Two-day International Conference on Aerospace Begins, IAF Intends to Procure 350  Aircrafts Over Next Two Decades, Says ACM Bhadauria

Indian Air Force

New Delhi: The two-day 16th edition of the International Conference on Energising Indian Aerospace Industry sub-themed “Challenges for Aatmanirbhar Bharat” began September 8.

The conference which is being held as a hybrid one due to the prevailing Covid pandemic brings together persons of international repute from government,  Armed Forces, captains of industry (both Indian and foreign), MSMEs, academia and the users to discuss issues of concern for all stakeholders and arrive at recommended action points.

Delivering the inaugural address, Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria, Chief of the Air Staff  highlighted that the Aerospace industry is the critical part of the Aatmanirbharta which is a strategic necessity. He shared that the LCA has redefined military aviation and that the 40+83 Mk 1A will make the core of the aerospace industry in terms of budget and ecosystem.

“The level of automation achieved by the support of the industry has given the strength to act fast, decide fast and react fast”, he said. He conveyed that the Indian Air Force further intends to procure 350 aircrafts over the next 2 decades including the LCA to energize the aerospace sector and that all efforts will be to procure from indigenous sources. He stressed on the need to make Aatmanirbharta the most important and strongest pillar of national security.

In his special address Jayant D Patil, President, SIDM shared that the average defence budget, from the last 3 years, reflects a growth of 12-13% and that Rs 22, 000 Cr of additional AONs have been granted to the Indian Industry. He dwelt upon the Unmanned Aerospace sector and highlighted that development in this space would bring in a revolution in the aerospace industry which could catalyse the startups, provide boom in the markets and leapfrog indigenous capabilities.

In his welcome address  Air Marshal (Retd) Anil Chopra, Director General, Centre for Air Power Studies (CAPS), he focussed on the importance of Aatmanirbharta and how India needs to invest more and more in the aerospace sector in order to become a significant global player.

Sunil Kumar Mishra, Director General, SIDM in his opening remarks emphasised how in the past year the Aerospace and Defence industry has moved through catalytic policy and procedural changes in line with the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to make India Aatmanirbhar. “To make ‘aatmanirbharta’ a success, it is imperative that all stakeholders connect, regularly, through forums and platforms to discuss, declutter and streamline the indigenization process through the prism of commercial and strategic viability”, he added.

Satish K Kaura, Chairman, SIDM Aerospace Committee who proposed the  vote of thanks  brought out that the partnership between the IAF and industry has strengthened over the years. He said that today’s flagship event aims to energies the domestic Aerospace industry and give an overview of the potential opportunities that exist for them with regards to the Indian Air Force.

The Conference involves seven Sessions which will be held in a Hybrid format (Physical and Virtual) and will cover aspects related to Capital and Revenue Procurement of IAF, the Indian Space Programme, Aerospace clusters, Road map for AMCA/FGFA and Positive Indigenisation Lists.

The Conference is being attended by over 100 physical delegates and over 200 virtual delegates.