China which had participated in the last show is not making its presence felt this time, confirmed Sujata. This is attributed to the growing trade rivalry between India and China.
“India is estimated to spend about $80 billion in the next five years on defence acquisitions, making it one of the most attractive markets for global defence firms,” the CII-Deloitte report on ‘Prospects for Global Defence Industry in Indian Defence Market’ said.
The show will therefore, witness a zealous scramble by the global defence aviation giants for a part of the big pie. Among them are Lockheed Martin, Boeing, BAE Systems, and the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS). The flying displays will see some of the latest fighter planes in the world, sources said. Some of the latest technological marvels in communication, electronic warfare, cockpit display and aircraft manufacturing are expected to be on display.
This show has an added importance since a contract for preliminary design of the Indo-Russian Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft was signed between Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Rosoboronexport and Sukhoi in December last. Now the Indian aerospace industry is opened up for foreign participation up to 26% equity holding. HAL, Bharat Electronics and DRDO, among others will go in for partnerships and joint ventures. “One of the most exciting aero shows” is how Mary Ellen Jones, vice-president, Marketing of Pratt & Whitney said of the show in a SP Guide Publications, the official media partner of Aero India 2011.