Indian Ocean defence ministers’ conclave, Tejas deal to be highlights of Aero-India

By Times Of India

India is going full steam ahead to ensure the biennial military exposition “Aero-India” at Bengaluru from February 3 to 5. The Aero-India show will also include an Indian Ocean Region (IOR) defence ministers’ conclave.

The three-day Aero-India will also see the defence ministry inking the Rs 46,898 crore contract for 73 “improved” Tejas fighter jets and 10 trainers with defence PSU Hindustan Aeronautics, the biggest-ever indigenous military deal that was approved by the Cabinet committee on security last week.

Billed as the “world first hybrid exhibition on such a large scale” due to the pandemic, with the “business element” of the event being both physical as well as virtual, this year’s Aero-India will overall have “more exhibitors” than the previous edition, said defence ministry officials on Thursday.

But the participation of foreign companies in Aero-India has dipped to 76 from 165 in 2019, though official delegations from 43 countries have confirmed their presence.

Overall, there will be 537 exhibitors as compared to 403 last time, with more Indian companies coming forward. “All Covid-related protocols will be strictly followed,” said an official.

The IOR conclave, which will be hosted by defence minister Rajnath Singh on February 4, is an initiative “to promote dialogue” in an institutional, economic and cooperative environment that can foster the development of peace, stability and prosperity in the entire region.

“Twenty-eight countries have been invited to the conclave. It will address various aspects related to synergizing resources and efforts in the IOR

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