AeroIndia '23 - Day 1

AeroIndia '23 - Day 1

Tue, 02/14/2023 - 06:26
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PM Modi Inaugurates Show, Releases Commemorative Stamp

Bengaluru, Feb 13

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the 14th edition of Asia’s biggest aero show - Aero India 2023 – at Air Force Station, Yelahanka in Bengaluru on February 13, 2023. A commemorative stamp was also released by the Prime Minister on the occasion. The five-day event, on the theme ‘The runway to a billion opportunities’, will showcase India’s growth in aerospace and defence capabilities. It will display indigenous equipment/technologies and forge partnerships with foreign companies, in line with ‘Make in India, Make for the World’ vision for a secure and prosperous future.

Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister said that Bengaluru sky is bearing testimony to the capabilities of New India. “This new height is the reality of New India, today India is touching new heights and transcending them too”, the Prime Minister said.

The Prime Minister said that Aero India 2023 is a shining example of India’s growing capabilities and the presence of around 100 nations at this event shows the trust that the entire world shows in India. He noted the participation of more than 800 exhibitors including Indian MSMEs and startups along with the well-renowned companies of the world. Throwing light on the theme of Aero India 2023 ‘The Runway to a Billion Opportunities’, the Prime Minister expressed that the strength of Aatmanirbhar Bharat keeps on growing with each passing day.

Referring to the Defence Minister’s Conclave and CEOs Round Table that is being organised along with the show, Modi said that active participation in the sector will enhance the potential of Aero India.

The Prime Minister underscored the importance of Aero India taking place in Karnataka which is the hub of India’s technological advancement. He said that this will open new avenues for the youth of Karnataka in the aviation sector. The Prime Minister called upon the youth of Karnataka to deploy their technological expertise in the field of defence to strengthen the country.

“When the country moves forward with new thinking, new approach, then its systems also start changing according to the new thinking”, the Prime Minister said as he highlighted that Aero India 2023 reflects the changing approach of New India. The Prime Minister recalled when Aero India used to be ‘just a show’ and a window to ‘sell to India’ but the perception has changed now. “Today, Aero India is India’s strength and not just a show”, the Prime Minister said as he stated that it not only showcases the scope of the defence industry but also showcases the self-confidence of India”.

The Prime Minister said that India’s successes are bearing witness to its capabilities. Tejas, INS Vikrant, advanced manufacturing facilities in Surat and Tumkur, said the Prime Minister, are the potential of Aatmanirbhar Bharat with which the world's new alternatives and opportunities are linked.

“The new India of the 21st century will neither miss any opportunity nor will it lack any effort”, the Prime Minister said as he noted the revolution brought in every sector with the help of reforms. He underlined that the nation which used to be the largest defence exporter for decades has now started exporting defence equipment to 75 countries in the world.

Referring to the transformation of the defence sector in the last 8-9 years, the Prime Minister said that the aim is to take defence exports from 1.5 billion to 5 billion by 2024-25. “From here India will take rapid strides to be included among the largest defence manufacturing countries and our private sector and investors will play a big role in that”, the Prime Minister said. The Prime Minister called upon the private sector to invest in the defence sector which will create new opportunities for them in India and in many other countries.

“The India of today thinks fast, thinks far and takes quick decisions”, Modi said as he drew the analogy of India in Amrit Kaal to a fighter jet pilot. The Prime Minister said that India is a nation which is not afraid but excited to soar to new heights. India is always rooted however high it flies howsoever is its speed, the Prime Minister stressed.

“Aero India's deafening roar echoes India's message of Reform, Perform and Transform”, the Prime Minister remarked. He mentioned that the entire world is taking note of the reforms made for ‘Ease of Doing Business’ in India and touched upon the various steps taken to create an environment that favours global investments as well as Indian innovation. He touched upon the reforms made in Foreign Direct Investments in defence and other sectors and the simplification of processes for issuing licenses to industries while also increasing their validity. The Prime Minister said that in this year’s Budget, tax benefits for manufacturing units have been enhanced.

The Prime Minister said where there is demand, expertise as well experience, Industry growth is natural. He assured the gathering that efforts to strengthen the sector will keep going forward even stronger.

In his address, the Defence Minister lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi for guiding India on the political and economic map of the world and made special mention of his unwavering commitment towards the industrial and economic growth of the country. He described Aero India as an expression of that resolve.

