Bengaluru, Feb 13: Asia’s largest defence aviation exhibition, the biennial Aero India, will take off onFebruary 14 at the Indian Air Force’s Yelahanka airbase, Bangalore. A total of 270 Indian and 279 foreign companies are taking part in the four-day event which will see 72 aircraft taking to the skies.Also Read - Mission Shakti: Pakistan, China Make Veiled Statements, Say Countries Must Maintain Peace, Avoid Actions Leading to Militarisation of Outer Space

Some of the fighters which will delight the audience include France’s Rafale, Swedish Gripen-E and the American F-16. India’s Light Combat Aircraft Tejas will also take part in the air show. Also Read - Def experts call for development of indigenous information warfare equipment

While IAF is in the process of inducting 36 Rafale jets, Sweden and USA are eyeing the lucrative market by dangling the carrot of shifting their assembly line to India if their single-engine fighters are selected. Also Read - Make Diwali purchases from poor people: PM Modi to citizens

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited’s HTT-40 basic trainer aircraft, the first indigenously upgraded Hawk Mk132 plane and the Light Combat Helicopter will also fly at the air show.

With IAF looking for state-of-art warplanes, the 11th edition of Aero India gives a chance to defence majors to exhibit their latest wares.

Top companies from USA, France, the UK, Russia, Israel, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Ukraine, Singapore, Sweden, Spain, South Africa, Italy, the UAE, South Korea, Hong Kong, the Czech Republic, Canada, Australia, Poland and Greece are taking part in the event.

Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and its various aerospace arms like Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE), Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) and Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE) are also taking part in the event. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa and Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat will attend the exhibition.