Aero India 2023 – Aerospace Opportunities in India

Aero India provides a platform for Indian MSMEs to tap into the growing aerospace and defence market in India and Internationally.

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Lt Col Manoj K Channan
Lt Col Manoj K Channan
Lt Col Manoj K Channan (Retd) served in the Indian Army, Armoured Corps, 65 Armoured Regiment, 27 August 83- 07 April 2007. Operational experience in the Indian Army includes Sri Lanka – OP PAWAN, Nagaland and Manipur – OP HIFAZAT, and Bhalra - Bhaderwah, District Doda Jammu and Kashmir, including setting up of a counter-insurgency school – OP RAKSHAK. He regularly contributes to Defence and Security issues in the Financial Express online, Defence and Strategy, Fauji India Magazine and Salute Magazine. *Views are personal.

Aero India, held annually in Bengaluru, India, offers several opportunities for Indian MSMEs (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises) in the Aerospace and Defence Sector. It provides the following options: –

  • Networking – MSMEs can network with leading aerospace companies, suppliers and defence agencies from India and abroad.
  • Contract Opportunities – MSMEs can participate in defence procurement programs and supply chain opportunities for aerospace and defence equipment.
  • Technology Transfer – MSMEs can participate in technology transfer programmes and collaborate with international companies to gain access to new technologies and expertise.
  • Market Awareness – MSMEs can showcase their products and services to a large audience, increase market visibility, and gain aerospace and defence industry recognition.
  • Investment Opportunities – MSMEs can learn about investment opportunities and find potential investors and partners.

Aero India provides a platform for Indian MSMEs to expand their businesses and tap into the growing aerospace and defence market in India and Internationally.

A SWOT analysis can help the Indian industry in the aerospace domain to understand its Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.


• Strong aerospace engineering talent pool.

• The growing aerospace industry in India.

• Support from the Indian government through policies and investment.


• Lack of technology development and innovation compared to developed countries.

• Limited market access to international aerospace projects.

• Need more funding and resources for research and development.


• Increased demand for aerospace products and services globally.

• Growing air traffic in India leads to more aircraft orders.

• Expansion of the Indian aerospace industry through joint ventures and partnerships with international companies.


• Competition from developed countries with more advanced aerospace industries.

• Uncertainty in global trade and economic conditions

• Technological advancements led to the obsolescence of older aerospace products and technologies.

The Airbus Business Model

Airbus, by setting up the C 295 manufacturing plant in Vadodara, has introduced a new manufacturing business model for Make in India; to include land and naval systems. If funding is available, it could attract technology partners to participate in most “Make in India” programmes. 

This would entail a role in attracting technology partners, such as the stability and ease of doing business in the country, the availability of skilled labour, presence of a supportive ecosystem for technology and innovation. Whether or not technology partners will step up to participate in the “Make in India” initiative ultimately depends on combining these factors.

Drone / Anti-Drone Systems Market Opportunity

While exploring the fixed-wing and rotary-wing markets, the Ukraine war has made the Drone and Anti Drone systems significant players in the global and Indian markets.

India’s drone and anti-drone systems market in India is growing and is estimated to be worth several hundred million dollars. The increasing use of drones for commercial and military purposes has led to a corresponding rise in demand for anti-drone systems to ensure the security and protection of vulnerable areas and points, including critical infrastructure. The Indian government has also expressed interest in developing its domestic drone industry and has taken steps to regulate and encourage market growth. The exact market size in India is difficult to quantify, but it is expected to grow in the coming years.

Sensors, Lasers, Radars and Jammers

Some of the focus areas for India in the short term are the development of Lasers, radars and jammers for anti-drone solutions. Lasers are used to physically disrupt or destroy drones by targeting their propulsion systems or causing damage to their sensors or critical components. Radars detect and track drones, providing early warning and situational awareness to operators of anti-drone systems. Finally, jammers disrupt the radio signals used by drones to communicate with their operators or to receive navigation instructions. By interfering with these signals, jammers can force drones to crash or disable them.

Each of these technologies has its strengths and weaknesses. The most effective drone solutions often employ a combination of lasers, radars and jammers to provide comprehensive protection against drone threats. The scope of these technologies in the anti-drone solutions market will likely continue to expand as the threat posed by drones evolves and new technologies become available.

Soft kill /Kinetic kill

The choice between a soft kill and a kinetic kill for anti-drone systems depends on various factors, such as the type of drone, the intended target and the desired outcome. A soft kill refers to methods that disable or take control of a drone without causing physical damage, such as jamming its radio signals or hacking into its control systems. Soft skills are generally considered less harmful and can allow a drone to be recovered for analysis or to provide evidence for legal proceedings.

A kinetic kill refers to methods that physically destroy a drone, such as shooting it down with a firearm or disrupting its propulsion system with a laser. Kinetic kills are generally more effective at stopping a drone in its tracks, but they can also pose risks to nearby people and property.

The best solution for a particular anti-drone system will depend on the situation, and it may involve a combination of soft and kinetic kill methods. Ultimately, the most effective anti-drone solution is one that effectively neutralizes the threat posed by the drone while minimizing harm to property and people.

Unmanned Aircraft/Helicopters

India has to quickly develop capabilities of remotely operating fixed and rotary wing aircraft for commercial, military and relief operations to include firefighting capabilities and supply chain management in hostile environments.

To improve domestic connectivity and improve ease of travel, the requirements of rotary wing aircraft are likely to increase immensely. In addition, the use of aircraft for farming, surveillance, mapping, and air ambulances is yet to see growth.

Hybrid Technologies

Aviation design and development engineers have developed and tested hybrid helicopters and drones, which are now ready for commercial production. This will give an impetus to Indian aerospace capabilities and capacities. 

In conclusion, India remains a strong economy. With increased personal disposable income, air travel is likely to increase as it saves time and is more comfortable than the available means.


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