Its civil and military fleets are set to surge, which is adding urgency to India’s need to address problems relating to the health of its airlines, limits on airport capacity, controversial offset rules, and the dominant, divisive role of HAL. Can New Delhi rise to the challenge? Is the emergent wave of private-sector suppliers a signal that a sea change is already In motion? In a sector-by-sector analysis, we assess the nation’s aerospace prospects – and the vast potential its defence market offers to Western manufacturers – on the eve of Aero India, which kicks off in Bengaluru on 6 February.
(clockwise from above) Jet Airways has 10 Boeing 787s on order; delays have beset HAL's Tejas programme; and, despite financial troubles, Air india is adding widebodies to its fleet