This year however, India is looking to focus more on exporting military equipment, keeping in line with Prime Minister Modi's 'Make in India' initiative. The NDA government is trying to project the 10th edition of the biennial event (DefExpo) as the first serious attempt to transform India into a hub of military manufacturing and pursue its goal of achieving a turnover of 1,70,000 crore rupees in military goods and services by 2025 by promoting the domestic defence industry. Prime Minister Narendra Modi reached Mahabalipuram - the venue of the DefExpo - at 10:20 am.
India's indigenously developed land, air and naval systems are also being showcased.
A raft of defence deals including for setting up joint ventures were inked between private industries on the sidelines of the expo.
Engineering major Larsen & Toubro (L&T), India's multinational engineering conglomerate, and Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), a leading public sector enterprise in defence electronics and tactical systems, have signed a MoU to cater to the needs of evolving domestic and export markets for defence products and systems.
Adani Group said that it has collaborated with Punj Lloyd and Rave Gears (USA) for the design, manufacture and assembly of high precision gears and transmission systems for rotary platforms.
India's Kalyani Group and French firm Plansee Tungsten Alloys also announced the forming of their strategic partnership in the areas of "special metallic penetrators" required for manufacture of high-end ammunition.
MKU Limited and Thales have announced inking of two MoUs for strategic co-operation in the development and production of optronic devices and F90 close quarter battle (CQB) rifle for soldiers.
The weapons and platforms being displayed included the Tejas fighter jets, advanced towed artillery gun systems (ATAGS) designed by the DRDO Arjun Mark 2 tank, Dhanush artillery guns.
The DRDO's exhibits include Nirbhay missile system with launcher, autonomous unmanned ground vehicle (AUGV), MBT Arjun Mk-I tank, Astra missile, low level transportable radar (LLTR) system, medium power radar (MPR) system and Varunastra - heavy weight anti submarine electric torpedo.
Major international companies which are participating at the expo included Lockheed Martin, Boeing (US), Saab (Sweden), Airbus, Dassault Aviation (France), Rosonboron Exports, United Shipbuilding (Russia), BAE Systems (UK), Sibat (Israel), Wartsila (Finland) and Rhode and Schwarz (Germany).
According to the Defence Ministry, over 670 defence firms including 154 foreign manufacturers are participating in the exhibition of weapons and military hardware. DefExpo 2018 is being attended by official delegations from over 47 countries including the US, the UK, Russia, Afghanistan and Sweden, Finland, Italy, Madagascar, Myanmar, Nepal, Portugal, Seychelles and Vietnam.
Secretary (Defence Production) Ajay Kumar said China was invited but it has not sent any delegation.
The theme of the Defence Expo 2018 is "India: The Emerging Defence Manufacturing Hub".
The Defence Ministry had last month come out with a draft policy which envisages achieving a turnover of 1,70,000 crore rupees in military goods and services by 2025 by promoting the domestic defence industry. The policy says the aim is to make India one of the top five manufacturers of defence platforms with active participation of public and private sectors.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke about "transformation" of India's defence sector. Here is the prime minister's full speech at the DefExpo 2018:
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed international delegates and domestic manufacturers at the DefExpo 2018. India aims to become a major exporter of defence equipment. India currently is the world's largest arms importer. India now has a plan to push exports of defence equipment under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's flagship 'Make in India' initiative.
Here are the highlights of PM Narendra Modi's speech at DefExpo 2018:
- I am delighted & overwhelmed to see an enthusiastic gathering in this historic region of Kanchipuram in the great State of Tamil Nadu.
- I am very happy to be here in the land of the great Cholas who established India's historical civilization links through trade & education.
- India is a land of glorious maritime legacy, and Tamil Nadu has been at the forefront of that legacy. This is the land from where India Looked East and Acted East for thousands of years.
- It is wonderful to see that over 500 Indian companies & over 150 foreign companies are participating in the DefExpo 2018.
- More than 40 countries have sent their official delegations as well. We are happy to welcome them in India.
- Our commitment to peace is just as strong as our commitment to protecting our people and our territory. For this we are ready to take all necessary measures to equip our armed forces, including through the establishment of a strategically independent defence industrial complex.
