The federal government-sponsored Aero India 2021, Asia’s largest commerce present opened its doorways at Yelahanka Air Power Station Feb. 3, ushering in international delegates and representatives from greater than 60 international locations and 500 protection trade corporations.
That is the thirteenth iteration of Aero India. U.S. participation offers the chance to construct stronger relationships between the U.S. and India and is a perfect discussion board to showcase U.S. protection plane and tools and in the end contribute towards our interoperability with different international locations.
This yr Aero India provided a hybrid exhibition of in-person aerial demonstrations in addition to digital choices for viewing because of the international COVID-19 pandemic.
Whereas the hybrid method was a primary for the commerce present, Aero India can lay declare to a way more vital introduction — the inclusion of U.S. bombers.
Greater than 40 Airmen and a B-1B Lancer from Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, deployed in assist of Aero India 2021, showcasing the long-range strike platform’s capabilities throughout a dwell aerial demonstration.
This was a historic second and marks the primary time an American bomber has touched down in India within the historical past of the Republic of India. The final time a bomber was on Indian soil was greater than 75 years in the past – October 1945 – when India was beneath British rule.
“Bomber participation demonstrates the energy of our partnership and our shared dedication to international safety and a rules-based worldwide order,” mentioned Maj. Gen. Mark Weatherington, Eighth Air Force and Joint-Global Strike Operations Center commander, who was among the many U.S. navy delegates in attendance. “Our presence and engagement at present is one among nice historic significance that we hope to construct on within the years forward.”
Whereas the B-1 flyover offered a visible demonstration to the US’ dedication to stability throughout the Indo-Pacific area, it additionally gave manner for one more alternative: the B-1 was not flying alone, however alongside an Indian Air Power (IAF) Tejas fighter jet.
Bomber Job Forces, just like the one deployed to Aero India 2021, enable for allied and associate nations to conduct operations centered on interoperability in a joint or coalition surroundings with the U.S.
“Our bomber forces built-in and operated with the Indian Air Power for the very first time,” mentioned Lt. Col. Michael Fessler, thirty fourth Expeditionary Bomb Squadron commander and lead Aero India demonstration pilot. “At the moment marks a really vital second in our two international locations’ partnership.”
The primary day of the commerce present additionally marked the start of a sequence of senior navy chief and authorities official talks additionally known as conclaves regionally.
In keeping with Rajnath Singh, India’s defence prime minister, Aero India serves as a venue for discussions that promote dialogue in a cooperative surroundings.
For navy air chiefs, interoperability was a key point of interest.
“At the moment’s preliminary conferences set the stage for rising our partnership with the federal government of India and our two air forces,” Weatherington mentioned. “I look ahead to elevated cooperation and engagements as we each pursue a free and open Indo-Pacific.”