DefExpo 2018: India to Indigenise Manufacturing of Spare Parts; 7 Agreements Signed With Russian Companies

Seven MoUs signed during third Indian-Russian Military Industrial conference    (Picture Courtesy: PTI)

Indian and Russian companies signed seven Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) to indigense the manufacturing of spare parts of defence products. The ministry of defence included 48 components across all platforms which are to be produced by the domestic companies in collaboration with the Russian partner. The Indian Armed Forces are pushing for the joint ventures under the ’Make in India’ model.

Indian Tri-Services officials, Indian firms and Russian firms had a few rounds of meeting during the third Indian-Russian Military Industrial conference which was held at DefExpo 2018 on Friday. The Indian Navy considered this as a cost saving move. According to a report published in The Times of India, Rear Admiral and Assistant Chief of Naval Staff V M Doss said that this would lead to a saving of 400% to 2,000%. He further added that The Navy was looking to indigenise spare parts of MIG 29k planes which were inducted in 2009 and would be in service till 2037 to 2040.

According to a press release, Larsen and Toubro (L&T) and Moscow-based Rosoboronexport signed a MoU for developing underwater platforms for Indian Navy. Ananth Technologies signed two agreements with Russian companies JSC Concern Radio-Electronic Technologies (KRET) and Research and Production Corporation Uralvagonzavod. The agreement inked with KRET would provide product support to develop defence systems and to manufacture spare parts and providing service and maintenance for such items, while Ananth Technologies’ pact with Research and Production Corporation Uralvagonzavod would set up technical and logistic support for T90S and T72 Tanks to the Indian Army.

Another agreement signed between Space Era and Concern Radio-Electronic Technologies would ensure maximum operational availability of Sukhoi-30 MKI and Helicopters of MI 8, MI 17 and MI 35 Type helicopters by forming a strategic partnership for technical and logistics support. A MoU was also signed between Russian firm OSKROSOMARINE and JSC AGAT for development of Fregat radar on-board Indian Naval frontline warships.


DefExpo 2018: Saab and Boeing Eye to Secure $15 Billion Deal with The Indian Air Force

Boeing Super Hornet F/A 18 (Picture Courtesy:

The DefExpo 2018 is providing the required impetus to the Indian defence manufacturing industry. US based company Boeing is eyeing to secure $15 billion deal with the Indian Air Force (IAF) to provide 110 fighter jets. It pitches for Super Hornet F/A 18 to the IAF. Boeing on Thursday signed a deal with public sector unit Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and Mahindra Defence Systems to manufacture Super Hornets in India. The deal was signed during the ongoing DefExpo in Chennai under the ‘Make in India’ model launched by the Modi government.

The Boeing said that this partnership would will not be limited only to the production of Super Hornets in India but would also work for the development of future technologies in India, which would transform India’s aerospace and defence programmes. Partyush Kumar, President of Boeing India, “Boeing is excited to team up with India’s only company that manufactures combat fighters, HAL, and an Indian company that manufactures small commercial airplanes, Mahindra,” reported The Economics Times. Kumar further added, “Together we can deliver an affordable, combat-proven fighter platform for India, while adding growth momentum to the Indian aerospace ecosystem with manufacturing, skill development, innovation and engineering and job creation.”

According to a report of The Times of India, S P Shukla, Group President, Aerospace & Defence, Mahindra Group, said, “We are excited about the opportunities that this partnership with Boeing and HAL will provide for us to contribute further to ‘Make in India’ for defence.” HAL’s chairman T Suvarna Raju said that the partnership would create an opportunity to strengthen indigenous platforms in India thereby contributing to the Make-in-India activities, reported The Times of India.