- We are conscious that defence manufacturing is unique in terms of government involvement. You need the government to grant a license to manufacture arms and ammunition. Since the government is almost the only buyer, you need the government to grant an order. You need the government even to grant permission to export.
- Over the last few years, we have made a humble beginning. On defence manufacturing licenses, on defence offsets, on defence exports clearances, on Foreign Direct Investment in defence manufacturing, and on reforming our defence procurement, we have taken many steps.
- The defence procurement procedure has been revised with many specific provisions for stimulating growth of domestic defence industry. We have also de-notified some items earlier made exclusively by Ordnance Factories, so that private sector, especially MSMEs can enter this space.
- In May 2014, the total number of defence export permission granted stood at 118, for a total value of 577 million dollars. In less than four years, we have issued 794 more export permissions, for a total value of over 1.3 billion dollars.
- We are committed to establishing 2 defence industrial corridors - One in Tamil Nadu and one in Uttar Pradesh. These will utilize defence manufacturing ecosystems in the regions and further build upon it. The corridors will become engines of economic development and growth of defence industrial base.
- We have launched the 'Innovation for Defence Excellence' scheme. It will set up defence innovation hubs throughout the country to provide necessary incubation and infrastructure support to the start-ups in defence sector.
- There was a time when the critical issue of defence preparedness was hampered by policy paralysis. We have seen the damage such laziness, incompetence or perhaps some hidden motives, can cause to the nation. Not now, Not anymore, Never again.
- You would have seen how the issue of providing bullet proof jackets to Indian soldiers was kept hanging for years. You would have also seen that we have brought the process to a successful conclusion with a contract that will provide a boost to defence manufacturing in India.
- You would also recall the long-drawn process of procurement of fighter aircraft that never reached any conclusion. We have not only taken bold action to meet our immediate critical requirements, but have also initiated a new process to procure 110 fighter aircraft.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses international delegates and domestic manufacturers at the DefExpo 2018. India aims to become a major exporter of defence equipment. India currently is the world's largest arms importer. India now has a plan to push exports of defence equipment under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's flagship 'Make in India' initiative.
(Photo: Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses delegates at the Defence Expo 2018)
Though the four-day-long DefExpo, on the outskirts of Chennai and close to the temple town of Mahabalipuram on the East Coast Road, began yesterday amid protests on the Cauvery issue, it was formally inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi today. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had launched the exhibition yesterday. When PM Modi reached Chennai this morning to head to the DefExpo near Mahabalipuram, DMK working president MK Stalin asked supporters and residents to show black flags atop their homes in a sign of protest against the Centre's "inaction" on the Cauvery issue.
India's mega defence exhibition - the Defexpo - began yesterday with major global and domestic military firms showcasing their latest weaponry and platforms, eyeing a slice of the lucrative military market in the country which is the world's biggest arms importer. The NDA government is trying to project the 10th edition of the biennial event as first serious attempt to transform India into a hub of military manufacturing and pursue its goal of achieving turnover of Rs 1,70,000 crore in military goods and services by 2025 by promoting the domestic defence industry.
(Photo: Armed Force personnel stage a live demo at the DefExpo 2018 near Mahabalipuram)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated the DefExpo 2018. He reached Mahabalipuram - the venue of the DefExpo - at 10:20 am. Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the 'Make in India' pavilion. This year, India is showcasing and promoting its domestic defence manufacturing capabilities in a push to becoming a major defence exporter. India is currently the world's largest arms importer.
This year however, India is looking to focus more on exporting military equipment, keeping in line with Prime Minister Modi's 'Make in India' initiative. The NDA government is trying to project the 10th edition of the biennial event (DefExpo) as the first serious attempt to transform India into a hub of military manufacturing and pursue its goal of achieving a turnover of 1,70,000 crore rupees in military goods and services by 2025 by promoting the domestic defence industry.
Major global and domestic military firms are showcasing their latest weaponry and platforms at the DefExpo 2018, eyeing a slice of the lucrative military market in India which is the world's biggest arms importer.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is in Mahabalipuram today and inaugurated the DefExpo 2018. He inaugurated the 'Make in India' pavilion at the DefExpo. The exhibition began yesterday with Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman launching the event. Not only is DefExpo India's main defence exhibition, it is Asia's biggest international land, naval and internal homeland security systems exhibition.