Aero India flies off today..IAF will get 'Eye in the Sky', 500th display of Surya Kiran

Bengaluru: With potential deals worth billions of dollars on offer, the 11th biennial edition of International Aerospace and Defence Exhibition - Aero India 2017 - will begin at the Air Force Station at Yelahanka here onTuesday.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar will inaugurate the show, which will also be attended by the Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat and Air Force Chief B S Dhanoa.

The five-day event, being organised by the Defence Exhibition Organisation (DEO), is considered to be one of the most "sought after" exhibitions in the Asian region in terms of participation from across the globe.

Top Defence companies from the US, Russia and Europe have lined up to display their wares eyeing the deals.

A total of 549 companies are expected to participate in the event, out of which 270 are Indian and 279 foreign.

About two lakh business visitors will attend the show in which 72 aircraft will be participating, according to the organisers.

State run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has said its key indigenous products like HTT-40 (Basic Trainer Aircraft), first indigenously upgraded Hawk Mk132, named as Hawk-i, Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) and Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) will fly at the Aeroshow.

India's Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) System will be inducted on the first day of Aero India, during which LCA Tejas will be demonstrated for potential customers, where people from both within and outside the country after the due clearance will fly in a trainer as co-passenger.

Both trainer versions of Tejas PV5 and PV6 can be seen during the event.

Aero India 2017 will also mark a special moment for Surya Kiran Aerobatics team of the Indian Air Force as they will mark their 500th public display since formation in 1996.

According to reports, a five-member Chinese delegation from the People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) will be attending the show for the first time.

Air Force officials had earlier said that, in total, 65 delegates comprising Ministers of Defence, Service Chiefs and Heads of Department from Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brazil, Brunei, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Egypt, France, Germany, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Nigeria, Oman, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Sudan, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Tanzania, Thailand, Turkey, the UAE, the UK, USA and Uzbekistan are expected to visit the event.

Elaborate security and traffic management arrangements have been made by the city police for the smooth conduct of the event.

PTI