Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the 14th edition of Asia's largest aero show -- Aero India 2023 in Bangalore today. The five-day event will focus on displaying indigenous equipment/technologies and forging partnerships with foreign companies.

The event on the theme 'The runway to a billion opportunities' at the Yelahanka Air Force Station is aimed at bolstering the 'Make in India' campaign by displaying India's indigenous equipment and technologies while looking to forge partnerships with foreign companies.

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO)-developed Medium Altitude Long Endurance class unmanned aerial vehicle TAPAS-BH (Tactical Aerial Platform for Advanced Surveillance - Beyond Horizon) will also make its flying debut at Aero India.

"TAPAS is DRDO's solution to the tri-services ISTAR (intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance) requirements. The UAV is capable of operating at altitudes up to 28000 feet, with an endurance of 18 plus hours", according to DRDO.

Besides TAPAS, the DRDO pavilion will also showcase over 330 products categorised into 12 zones, including Combat Aircraft & UAVs, Missiles & Strategic Systems, Engine & Propulsion Systems, Airborne Surveillance Systems, and Sensors Electronic Warfare & Communication Systems.

The Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) will display an 'Aatmanirbhar Formation' flight of 15 helicopters consisting of all variants of Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH), 'Prachand' Light Combat Helicopter, and Light Utility Helicopter (LUH).

98 Countries Taking Part

While showcasing India's growth in aerospace and defence capabilities, witness the participation of 98 countries, the Defence Ministers of 32 countries, Air Chiefs of 29 countries and 73 Chief Executive Officers of global and Indian original equipment manufacturers.

According to a statement by the organisers, as many as 809 defence companies will showcase the advancement in niche technologies and growth in the aerospace and defence sectors.

"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," the statement read.

The event will also include aerial displays by aircraft and helicopters.

The Ministry of Defence is organising a 'CEOs Round Table' on February 13, under the chairmanship of Minister of Defence, Rajnath Singh.

Russian Pavilion

The Sukhoi fifth-generation fighter jet, the Checkmate light tactical fighter and Orlan-30 drones will be among 200 types of the most advanced Russian-made armaments and military hardware that will be displayed at the upcoming Aero India 2023 international air show, Russia's state arms seller said on Thursday.

"Rosoboronexport will feature about 200 types of the most advanced Russian-made armaments and military hardware, including the Su-57E top-notch fifth-generation multirole fighter and the Checkmate light tactical aircraft," state-run TASS news agency reported, citing a statement from the company.