Aero India snippets

“Make in India“ seems to be the focus of this year's Aero India, the 11th edition of Asia's biggest aviation spectacle, which kicked off at the Yelahanka airbase in Bengaluru.

A day after the IAF inducted the first indigenously developed all-weather airborne early warning and control system on the inaugural day of the show, the Army on Wednesday tested the Light Combat Helicopter, a multi-role combat chopper developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited that is likely to get initial operational clearance soon.

Defence PSU Bharat Electronics Ltd also unveiled a remote-controlled weapon system for the Army's Arjun tanks that would enable a soldier to fire the mounted machine gun at aerial targets from interiors of a tank.

The desi AEW&C, developed by the Centre for Airborne Systems in Bengaluru and integrated on Brazilian-made Embraer-145 aircraft, will add to surveillance capabilities of the IAF .However, the latest AEW&C addition and two more in the pipeline will not put India on a par with China or even Pakistan.While China has over 20 AWACS, including the new KJ-500s that can track over 60 aircraft at ranges up to 470km, Pakistan has four Swedish AEW&C aircraft and four Chinese-origin surveillance aircraft.

The LCH, armed with a gun, rockets, air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles, is a potent force multiplier and will greatly enhance the Army's combat capability. 

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