Bengaluru: Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat waved during his take off for a sortie in the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft, Tejas in Bengaluru on Thursday. “Flight in LCA Tejas was an experience of a lifetime. From what I could witness, avionics are very good, it’s targeting is very good. It’s a wonderful aircraft if it gets added to inventory it will increase our air power,” Bipin Rawat was quoted by news agency ANI as saying. The Aero India 2019, which began in Bengaluru on February 20, will continue till February 24. For the first time, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited’s Supersonic Omni Role Trainer Aircraft (SPORT) simulator is positioned at the five-day Aero India event.

The SPORT aircraft would be utilised for fighter training after Advanced Jet Training stage and before induction of pilots into a front-line fighter squadron, said HAL CMD R Madhavan. HAL’s indigenous products Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas, HTT-40 (Basic Trainer Aircraft), first indigenously upgraded Hawk Mk132, named as Hawk-i, Civil Do-228, Advanced Light Helicopter (Rudra), Light Utility Helicopter (LUH), Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) will fly at the show. Apart from these, the pavilion comprises of the aerospace corner, virtual and holographic room and Jaguar aircraft simulator.

On the same day, Secretary Defence R&D and Chairman DRDO G Satheesh Reddy declared the Final Operational Clearance (FOC) of the aircraft. The FOC Certificate and Release to Service Document (RSD) were then handed over to the Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa, in the presence of Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra and Chairman and Managing Director of HAL R Madhavan.

At the Aero India 2019  event, Boeing is expected to present its range of platforms with “advanced capabilities”. The focus of Boeing would be on the partnerships with its defence and commercial customers.  The company would also be displaying models of the latest Boeing commercial airplanes, including 737 MAX, 777X and the 787 Dreamliner.

Swedish defence major Saab will attend Aero India 2019 show to present a wide portfolio of products and systems from the air, land and sea domains, the company said in a press statement. “We are displaying the Gripen E mission simulator which clearly demonstrates how Gripen, the most advanced multi-role fighter aircraft in the world, maximises operational effect in the future battlespace,” said Mats Palmberg, Vice President of Saab, and Head of Gripen India Campaign.

Aero India is organised once in every two years by the Department of Defence Production, the Ministry of Defence.

(With Agency inputs)