and defeat advanced adversary air defenses,” Major General Julian C. Cheater, Assistant Deputy Under Secretary of the Air Force, International Affairs, said.
India is the world’s largest arms importer, ahead of Saudi Arabia, according to data from the Stockholm International Institute for Peace Studies.
The Indian Air Force mainly operates aircraft of French and Russian origin and aims to gradually replace several of these fighters with others developed locally to end the heavy dependence it has on other countries for its defensive framework. EFE