Saab’s Gripen E (Picture Courtesy:

On the other Swedish Company Saab also pitches for Gripen E to secure the deal with the IAF. In an interview to Bloomberg Quint Jan Widerstrom, chairman and managing director at Saab India Technologies Pvt. Ltd said, “We are glad to see that the process has started.” He further added, “Saab is pitching its latest Gripen-E to India.” The Swedish Company partnered with India’s Adani group for manufacture jets for the IAF under the ‘Make in India’ campaign. Saab was also a part of The IAF’s earlier programme for 10 years to provide Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircrafts (MMRCA), but later it was scrapped the Modi government after coming to power. The Modi government then signed a deal with French Government to acquire 36 MMRCA in fly-away condition.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while formally inaugurating the DefExpo 2018 in Chennai said, “We plan to ensure that the process for the new 110 aircraft through strategic partnership is shorter, unlike 10 years it took under the previous government.” Saab also offered transfer of technology to India.

The chairman and managing director at Saab India Technologies Pvt. Ltd said, “We have offered transfer of technology and ‘make in India’ to the government. Our offer is lot more than moving a second-hand production line to India,” Widerstrom further added, “We plan to bring state-of-the-art technology and production line along with capabilities which will eventually lead to thousands of jobs in India.” Saabs involved with the Indian Armed Forces can be traced three decades back.

The Indian Air Force has initiated the process to procure 110 fighter jets last week. Another US company Lockheed Martin, Russian Company Mig and French Company Dassault Aviation will also be eyeing to seal this deal. The companies are required to submit proposals by July 6. The aircrafts will be produced in India by the foreign company in partnership with domestic company under strategic partnership model. The main is to strengthen Indian defence manufacturing sector and to bring advance technology to India.


DefExpo 2018: Lockheed Martin and Boeing Gearing up to Secure $15 Billion Deal

F-16 Block 70 (Picture Courtesy:

On the very first day of the DefExpo 2018, two US companies pitch in for their respective fighter jets for getting a deal of supplying 110 fighter jets worth $15 billion to the Indian Air Force (IAF).  This can be considered as a major boost to the ‘Make in India’ campaign

Lockheed Martin offered to set up manufacturing line of F-16 fighter jets in India. Randall Howard who leads F-16 business development at Lockheed Martin, in an Interview to Bloomberg Quint said, “The fighters we offer are state of the art with modern avionics and we are willing to transfer technology to build in India as part of Make in India.” According to Howard, If Lockheed Martin gets the deal then it would shift its entire production line from US to India, which means that India would become exporter of the fighter jets to the world.

Currently 27 countries including Pakistan are flying F-16 Fighter Jets. According to Howard around 4,000 F-16 aircrafts are in use across the world. Lockheed Martin had already tied up with Tata Group to manufacture parts for the C-130J aircraft.

Super Hornet F/A 18 (Picture Courtesy:

On the other hand Boeing is also pitching in for F/A 18 Super Hornet for securing $15 billion deal to supply 110 fighter jets for IAF.  According to The Asian Age, Thomas E. Breckenridge, vice-president, India, Global Sales Defence, Space and Security of Boeing, said that they were in the race of acquiring the orders of IAF to procure 110 fighter jets, reported The Asian Age. Speaking on the cost comparison of the two aircrafts, Breckenridge backed Super Hornet. He said that Super Hornet is comparatively cheap and could be maintained at lower cost.

The vice-president, India, Global Sales Defence, Space and Security of Boeing assured of sourcing components from Indian companies. Presently Boeing is sourcing components from 160 Indian companies and would enhance its operation to 400 domestic companies. Breckenridge said that Boeing would soon announce

DefExpo 2018: Indian Company Cyient Signs Deal With Israel’s BlueBird Eye to Produce UAVs

                            Indian Company Cyient signed a deal with Israel-based BlueBird Eye                                       (Picture Courtesy:

The DefExpo 2018 is organised with the aim of promoting domestic defence manufacturing industries. On April 11, an Indian company Cyient Solutions & Systems, a provider of engineering design, manufacturing, geospatial, networks, and operations management services to global industry leaders has signed a deal with Israel-based BlueBird Eye System, a leader in design, development, and production of micro, mini, and small tactical Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) to provide Unarmed aerial Vehicle (UAV) to Indian defence, paramilitary forces and police services.

