NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will on Wednesday inaugurate Asia’s premier Aero India air show in Bangalore on Wednesday, with global armament majors eyeing the multi-billion dollar Indian defence market, seeking to align with the BJP-NDA Government’s ‘Make in India’ campaign.
Modi will be the second Prime Minister -- after the then PM H D Deve Gowda in 1996 -- to inaugurate the event, which is normally launched by the Defence Minister at the IAF Station at Yelahanka in the IT city.
Over 300 foreign firms, along with 54 ministerial and other high-level delegations from several countries will be taking part in this edition of the event. The US, with 64 companies, will have the largest presence at the show in which 33 other countries are taking part. Behind the US is France with 58 companies, the UK 48, Russia 41, Israel 25 and Germany 17, organisers said. Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Ya’alon has landed here to discuss bilateral defence cooperation between the two countries.
Seven of the 11 foreign military aircraft on display will be American-- two F-15C Eagles, two F-16C Fighting Falcons, one Boeing KC-135 tanker, one C-17 Globemaster III and a P-8A Poseidon maritime surveillance aircraft.