Aero India 2019: US, Russian Firms Compete Against Mighty French Counterparts

Aero India 2019 will see 43 companies from France,  taking the pole position ahead of both the US and Russia. Aero India 2019, which will be held from February 20-14 at Air Force Station Yelahanka, will see the participation of 136 companies from 20 countries.

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Among the 43 French companies that have so far registered to participate in the airshow are Dassault Aviation, Dassault Systemes, Airbus, French Air Force and Thales. Dassault Aviation is the manufacturer of the Rafale aircraft for which India has inked a deal with France for the supply of 36 aircraft.

Two Rafales belonging to Dassault Aviation have confirmed their participation in the biannual airshow. They will be among the aircraft which will take part in the flying displays on all five days of the airshow.

The second largest foreign representation is from the USA with 27 companies taking part in the Aero India 2019. Boeing and Lockheed Martin are among those who have confirmed their participation.

Boeing and Lockheed Martin are expected to showcase their aircraft as they are among the six global companies who have responded to the IAF’s Request for Information (RFI) for 110 multi-role fighter jets.

The six companies that have responded to the RFI are: Boeing (F/A-18 Super Hornet), SAAB Aviation’s (Gripen), Eurofighter Typhoon, Lockheed Martin (F-16 Fighting Falcon) Russia’s Mig-35 and Dassault Aviation’s (Rafale).

The third largest registration has come from Russia with 17 companies. The 2017 edition of Aero India saw the participation of 549 companies — of them, 270 were Indian and 279 from other countries.

Defence and aviation experts have attributed the low turnout for the delay in announcement of dates and the venue. There was a delay in the announcement of the two by the Ministry of Defence with speculations rife that the biannual airshow could be shifted out of Bangalore which has been the venue since 1994.

So far, 20 aircraft manufacturers have confirmed participation. During the previous edition, a total of 72 aircraft participated in the show. However, there are still 90 days to go for the airshow.

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