Defence Expo 2018: All You Need To Know
Kicking off the 10th edition of the four-day long Defence Expo in Chennai, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the government will give a boost to defence manufacturing by expediting the process of licence procurement, drafting simpler FDI rules and creating two defence corridors.
The tagline of the DefExpo this year is “India: The emerging defence manufacturing hub,” with the hope of branding India as an exporter of defence systems and components. India’s defence production has increased from Rs 43,746 crore in 2013-14 to Rs 55,894 crore in 2016-17, according to defence ministry figures, reported The Mint.
At the Expo, the Defence and Research Development Organisation (DRDO) also outlined its investment plans, stating that it has allotted 25-30 percent of its 180 billion budget for new projects. The DRDO has also said that it is in talks to export some missiles. The organisation wants to develop an “anti-tank missile”, which can be launched from both helicopter and from the ground.
It saw delegations from over 47 countries.
Deals With Russia On Defence Hardware
The DefExpo saw participation from major defence manufacturing nations like US, UK, Russia, France, Israel, Korea, Sweden, among others, but of the many deals emerging from the Expo, one of the largest has been that of seven agreements signed between Indian and Russian companies
The Ministry of Defence had identified 48 items covering all major platforms which can be made in India with Russian collaboration. The products to get support include helicopters, aircraft and naval systems. reported The Business Standard.
Larsen & Toubro signed one deal for various programmes of the navy and for Future Ready Combat Vehicles (FRCV) and rockets’ co-production on Indian territory. Ananth Technologies signed an agreement for opto-electric sighting and navigation for Su-30MKI aircraft. Ananth also signed one to set up technical and logistics support in India for the T90-S and T72 tanks in service with the army.
Several procedural issues related to transfer of technology, setting up of joint ventures (JVs), intellectual property rights, and others have been discussed.
The new deals would pave way for transfer of technology for some identified spares and there would be concerted effort for more such initiatives, the companies said.
Military Technology From Across The World Was Displayed
For the first time ever, there is an “India Pavillion” that has been set up at the Expo to showcase the combined strength of the DRDO, Public and Private Sector in defence manufacturing.
DRDO participated in the live demo for some of the products that was designed and developed by it, which include Light Combat Aircraft – Tejas, Main Battle Tank Arjun MK-II, Arjun Armoured Recovery and Repair Vehicle (ARRV), T-72 Trawl etc.
The outdoor exhibits included the Nirbhay Missile System with Launcher, Autonomous Unmanned Ground Vehicle (AUGV), MBT Arjun Mk-I, Astra Missile, Low Level Transportable Radar (LLTR) System, Medium Power Radar (MPR) System, Convoy Jammer, Multipurpose Decontamination System (MPDS), Varunastra - Heavy Weight Anti Submarine Electric Torpedo, Bio-Toilet, etc.
The pavilion also presents an array of digital experiences including war game simulation zone, augmented reality, virtual reality, physical simulators, etc.
According to the Defence Ministry, over 670 defence firms, including 154 foreign manufacturers, participated in the exhibition of weapons and military hardware.
Mahindra Telephonics, part of the diversified business conglomerate – Mahindra Group, showcased a platform it has developed which is an indigenous all-weather, Mobile Surveillance and Protection System.
The M-SPS facility can be operated independently and is ideal for border protection and surveillance by military and para-military forces, Mahindra Telephonics said.
Larsen and Toubro and France-based defence major Nexter also showcased their artillery systems. The product range included TRAJAN, a 152mm, 52 Caliber cannon which had undergone extensive firing and mobility trials by the Army in rigorous climatic conditions.
Indian Companies Which Are Leading From The Front
Indian companies which showcased their military production capabilities, signed some key deals at the Expo.
US aerospace giant, Boeing, announced a partnership with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and Mahindra Defence Systems (MDS) for manufacturing the F/A-18 Super Hornet for the Air Force.
Boeing said the partnership will also work for joint development of future technologies in India, saying it will transform India's aerospace and defence ecosystem.
This partnership brings the best of Indian public and private enterprises together in partnership with the world’s largest aerospace company, Boeing, to accelerate a contemporary 21st century ecosystem for aerospace & defence manufacturing in India,Pratyush Kumar, President, Boeing India, to PTI.
Meanwhile, Ashok Leyland, Hinduja Group’s flagship firm, has got the contract from the Ministry of Defence for the supply of high mobility 10×10 vehicles. The high mobility vehicles will be used to carry smerch rockets in the Indian Army, reported The Financial Express.
The high mobility 10×10 vehicle is fully designed and developed in India and is one of the flagship products of the company under the ‘Make in India’ initiative.
The Expo, however, comes at a time when Chennai is seeing massive protests and unrest due to the Cauvery water-sharing issue.
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