12 days to go, Reliance Defence yet to register for Aero India

With less than two weeks to go for the 12th edition of Aero India, Dassault Aviation’s offset partner for Rafale — Reliance Defence — is yet to register for India’s premier aerospace exhibition. However, the first cockpit of Falcon 2000 luxury jet produced by Dassault Reliance Aerospace Limited (DRAL) — a joint venture by Dassault and Reliance Defence formed in February 2017 — will be exhibited at the Dassault stall during the five-day event being held from February 20 to 24.

As on Thursday, a total of 365 companies — 200 from India and the rest from other countries —have registered to participate in the biennial extravaganza. Among the major international aerospace and defence manufacturing companies participating in the event include Lockheed Martin (USA), BAE Systems (UK), SAAB (Sweden) and Sukhoi (Russia).

Similarly, Indian firms such as Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, Alpha Design Technologies Private Ltd, Adani Defence Systems and Technologies, and Bharat Electronics Limited will be among the 200 Indian companies that will be participating.However, neither Reliance Defence — Reliance Naval and Engineering Ltd, nor the joint venture between Dassault Aviation and Reliance Defence – DRAL — have registered to participate in the event.

The Anil Ambani-owned Reliance Defence has been embroiled in controversy over its selection as offset partner for Dassault’s Rafale fighter jet by the Central government, with the opposition claiming that the new company was ill equipped for its role as offset partner.

However, the exhibition of the first cockpit section of Falcon 2000 series luxury jet will come as a relief for DRAL, which has its manufacturing facility near Nagpur in Maharashtra. The first front section will be delivered to the final assembly line in France after it is exhibited, according to a release by Dassault Aviation.

When contacted, sources in HAL – which will organise the biennial event – said that there are chances that the company might register at the last moment as there was still time for it. “In the past too, the companies have registered and participated in the last minute,” the source said.

Source: Express News

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