Rajnath Singh asserted that India has become a promising manufacturing destination due to its business-friendly environment and cost-competitiveness. “India has become the fifth largest economy in the world due to the vision and determination of our Prime Minister. It is well on course to become the third largest economy in the next 4-5 years. India’s G-20 presidency this year is also a reflection of India’s growing stature on the international platforms,” he said.

He also shed light on the growth story of the Indian defence sector, saying that it has come a long way in the last few years and is marching ahead on the path of empowering the nation with full zeal and dedication. He termed Aero India as one of the pillars which has strengthened the defence sector and has given it a new identity.

Rajnath Singh welcomed the Defence Ministers, Service Chiefs, CEOs, officials and delegates from many countries participating in this 14th edition of Aero India. He appreciated the fact that over 800 exhibitors from India and abroad will present showcase their products & technologies during the five-day event. He termed the huge participation as a testimony to a new confidence of the domestic and global business community in India's emerging business potential. He called upon the participants to become a part of India's journey towards becoming a defence manufacturing hub.

The Raksha Mantri also commended Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai for organising the event on a grand scale. He described Karnataka as a pioneer in industrialisation and one of the most prominent states contributing to India’s economic growth.

About the event

The five-day event will conclude on 17th February. The February 13th to 15th will be business days, while 16th & 17th have been set as public days to allow people to witness the show. The event comprises a Defence Ministers’ Conclave; a CEOs Round Table; Manthan start-up event; Bandhan ceremony; breath-taking air shows; a large exhibition; India Pavilion and a trade fair of aerospace companies.

Organised at Air Force Station, Yelahanka in a total area of around 35,000 sqm, the event, the biggest-ever till date, is likely to witness the participation of 98 countries. The Defence Ministers of 32 countries, Air Chiefs of 29 countries and 73 CEOs of global and Indian OEMs are expected to attend the event. Eight hundred and nine (809) defence companies, including MSMEs and start-ups, will showcase the advancement in niche technologies and the growth in aerospace and defence sector.

Major exhibitors & equipment

The major exhibitors include Airbus, Boeing, Dassault Aviation, Lockheed Martin, Israel Aerospace Industry, BrahMos Aerospace, Army Aviation, HC Robotics, SAAB, Safran, Rolls Royce, Larsen & Toubro, Bharat Forge Limited, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) and BEML Limited. About five lakh visitors are expected to attend the event physically and many millions more will connect through Television and internet.

Aero India 2023 will showcase design leadership, growth in UAVs Sector, Defence Space and futuristic technologies. The event aims to promote 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). It will integrate domestic MSMEs and start-ups in global supply chain and attract foreign investments including the partnerships for co-development and co-production.

Defence Ministers’ Conclave

Rajnath Singh will host Defence Ministers’ Conclave on 14th February. Defence Ministers of friendly foreign countries will participate in the meeting, which has been organised on the theme ‘Shared Prosperity through Enhanced Engagements in Defence (SPEED). The conclave would address aspects related to deepen cooperation for capacity building (through investments, R&D, joint venture, co-development, co-production and provisioning of defence equipment), training, space, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and maritime security to grow together. The conclave is an opportunity for the defence ministers to engage with each other to carry forward the ‘Make in India, Make for the World’ vision.

Bilateral meetings

On the sidelines of Aero India 2023, a number of bilateral meetings will be held at the levels of Minister, Chief of Defence Staff and Defence Secretary among others. The focus will be on bolstering the defence & aerospace ties with friendly countries by exploring newer avenues to take the partnership to the next level.

Bandhan ceremony

The Bandhan ceremony, which witnesses signing of Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs)/Agreements, Transfer of Technologies, Product Launches and other major announcements, will be held on February 15th. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will preside over the event. Two hundred and fifty one (251) MoUs, with an expected investment of Rs 75,000 crore, are likely to be signed for partnerships between various Indian/foreign defence companies and organisations.


The annual defence innovation event, Manthan, will be the flagship technology showcase event to be held on 15th February. Being organised by Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX), the Manthan platform will bring the leading innovators, start-ups, MSMEs, incubators, academia and Investors from defence & aerospace ecosystem under one roof. The Defence Minister will preside over the event.

Manthan will have many firsts, including launch of challenges on Cyber Security, establishment of iDEX Investor Hub, MoUs with investors etc. Manthan 2023 will provide an overview on the future vision/next initiatives of iDEX to galvanise the start-up ecosystem to foster innovation and technology development in the defence sector.

