PARIS -- Bonjour from an cloudy, drizzly first day at Le Bourget, where the world's biggest defense and aviation giants are hoping the overcast blows over in time for this afternoon's planned flying demonstrations.
Defense trade shows are always impressive, with their displays of the latest aircraft, weapons and other technology, but despite the jets and missiles looming over this show, it's a nervous time for the defense industry. The world's military budgets -- including that of its biggest, the United States -- are not reaching ever skyward anymore, and the firms that have mounted their displays here want to exploit every option they have to stay ahead.
Consider this example: You read here on Buzz awhile ago about how America's two aerospace titans, Lockheed Martin and Boeing, had been rebuffed in their attempt to sell new batches of fighters to India. The Euro-concern that manufactures the Typhoon, however, advanced to the next round of the competition to become the Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft, as it's reminding everyone at Le Bourget this year.
Just in case anyone forgot, the Eurofighter chalet has this simple message: "Indian MMRCA shortlisted."
UPDATE: The Italian air force announced Monday that its Typhoons have passed 1,000 flying hours as part of NATO's operations over Libya.