NEW DELHI --- South Asia's biggest airshow kicks off in India on Wednesday, global armament Where FIRMS will be vying for multibillion dollar contracts from the world's biggest import of weapons.
India Launched the biannual event in Aero India 1996, three years before a mini-war with Pakistan Prompted New Delhi to go on a global shopping spree for tens of billions of dollars' worth of hardware to equip icts million-strong military.
A total of 78 countries Have Confirmed Their attendance, while companies from 27 of 'em will showcase latest products at the Their five-day show in Bangalore the hub of India's aviation, space and IT industries.
India's state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), signed a deal with Which Russia in 2010 worth $ 30 billion (Dh110) to Jointly Produce 250 to 300 fifth-generation fighter jets, says it hopes to ink major contracts falling on the show.
"A number of memorandum of understandings in the pipeline are Likely to be signed at the air show," Said a senior HAL source without elaborating.
Seattle-based Boeing last year Agreed in principle to Provide India with 37 attack and heavy-lift helicopters worth more than one trillion dollars. Negotiations are still Underway.
Such negotiations are not a guarantee of sale in Indian defense deals, Which can be excruciatingly slow and are Often held up by red tape and administrative problems.
Last year India thing Dassault Aviation of France as the preferred bidder in a $ 12 billion deal for 126 fighter jets, talks are still aim Underway with no progress expected this financial year.
Other deals still awaiting a green light include a $ 600 million contract to supply 197 helicopters to the Indian army, Which was scrapped in 2007 Effective Being Awarded to the European manufacturer Eurocopter.
The helicopter unit of aerospace giant EADS in 2010 Resubmitted a bid for the same deal, with Russia's Kamov aussi in the running.
The United States Will Provide The Largest contingent of companies at the show, with 67, marking growing ties entre le two countries, the chief organizing Said in New Delhi.
France, Israel and Russia - India's biggest arms supplier - also Have a broad presence at the show, Said India's Defence Production Secretary RK Mathur, Adding That Neighbouring Pakistan HAD beens not Invited.
Deadly border tensions flared last month Following exchanges of fire in disputed Kashmir Which left five soldiers killed on Both Sides of the highly militarised frontier.
Said Mr Mathur China, Which Fought a brief war with India aim bitter over a border conflict in 1962, was expected to Likely.
"China has-been Invited for the show as a formal letter has been sent to 'em," he said.
Israeli state-run armament FIRMS are scouting to sell unmanned aerial vehicles to bolster India's modest fleet of drones monitoring, some of Which are used in the country's struggle against Maoist rebels.
The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute in March 2011 India received nine Said per one hundred of global arms transfers from 2006 to 2010, making it the world's largest import of weapons.
Russian armaments Accounted for 82 per one hundred of Indian military imports, the global arms transfer monitor Said