South Asia’s biggest airshow ended

February 16th, 2009 - 10:45 am ICT by Amrit Rashmisrisethi  

Air show in IndiaThe biggest airshow held in India ended on Sunday with armament and aviation firms from 25 countries hoping to win multi-billion dollar contracts from India’s weapons-hungry military.

‘Some 200,000 visitors, including 50,000 delegates, attended the five-day event,’ airshow spokesman Gurpal Singh said as thousands of visitors ignoring security burst into the grounds on Sunday.

Soldiers guarding the fortified venue were visibly harried as people broke through security cordons to look at flying displays by some of the world’s most advanced combat aircraft.

Having around 600 armament and aerospace firms and half of them from overseas even took part in this year’s Aero India event where the rival Pakistan was not invited.

Leading the pack of countries which sent 303 international firms to the event were Germany and France with 31 firms each. Twenty-six British, 24 Russian and 22 US firms were also present, along with 289 Indian defence companies.

Among the prime pickings is a $12 billion deal for 126 fighter jets.

Six major aeronautical firms competing for the contract participated in the air show.

Apart from that 126 jets, transport aircraft and AWACS, and India plans to buy 700 helicopters worth $3.5 billion, artillery, warships and other hardware for billions of dollars.

Israel, which replaced France in 2007 as India’s second-largest arms supplier after Russia, sent its top 10 defence firms.

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