Saturday, December 25, 2004

Aero India 2005: Destination Yelahanka

USA will fly its F-16s, Chinese air chief to attend
The Times of India

Bangalore: At the Yelahanka Air Force base in February, the United States will fly their F-16s for the first time, while the Chinese will watch keenly.

Aero Show 2005, to be held from February 9-13, 2005, promises many such firsts — Chinese air chief General Qiao Qingchen, Commander of the PLAAF, is expected to attend.

Air Officer Commanding (AOC) Air Commodore Satish Pal Singh told reporters that 78 companies from 25 countries have confirmed their participation in the air show. The foreign participants include Lockheed Martin (US), Gulf Stream, Dassault (French), Northrop, US Army, Tashkent Aircraft Corp and BELL.

The US is also expected to bring in Orion PC3 which is used for maritime surveillance and put it on flying display at Yelahanka, apart from a helicopter, details of which the US is yet to disclose. One feature will also be network technology, today the buzz in defence aviation.
The French are flying their Mirage 2000-5 series aircraft, while the Israelis are coming in with their Unmanned Aerial Variants (UAVs) and simulators, apart from certain weaponry systems.

The IAF will put on flying display the Sukhoi Su-30 MKI, MiG-29, Mirage 2000, MiG-21, Jaguar (trainer), Mi-35, SKAT and Sarang. Hindustan Aeronautics Limited is expected to fly 12 aircrafts, including the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA). The National Aeronautics L ab o r at o r i e s (NAL) will fly two aircraft including the Saras, Army Aviation will fly the Lancer and Advanced Light Aircraft (ALH).

Air Commodore Singh said the Chiefs of Air Staff/Commandersin-Chief from Bangladesh, Belgium, Egypt, Germany, Japan, apart from senior personnel from Kazakhstan, Mexico, Sweden, Thailand, and Vietnam will be attending. Asked if the British would fly their Hawks and Tornadoes, Singh said there is no confirmation as yet.

Flying high

Every passing year, improvements are made at the Yelahanka Air Force Station and the IAF hopes to make it the best in the world by 2009, said Air Commodore Singh. Here are some modifications:
Fourth hangar has been added, flying display area for public shifted so there is no confusion among public and participating companies.
Entry for companies, officials, VVIPs and media from NH-7 side; entry for public from State Highway connecting Doddaballapur from Yelahanka police station junction.
Runway length increased by 350 feet to 7,600 feet — to be ready by Jan. 26.
Subway started by National Highway Authority of India with consultancy from IISc, Bangalore, to connect domestic area of IAF to Yelahanka Air Force station across NH-7. Special technology which does not require closing of NH-7 has been used for first time for the Rs 2.80-crore project. Subway has separate pedestrian walkway apart from vehicle pathway.
New media centre at fourth hangar.


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