Bangalore: Focus India—that is the mantra for the global aerospace and defence industry as the country goes on a buying binge to modernize its military.
The world’s third largest arms importer is expected to spend nearly $ 100 billion, or Rs4.87 trillion, by 2017 to buy fighter planes, utility and attack helicopters, spy planes and own satellites in space. Despite a home-grown aerospace and defence industry, India still imports nearly 70% of its needs, defence minister A.K. Antony said on Monday.
Dhruv, the advanced light helicopter built by HAL. Hemant Mishra / Mint
The shopping list includes 126 fighter planes, estimated to cost at least Rs42,000 crore—the world’s biggest tender—nearly 197 helicopters for its army, an additional 57 Hawk trainers to train its pilots, tanker aeroplanes that will refuel fighters in mid-air and allow pilots to fly on long-distance sorties.
Nearly 592 exhibitors, including 303 from 25 countries, will take part in the five-day event which, besides frontline aircraft, will also see vendors selling components and systems to India’s home-grown aerospace industry.