India Pavilion

The ‘India Pavilion’, based on the ‘Fixed Wing Platform’ theme, will showcase India’s growth in the area, including the future prospects. There will be a total of 115 companies, displaying 227 products. It will further showcase the growth of India in developing an ecosystem for Fixed Wing platform which includes the demonstration of various structural modules, simulators, systems (LRUs) etc. of LCA-Tejas aircraft being produced by Private Partners. There will also be a section for Defence space, New Technologies and a UAV section which will give an insight about the growth of India in each sector.

A full scale LCA-Tejas aircraft in Full Operational Capability (FOC) configuration will be at the centre stage of India Pavilion. LCA Tejas is a single engine, light weight, highly agile, multi-role supersonic fighter. It has quadruplex digital fly-by-wire Flight Control System (FCS) with associated advanced flight control laws. The aircraft with delta wing is designed for ‘air combat’ and ‘offensive air support’ with ‘reconnaissance’ and ‘anti-ship’ as its secondary roles. Extensive use of advanced composites in the airframe gives a high strength to weight ratio, long fatigue life and low radar signatures.

Karnataka Pavilion

Aero India 2023 will have a separate Karnataka Pavilion which will showcase to the participants the opportunities available in the state.


A number of seminars will be held during the five-day event. The themes include ‘Harnessing Potential of Ex-servicemen for Indian Defence Industry; India’s Defence Space Initiative: Opportunities for shaping Indian private space ecosystem; Indigenous development of futuristic aerospace technologies, including aero engines; Destination Karnataka: US-India defence cooperation innovation and Make in India; Advancement in maritime surveillance equipment and assets; sustenance in MRO and Obsolescence Mitigation and achieving excellence in defence grade drones and Aatmanirbharta in Aero Armament Sustenance.



In line with the Prime Minister’s vision of ‘Make in India, Make for the World’, the event will focus on displaying indigenous equipment/technologies and forging partnerships with foreign companies. Prime Minister’s emphasis on Aatmanirbharta in the Indian Defence sector will also be displayed, as the event will showcase the country’s progress in design leadership, growth in UAVs Sector, Defence Space and futuristic technologies. Further, the event will 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 MSMEs and start-ups in the global supply chain and attract foreign investments including partnerships for co-development and co-production.

Aero India 2023 will witness participation by more than 80 countries. Ministers of about 30 countries and 65 CEOs of global and Indian OEMs are likely to participate in Aero India 2023.

Aero India 2023 exhibition will witness the participation of more than 800 Defence companies including around 100 foreign and 700 Indian companies. The Indian companies participating in the exhibition include MSMEs and start-ups, which will showcase the advancement of niche technologies, growth in aerospace and defence capabilities in the country. Major exhibitors in Aero India 2023 include Airbus, Boeing, Dassault Aviation, Lockheed Martin, Israel Aerospace Industry, BrahMos Aerospace, Army Aviation, HC Robotics, SAAB, Safran, Rolls Royce, Larsen & Toubro, Bharat Forge Limited, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) and BEML Limited.


India does not want to remain an assembly workshop

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has called upon Indian and global industry leaders to support the Government’s endeavour to design, develop and manufacture cutting-edge products, using critical technologies, within the country to attain complete ‘Aatmanirbharta’ in defence, with the overall objective of achieving shared global peace and prosperity. He was addressing over 70 CEOs of local and global Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) during a Round Table organised during the show.

The defence minister asserted that India does not want to remain just an assembly workshop and is looking to engage with friendly countries in defence and security based on sharing expertise and capabilities under the ‘Make in India, Make for the World’ vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He assured industry leaders that the government is open to new ideas and is committed to fully harness the energy, entrepreneurial spirit and capability of private sector partners in the area of defence production. He extended government’s full support towards removing obstacles and facilitating businesses.

Rajnath Singh voiced the Government’s resolve of nurturing a vibrant and world-class defence manufacturing industry, terming it as the key driver of Indian economy. He enumerated a number of far-reaching reforms undertaken by Ministry of Defence to create a business-friendly climate in the country. These include setting up of defence corridors in Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu; simplification of industrial licensing processes; hike in cap on FDI in defence; opening of government trial and testing facilities for the private sector; increase in capital outlay for defence in Budget 2023-24 and launch of Technology Development Fund and Innovations for Defence Excellence. He said, these reforms will enable Indian defence products to compete with established global defence and aerospace companies.


He stressed that indigenisation is the mantra for India today, unlike in the past when import was the default option. He appreciated the growing enthusiasm and greater participation of private players in defence production and expressed confidence that the CEOs Round Table will sow the seeds of successful new ventures and partnerships, boost investment, expand indigenous manufacturing and bolster aerospace and defence ecosystem in India. He stated that the partnership between Government and the Industry is based on equality & mutual trust.

