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PM Modi inaugurates Aero India 2023

Prime Minister Narendra Modi releases commemorative stamps during the inaugural ceremony of Aero India 2023, in Bengaluru, Monday, Feb. 13, 2023. A PTI Photo

BENGALURU (PTI):  Prime Minister Narendra Modi today showcased India as an attractive destination for investment in the defence manufacturing sector, and said it will move towards becoming one of the leading exporters of military hardware globally.

Modi made the comments in his address after inaugurating the 14th edition of Aero India at the Yalahanka Air Force station complex on the outskirts of Bengaluru.

The five-day exhibition is being participated by over 700 defence companies and delegates from 98 countries, officials said.

This edition of Aero India is showcasing the country as an emerging hub for manufacturing of military aircraft, helicopters, military equipment and new-age avionics.

They said around 250 business-to-business agreements are expected to be firmed up at Aero India which is estimated to unlock investment to the tune of around Rs 75,000 crore.

"New India" of 21st century will neither miss any opportunity nor will there be any shortage in its hard work, Modi said.

The prime minister said India today is not only a market but also a potential defence partner for so many countries, adding the nation is moving towards becoming one of the leading exporters of military hardware globally.

"Today, Aero India is not only a show, but it is also reflection of India's self confidence and capabilities," he said in the presence of top executives of various global defence majors and delegates from a significant number of countries.

He said Aero India' reflects India's new strength and aspirations.

Today, our successes are a proof of India's potential, he said, noting that the indigenously developed Tejas aircraft is an example of it.

A plethora of aircraft of the Indian Air Force displayed their aerial prowess in an air show at the event.

The theme of Aero India is "The runway to a billion opportunities" and is aimed at projecting India's growth and capabilities in the defence and aerospace sector.

The focus of the event is to showcase indigenous equipment and technologies and forging partnerships with foreign companies, in line with 'Make in India, Make for the World' vision of the government, officials said.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said Aero India will act as a catalyst in further growth of the aerospace sector in India.

Singh will host a Defence Ministers' conclave on Tuesday on the theme "Shared Prosperity through Enhanced Engagements in Defence (SPEED)".

The major exhibitors at Aero India include Airbus, Boeing, Dassault Aviation, Lockheed Martin, Israel Aerospace Industry, BrahMos Aerospace, Army Aviation, HC Robotics, SAAB, Safran, Rolls Royce, Larsen & Toubro, Bharat Forge Limited, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) and BEML Limited.

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