Malaysia Expects Big LIMA
BY WENDELL MINNICK
TAIPEI — When the 9th Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA 07) opens on the resort island of Langkawi, Malaysia, on Dec. 4, its new managers expect to double the number of exhibitors and visitors from 2005.
Officials with World Aerospace Sdn Bhd. say this year’s show will draw more than 800 exhibitors from 30 countries, up from 400 exhibitors and 40 official delegations from 30 countries.
“We expect to attract about 50,000 to 60,000 aviation, aerospace and defense professionals from the region compared with over 30,000 in LIMA 2005,” company Chairman Tan Sri Kamaruzzaman Shariff said in a news release.
The exhibition center has added 8,000 square meters for a total of 30,000, allowing new pavilions for space systems, UAVs and maintenance technology.
The show will feature 85 aircraft from 20 countries, including Norway, Singapore, Sweden and Thailand. The 32 warships from nine countries on display will include an Indian Kilo-class sub and South Korea’s largest naval ship, the 14,000-ton Dokdo Ham amphibious landing and transport vessel, commissioned in July.
Malaysia is pulling out the stops for this show, held in the 50th anniversary year of the country’s independence. The Royal Malaysian Air Force will give aerial demonstrations of its MiG-29N Fulcrums, F/A-18D Hornets and new Su-30MKM Flankers. The first six Su-30s of an 18-jet 2003 order arrived in June and are based at Gong Kedak Air Base at the Terengganu- Kelantan border.
The Air Force will also display its UAVs for the first time, some Hawk 108s and 208s, and older aircraft, including the CL-4G Tebuan, F-86 Sabre and the A-4 Skyhawk.
LIMA 07 will showcase its first astronaut, Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor Sheikh Mustapha.
Aerial demonstrations will include the British Royal Air Force’s Red Arrows, making their final stop after a yearlong tour of the Middle East and Asia, and the India Air Force Suryakiran (Sun Rays) aerobatics team.
Performing at the show for the first time, the Suryakiran fly Kiren Mark II basic jet trainers that are scheduled to be replaced after 2010 by the Intermediate Jet Trainer being built by Hindustan Aeronautics.