The CEOs Round Table was organised on the theme ‘Sky is not the limit: opportunities beyond boundaries’. The participating companies included Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Israel Aerospace Industries, General Atomics, Liebherr Group, Raytheon Technologies, Safran, General Authority of Military Industries, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, Bharat Electronics Limited, Bharat Dynamics Limited, BEML Limited, Mishra Dhatu Nigam Limited, Larsen & Toubro, Bharat Forge, Dynamatic Technologies and BrahMos Aerospace.

This platform was to forge partnerships between domestic and global Industries of the aerospace and defence sector to address the present and future global needs and discuss the importance of supply chain strategy and operations as the world deals with the aftermath of the pandemic and global disruptions. More than 75 companies, including 28 foreign OEMs from 15 countries and domestic companies and Defence Public Sector participated in the discussion. There was official participation from Countries of Sudan and Saudi Arabia. The significance of roundtable discussion as “dialogue between equals” was emphasised.

A short film highlighting the robust Indian defence ecosystem showcasing indigenously designed, developed platforms were projected exhibiting Indian capabilities and strengths. The participants were apprised of the opportunities in the defence manufacturing industry and continued pro development and pro-growth policies offered by the country through the DPSUs, MSMEs and private Industries.

Many foreign OEMs made announcements regarding their plans for investments and collaborations including Safran, Boeing, Collins Aerospace, Pratt and Whitney and Thales in defence and aerospace sector. General Atomics and Bharat Forge announced to deepen their collaboration in aircraft components and parts. Hensoldt announced Design/TOT and IPR transfer of obstacle avoidance system for Indian Helicopters and co development of Advanced Multi Sensor Electro-optics Airborne Gimbals for Indian and world market. CEOs of domestic companies including Bharat Forge, L&T and Mahindra Defence Systems shared their views on major reforms and their impetus for robust defence system under Aatmanirbhar Bharat.

The CEO Roundtable engaged industries for co-development and co-production to make India a Commercial Manufacturing Hub and base for global product support, while exploring Indian and Global market.

Chief of Defence Staff General Anil Chauhan, Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari, Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral R Hari Kumar, Chief of the Army Staff General Manoj Pande and Defence Secretary Giridhar Aramane also attended the Round Table.

Rajnath Singh with Deputy Defence Minister of Armenia.

Defence Secretary meets delegations from Saudi Arabia, USA and Oman

Defence Secretary Giridhar Aramane held bilateral meetings on 12 February 2023 with three defence delegations on the sidelines of Aero India 2023 at Bengaluru. 

Defence Secretary met Engr Turki Saad, General Manager Industrial Relations, Kingdom of  Saudi Arabia, and discussed a number of bilateral defence cooperation issues. 

A US delegation led by Jedijiah P. Royal, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs, and accompanied by Ambassador Elizabeth Jones, Charge D'Affairs US Embassy and Maj Gen Julian Cheator, US Air Force, met the Defence Secretary.  

A wide range of ongoing and future defence cooperation issues were discussed.  US is participating in Aero India with a number of officials, companies and aircrafts. 

Later, Defence Secretary met a delegation from Oman led by HE Dr Mohammed Nasser Al Zaabi, Secretary General,  Ministry of Defence. The ongoing defence cooperation was reviewed and possible opportunities for increasing the depth and scope of engagements was discussed.

IAF releases 31 EOI 

Indian Air Force has invited India's Academia, Scientific Community and Industry to Collaborate and partner in its thrust for Self Reliance. 31 invitations for Expression of Interest have been floated on the eve of Aero India 2023.

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has called it as a great opportunity for India’s sharpest minds and dynamic entrepreneurs to be vital partners in the mission towards self-reliance. In response to a tweet by Indian Air Force, the Prime Minister said;

“A great opportunity for India’s sharpest minds and dynamic entrepreneurs to be vital partners in the mission towards self-reliance and that too in the defence sector, which has always made our nation proud.”

The EoI have been floated requesting Proposals for indigenous solutions for Manufacture/ Repair & Overhaul of Aircraft, Aero Engines, associated Avionics, Mechanical Aggregates & other support equipment under JV Route as well in partnership with IAF's Nodal Tech Centres.

Innovators may offer Cutting Edge Solutions to share and collaborate with the IAF to meet the Prime Minister's vision of an AtmaNirbhar Bharat.