MALE UAV Hermes will be Alpha Design’s main attraction.

Bangalore: The countdown has begun for the 12th edition of Aero India. Air Force Station Yelahanka, the host base of the show is abuzz with activities with various exhibitors giving the final touch to preparations ahead of the Plane Carnival set to take off from February 20.

The organisers -- the Indian Air Force (IAF), Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and the Ministry of Defence -- are striving to hard to make this year’s edition different.

Vying for attention along with the flying machines is a host of desi technologies tailor-made to add more teeth to the armed forces’ war-fighting capabilities. This year too, many government and private firms are pitching their tech might at the show.

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) will be hitting the show with 250 systems, technologies, working models and innovations from various clusters across India.

The main attraction will be the model of twin-engine stealth fighter AMCA (Advance Medium Combat Aircraft) being currently under works at DRDO labs. The AMCA model is being displayed with audio-visual effect.

DRDO is lining up fighter simulators and 360 degree immersive virtual experience kiosks at the show.

DRDO also promises to give a glimpse of advanced fighter with stealth features, updates on Astra, QRSAM, MRSAM, BrahMos missiles in addition to unveiling the model of the upcoming Medium Weight Fighter.

The highlight of DRDO’s participation at aero show is the aerial display of LCA Tejas by the 45th Squadron and flight display Airborne Early Warning & Control System (AEW&C).

On Monday at Aero India International Seminar here, DRDO will get the best of brains from across the globe to share their expertise to match the theme - Emerging Frontiers in Aerospace Technologies.

Catching up with big brother DRDO at the show will be Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML), now trying to up its fortunes. The QRSAM missile aggregates will be on display from BEML.

BEML is hoping to get some eyeballs through their Make in India pitch.

Airborne structures, ground support and ground handling systems are being showcased this time. Missile aggregates for Akash\ QRSAM, bomb pallets and aviation hoses are some of the items from BEML menu.

The Private Leader

Alpha Design Technologies Limited (ADTL), one of the early birds to enter the aerospace and defence sector, will be among the largest Indian private player at the show. ADTL, which was acquired by Adani group, will be showcasing many gen-next technologies at the show.

Along with Adani Defence Systems and Technologies Limited, ADTL will be a showcasing the Medium Altitude High Endurance UAV Hermes 450 & 900. Mini-UAV Skylark for Indian Army, currently undergoing user trials at Ladakh, will be a star attraction at the show.

Thermal Imager Fire Control System for T-72 tanks and Thermal Imager Stand Alone Kit for BMP-II Infantry Combat Vehicles and advanced and long range reconnaissance and observation system (already in service with Indian Army and BSF), too will be showcased.

Laser target designators, software defined radios, RF seekers for missiles, satellite ground receiving terminals, rear fuselage assembly for LCA Mk II fighter and simulators for Mi-17V5 helicopter are among other exhibits from ADTL.

Drone Olympics

On Monday, the preliminary evaluation of the Drone Olympics will begin for the participants with a total cash prize of Rs 38 lakh in the offing. The event is being held at the Jakkur Aerodrome, near AFS Yelahanka and 58 participants have been shortlisted.

This is for the first time ever a Drone Olympics is being held as part of the Aero India.

“On the inaugural day, there will be a petal drop and formation display by drones. Competitions like payload drop challenge and surveillance challenge will spice up the show. The finals will be on February 21,” says an organiser.

Meanwhile, AFS Yelahanka is all ready to conduct the Full Dress Rehearsals (FDR) on Monday morning ahead of the Plane Carnival.

All planes that are on flying display duties will be part of the FDR, including those doing the flypast on inaugural day. The FDR is being planned during the first half on Monday.