Both the companies signed a joint venture agreement at DefExpo 2018. Cyient will hold 51% of the shares and 49% of the shares will be with BlueBird Eye System. The products like SpyLite, ThunderB, and MicroB systems that offer highly-innovative UAS (unmanned aircraft system) technology will be made in India. UAS technology can be used for covert and real time intelligence operations. Field trials of SpyLite were successfully conducted by Cyient Solutions and Systems. SpyLite’s will be useful in a tactical surveillance role at high altitude and in extreme weather conditions.

Cyient Solutions & Systems will indigenise, manufacture, assemble, integrate, and test advanced UAV systems at its production facilities in Hyderabad by utilising BlueBird’s technology and manufacturing know-how. Cyient in partnership with BlueBird Eye will also provide aftermath services, maintenance and support to the users across India.

Krishna Bodanapu, chief executive officer and managing director, Cyient, said, “The joint venture with BlueBird Aero Systems combines our design and manufacturing expertise to bring the best of UAV technology to the Indian defence industry. The joint venture also underlines the commitment of both partners to the government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative,” reported The Times of India.
Ronen Nadir, founder & CEO, BlueBird Aero Systems, said, “We are proud to team up with Cyient in this joint venture that enables indigenisation, manufacturing, training, and support of our advanced, field-proven UAV systems in India. Bluebird is happy to transfer to Cyient Solutions & Systems the latest technology and knowhow to further enhance what we see as a long-term partnership for Indian UAV market.”


DefExpo 2018: ‘There is no Shortage of Equipment and Ammunition for Armed Forces’, Says Nirmala Sitharaman

Picture Courtesy:

The 10th edition of the DefExpo begins today at Thiruvidanthai in Chennai. The main objective of this DefExpo is to promote Indian Defence manufacturing companies. Nearly 75% of the companies participating in the expo are the Indian companies. India will showcase indigenous built land, air and naval security systems. During the press conference on the sidelines of DefExpo 2018, Defence Minister said that the ministry of Defence had given emergency powers to the Armed Forces to decide the type and the amount of arms and ammunition to be purchased, reported The Times of India. Sitharaman also said that there was no shortage of any equipment and ammunition for the Armed Forces.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman during press conference at DefExpo 2018                        (Picture Courtesy:

As one of the major highlight of the event, Defence and Research Development Organisation (DRDO) today handed over three critical technologies to the Indian Navy. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman handed these three technologies to Naval Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba. These critical technologies are: processor-based mines (PPBM), VLF modulator and heavy weight torpedo Varunastra.

Varunastra torpedo developed by DRDO (Picture Courtesy:

Varunastra is a heavy weight indigenously developed torpedo. A DRDO official said, “Varunastra is a ship-based ESM system developed for intercepting all modern radars. PBBM is deployable from ships and can deter movement of adversary.” An official further added, “The VLF modulator is a long range reliable communication system that we have handed over to the Navy,” reported The Times of India.

The DRDO transferred 10 other technologies to private and public sector units (PSU) for manufacturing for the Indian Armed Forces. These technologies included Astra, air to air missile system. This missile was recently test fired from Sukhoi- MKI 30, no it will be integrated into indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejasanti-thermal/ anti laser grenade, CAIRGIS geographic information system, two sonars — Humsa and Abhay — and a sonar dome. The DRDO also transferred anti-thermal/ anti laser grenade, CAIRGIS geographic information system, two sonars — Humsa and Abhay — and a sonar dome to private and PSU’s.

To commemorate the 60th Anniversary of DRDO, a souvenir and a stamp were released with all the details of technologies developed by the organisation.


DefExpo 2018 to Begin Tomorrow; India to Showcase its Defence Manufacturing Capabilities

DefExpo 2018

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.

Vajra K9 -T (

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