Defence Expo 2018 begins in Chennai; big boost for defence production under Make in India initiative

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Chennai | Updated: April 11, 2018 1:37:37 PM

The mega exhibition began today with the participation of major international and domestic defence firms displaying their cutting-edge products. The Defence Minister said that the agenda of this defence exposition was to change India's image as an importer to India as an exporter of defence products.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman addresses the media at the first day of DefExpo 2018 in Chennai.Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman addresses the media on the first day of the DefExpo 2018 in Chennai.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman launched the DefExpo 2018 today in Chennai. Addressing the media, she said that the formal inauguration was to be held tomorrow by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Addressing the media, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that all the three services will be displaying their might in this mega defence expo. However, the focal point of the defence expo will be to project India as the next hub of defence production and manufacturing.

“India has always been the largest importer of arms and weapons. The major aspect of this defence expo is that it will mark the indigenous defence manufacturing capabilities of India. This year, we have a clear accent that India will be a major defence manufacturer and an exporter”, said Nirmala Sitharaman today.

The Defence Minister also lauded DRDO, HAL and BEL for their immense contribution to research and development of India’s defence sector. She also said that DRDO which also has over 50 institutions under it, will also showcase their product in the expo and will actively compete with the private sector. “India will not just manufacture for purposes of import substitution, but will also boost defence production to export Indian made defence products to countries around the world”, she added.

The mega exhibition began today with the participation of major international and domestic defence firms displaying their cutting-edge products. The Defence Minister said that the agenda of this defence exposition was to change India’s image as an importer to India as an exporter of defence products. The tagline of the expo, “India: The Emerging Defence Manufacturing Hub”, also suggests India’s ambitious attempt to project itself as a manufacturer of defence products. This year’s defence expo is the 10th edition of the event.

According to a press release by the Defence Ministry, a total of 670 defence firms, which includes 154 foreign manufacturers and over 500 domestic companies are participating in this defence exhibition. The DefExpo 2018 has attracted delegations from over 47 countries and is seeing participation from major companies such as Lockheed Martin, Saab, Dassault, Bae Systems, Boeing, Airbus and Rafale.

Mazagon Dock Ship Builders will exhibit their P-75 Scorpene Class Stealth Submarine, multi-purpose support vessel and INS Kolkata-Guided Missile Stealth Destroyer. DRDO’s exhibit will include MBT Arjun MK-1 Tank, Astra Missiles, Varunastra. Other exhibits will include Tejas fighter jets, Dhanush artillery tank, Advanced towed artillery gun systems etc.

The four-day exhibition which is spread over an area of 2.90 lakh square feet, will showcase India’s strength in defence manufacturing sector. The DefExpo 2018 will be open for business visitors between 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm from tomorrow. The Ministry also said that general visitors will be given free entry on 14th April 2018. The Defence Minister also announced the eight winners of the national level open challenge competition: “Solution to Problem” today.

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