(This was originally published in Economic Times by Manu Pubby & Dipanjan Roy Chaudhury)
NEW DELHI: A Russian fifth-generation fighter jet and a supersonic strategic bomber from the US are likely to be part of the flying display at the AeroIndia show in Bengaluru next month, officials aware of preparations told ET. The event would mark the debut of the Russian Su-57 fighter jet in the region, an aircraft that could have been part of the Indian fleet – given a joint plan but was dropped after delays in production.
Sources said a serial production variant of Russia’s fifth-generation jet – one of four of similar class in service around the world – is likely to be flown in for the show. Besides the Russian jet, an American B-1 strategic bomber is likely to take part in the display, flying in directly from a US base in the region. India has been steadily increased the number of US-origin aircraft in the military. This is the second time a US origin strategic bomber will be visible at AeroIndia, a sign of growing military ties and cooperation between the two nations.
Officials said the display at the show will mostly consist of platforms in service with India, which includes the Rafale fighter jets, Su-30 MKI and a variety of home-developed aircraft like the LCA Tejas, HTT-40 and the intermediate jet trainer, besides several helicopters. While foreign participation is muted at the show given the Covid-19 pandemic, officials said that all major global defence companies are taking part and the entire exhibition space is sold out.