Defence Expo promotes Make in India prowess

The 2018 edition projected India’s defence manufacturing capabilities to the world, thereby branding the nation as an exporter of defence systems and components for all three services - Army, Navy and Air Force

April 14, 2018

The 10th DefExpo celebrated the Indian Government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative by encouraging indigenous innovation, design and manufacturing of defence technologies, products and services

More than 670 exhibitors including over 150 international participants took part in the DefExpo; the MSME sector in defence landscape had an encouraging representation of 15 per cent

International participants included Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Saab (Sweden), Airbus, United Shipbuilding (Russia), BAE Systems (UK), Sibat (Israel), Rhode and Schwarz(Germany), among others

DRDO transferred eight defence technologies, including missiles, torpedoes, grenades, sonars, gas turbine technologies, to seven industries from private and public sector during DefExpo 2018

The 2018 edition of Indian Defence Expo (DefExpo) held by the Ministry of Defence attracted the very best of the world’s defence industry on a single platform. The latest edition of the prestigious event focussed on promoting India’s defence manufacturing capabilities to the world. This was reflected in the tagline for the Expo – “India: The Emerging Defence Manufacturing Hub”. DefExpo 2018 saw product demonstrations by state-controlled Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) and Bharat Earth Movers Ltd (BEML), among others. Besides showcasing strengths of India’s substantial public sector, DefExpo displayed India’s growing private defence industry and expanding MSME base for components and subsystems. The participants promoted India as an exporter of several defence systems and components for all three Services – Army, Navy and Air Force.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the 10th edition of DefExpo on April 12th. Indian participation include majors like Tata, L&T, Kalyani, Bharat Forge, Mahindra, MKU, DRDO, HAL, BEL, BDL, BEML, MDL, GRSE, GSL, HSL, MIDHANI, Ordnance Factories, and many others.  Meanwhile, major international participants at the event included Lockheed Martin, Boeing (USA), Saab (Sweden), Airbus, Dassault Rafale (France), Rosoboron Exports, United Shipbuilding (Russia), BAE Systems (UK), Sibat (Israel), Wartsila (Finland), Rhode and Schwarz (Germany). The third India-Russia Military Industrial Conference was held on the side-lines of DefExpo. Around 75 Indian defence sector manufacturing companies and 28 Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) from Russian industry participated in the conference. The event saw signing of seven agreements between the Indian private defence sector manufacturing companies and Russian OEMs.

The event showcased HAL’s various flying platforms, including domestically designed and manufactured fourth-generation light combat aircraft Tejas, advanced light helicopter Dhruv, light combat helicopter and Dornier civilian aircraft, among others. DefExpo 2018, held on sea-shore near Chennai, allowed Indian Navy to brandish its domestic design, manufacturing and servicing capabilities in shipbuilding. India is one of the few countries in the world with capabilities to design a naval vessel from scratch to finish. Indian companies showcased several frigates, corvettes and other ships, while demonstrating capabilities in manufacturing Scorpene class submarine. Naval shipyards in public sector including Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd, Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers, Goa Shipyard Limited, Hindustan Shipyard Limited as well as private shipyards such as Reliance Naval and Engineering Ltd and Larsen & Toubro Ltd participated in the DefExpo.

Indian shipbuilding has recorded growing indigenisation, resultantly ‘float’ of ships built in India have nearly 90 per cent indigenous components. There has also been growing demand for Indian built vessels from many countries in South Asia, ASEAN and Africa. Herein DefExpo provides for the perfect stage to demonstrate India’s capability in the sector. In land systems, the event unveiled India-made 155mm Advanced Towed Artillery Gun (ATAG). India has for the first time developed its own ATAG which has been designed and developed by DRDO in partnership with Kalyani Group, Tata Power Strategic Engineering Division and OFBs. DefExpo also showcased India’s tank making capabilities, including MBT Arjun, T90 and T-72, Bridge Laying Tanks (BLTs) with a span of over 70 feet, among others. Additionally, the event displayed 155mm artillery gun Dhanush. These innovations have helped India reduce its future dependence on defence imports.

Over the past decades, India has mastered missile and rocket manufacturing capabilities, which were showcased at the DefExpo, in form of BrahMos missiles available for all kind of attacks including surface-to-air, air-to-air and sea-to-air. India-made Akash Missile and Pinaka rockets were highlighted during the show. DefExpo 2018 has aided Indian Government’s plans of putting the nation on the global map of small arms manufacturing with its decision to manufacture about 750,000 Assault Rifles, 350,000 Carbines and about 40,000 LMGs.

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