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Aatmanirbharta’ in Defence: PM announces fourth positive list at the DefExpo

PM stated the Indian defence products export increased eight times in the last eight years. And also announced the fourth positive indigenisation list of 101 items which will help to further strengthen India’s Defence Industry’s indigenisation journey.

Aatmanirbharta’ in Defence: PM announces fourth positive list at the DefExpo
PM said this is an unprecedented DefExpo as only Indian companies are participating in it for the first time. (Photo: MOD)

India’s biggest ever DefExpo in Gandhinagar, will strengthen the world’s faith in India’s business skills, says Prime Minister Narendra Modi while inaugurating the event on Wednesday (October 19, 2022). This is the 12th edition of the DefExpo based on the theme `Path to Pride’ and will close on Oct 20, 2022 in Gandhinagar.

In his inaugural speech PM stated the Indian defence products export increased eight times in the last eight years. And also announced the fourth positive indigenisation list of 101 items which will help to further strengthen India’s Defence Industry’s indigenisation journey. “With this 411 defence-related goods can only be procured locally and will give a major boost to the Indian defence industry,” PM Modi said.

New Airbase

And, to enable the Indian armed forces to conduct air and sea operations simultaneously and improve the response time, Prime Minister Modi virtually laid the foundation stone of the Rs 1,000 crore 52 Wing Air Force Station Deesa airfield in Banaskantha in Gujarat.  This is located north of Gujarat close to the India-Pakistan border and is critical for the country’s security. This project is expected to be completed in almost 21 months.

Also Read: PM Modi’s boost for Atmanirbhar Bharat in defence sector; Seven new companies dedicated to the nation

More about the Fourth List

The list of 101 items which is available on the Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) website for all the stakeholders has been prepared by the Ministry after having several rounds of consultations with all stakeholders, and the industry. The focus of this list is on systems/equipment which are in the process of being developed and are expected to translate into orders over a period of five to ten years.

According to the MoD like the first three lists import substitution of ammunition has been given special attention.

The new list recognizes the growing capabilities and capacity of the Indian defence industry. And this is expected to stimulate the potential of Research & Development in the country as it will attract fresh investment into manufacturing capabilities as well as new technologies.  The new list will help the industry to under not only the trend but also the futuristic needs of the Armed Forces.

Mission DefSpace

The ‘Mission DefSpace’ was launched which can help to boost India’s space-related defence preparedness, and talked about the contribution of the youth to grow in the field of space technology. This will help to develop innovative solutions for the defence forces in the Space Domain with the involvement of the startups and industry.

Only Indian Companies at DefExpo

PM said this is an unprecedented DefExpo as only Indian companies are participating in it for the first time.

Also Read: SIPRI’s assessment of India’s quest for self-reliance in defence production

Africa and more

Highlighting the similarities between India and Africa, he said the event will initiate friendly relations with the African countries. In his address Defence Minister Rajnath Singh stated that the aim of the expo is to showcase the spirit of `Atmanirbhar Bharat’ and India’s strong defence mechanism. And “enhancing public-private will benefit the defence sector.”

What is on display at the show?

Innovations and new technologies made by the Indian industries including underwater swarm drones and unmanned fighter jets. Also on display cyber technologies, deep space technologies, how artificial intelligence can be used in future wars.

Underwater swarm drones

These drones are going to be equipped with artificial intelligence capabilities and advanced image processing. And have the capability to deliver a payload of around 7 kg in the seabed at a minimum of 60 m depth. According to officials the swarm should be intelligent to detect underwater mines

Unmanned fighter jets

The process of testing these is on and at a time three or four can fly with a manned fighter jet and can be used to overpower the manned jets of the adversary. Unmanned fighter jets can be deployed alongside the regular fighter jets being flown by the fighter pilots in future wars. While the underwater drones are being tested, the first flight of the unmanned jets is expected to take off in 2025.

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First published on: 19-10-2022 at 13:13 IST