Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday said Aero India will give a boost to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s clarion call of Aatmanirbhar Bharat scheme by signing as more than 200 agreements during an event- Bandhan (the bond) – on the last day of the biennial show on February 5.

The 13th edition of the country’s premier air show – Aero India 21 is being held in the backdrop of Bengaluru-based Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) bagging a Rs 48,000 crore order for fighter jets – Tejas Mark 1A and India’s engagement with Indian Ocean Region (IOR) countries.

Heaping praise on Prime Minister, Narendra Modi for his vision of Aatmanirbhar Bharat at the curtain raiser event of Aero India 2021 here, Singh said that India will soon be the most powerful defence economy in the world.

“This is the beginning of a new journey. The association of Bengaluru has proved to be most appropriate. Aero India 2021 will lead to India’s defence manufacturing revolution. India is getting great response globally and is being trusted for defence investments,” he explained

He further said that Aero India would spark a renewed sense of pride in India’s defence manufacturing and take defence cooperation to the next level.

“It would also bring together the defence ministers of various countries, service chiefs, policymakers, foreign OEMs, industry, entrepreneurs and academia to showcase, connect and collaborate as well as highlight policy reforms driving India’s new defence manufacturing revolution,” he said.

He added that the Aero India 2021 starting February 3 will also show the gateways to defence and economic engagement in the country.

Singh said the relentless efforts of our soldiers at borders helped us to be strong and safeguard the sovereignty of our country despite challenges.

“I have no hesitation in saying that our robust stance, immediate and calibrated response and the unrelenting spirit of the soldiers on the borders led to stabilisation of the situation and we showed our resolve to defend the sovereignty and integrity of our country,” he added.

Singh claimed that since 2014, the government has brought in policy reforms to push indigenous defence manufacturing with an enthusiastic response from the global business community.

He further said that the world has now started to recognize India as a trusted defence investment destination.

The Union Defence Minister added that hosting the Aero India in Bengaluru, will consolidate not only the Karnataka’s position as a favoured investment destination, but also establish the state as the gateway for defence and economic engagement.

Singh said that Aero India 2021, three-day mega event to showcase the prowess of Aviation Industry will begin from Wednesday at Bengaluru. “This is the 25th year of Aero India and the 13th edition of the event. The President of India will attend the valedictory function for Aero India 2021 on 5th February,” he said.

The Defence Minister also thanked Karnataka CM B. S. Yediyurappa for his presence which he said is significant in many ways adding that it shows his personal involvement with the event.

Aero India 2021 will witness IOR Defence Ministers’ Conclave and Chief of Airstaffs’ conclave for the first time. Before the curtain-raiser event, Rajnath Singh inaugurated the second line for production of LCA Tejas at HAL.

It will be the First Hybrid show that means it can also be attended virtually as well due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The event will be open for the business domain while others can witness it virtually.

Only 3,000 persons per show will be allowed and booking will be online. Covid-19 protocols are strictly being followed at the Aero India 21 as it happens to be the first post-pandemic international event. The total number of exhibitors has increased to 600 from 403 in 2019.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, this time Aero India has 78 foreign exhibitors as compared to 165 foreign exhibitors in 2019.

Defence Minister will inaugurate the Aero India 21 on February 3 and the order ceremony for LCA Tejas will take place right after the inauguration. There will be a number of events and displays during the three days of Aero India 21.

On February 4 the first-ever Defence Ministers’ Conclave will take place with the participation of 27 Defence Ministers, physically and virtually.

Chief of Air Staff’s conclave will also be held on February 4. Startup Manthan will be held on February 5 to facilitate all startups and MSMEs in the aerospace and defence sector.

A number of seminars will also be held related to the defence sector. President will be virtually present for the valedictory function of Aero India 21 on February 5.