The 10th edition of DefExpo will begin tomorrow at Thiruvidanthai on the East Coast Road (ECR) near Chennai. In this four day event India will showcase its defence manufacturing capabilities to the world. The event will attract global vendors of defence manuctureres and suppliers of defence equipment. The Defence Ministry is also promoting indigenous defence manufacturing Industries during this event. This will help India in becoming self-reliable in defence sector.
As per a report of Business Standard, Ajay Kumar, secretary, Defence Production, Ministry of Defence, Government of India said, “We want to show case India as emerging hub for manufacturing as the country attained significant milestones in defence manufacturing. We also need to create opportunity for exports from India,” The DefExpo is organized after every two years. The eight edition of DefExpo was organized in New Delhi in 2016, then in 2016 the venue was shifted to Goa and now Chennai for the first time.
More than 700 exhibitors across the globe will be participating in this event. DefExpo 2018 will witness the participation of 539 Indian firms whereas 163 foreign players will come to participate in this mega event. According to Kumar, more than 72% of the space is allocated for Indian firms. The DefExpo held in 2016 witnessed the participation of 1000 companies.
The prominent Indian companies which are participating are Tata, L&T, Kalyani, Defence and Research Analysis Department (DRDO), Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL, Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), Mahindra. Giving a major boost to indigenous defence production Ministry of defence will launch Innovations for Defence Excellence (IDEX) scheme at the Expo, reported Business Standard. According to officials over 70 indigenously built products will be displayed at the Indian Pavilion. These products will be displayed under the ‘Make in India’ campaign.
Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Airbus, Rafael, United Shipping are some the foreign players which will participate in this exhibition. India will display its indigenous built Light Combat Aircraft Tejas, Missile systems, helicopters and air defence systems. In this DefExpo India’s capability in land, air and naval security will be showcased. The prime focus of the Indian government is to attract foreign players to invest in defence sector in collaboration with Indian firms. India is the world’s largest arms importer. According to the The Defence Ministry, Indian firms manufactured Rs 550 billion worth military equipment in the last year.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will be present at the inauguration of DefExpo 2018. The 100 K9 VAJRA-Ttracked, self-propelled artillery guns for the Indian Army will be displayed at the India Pavilion of DefExpo 2018. K9 Vajra –T is produced at a brand new production line under setting up at L&Ts Hazira manufacturing complex in Gujarat. The K9 VAJRA-T is a variant of K9 Thunder which is unarguably the world’s most successful 155mm/52 Cal.It will be inducted soon into the Indian Army