Defence Expo 2018: India has been one of the largest importers of defence hardware and the government has been trying to promote the domestic defence industries to cut dependence on foreign procurement.
For the first time, the upcoming defence expo, an exhibition of weapons and military hardware, will project India’s defence manufacturing capabilities and showcase its potential to be a major exporter of military platforms, the defence ministry said today. Nearly 50 countries have already confirmed their participation in the Expo to be held in Chennai from April 11 to 14. Officials said India will showcase a range of indigenously developed military helicopters and aircraft, missiles and rockets and its capabilities to manufacture submarines, frigates, corvettes and other ships. “DefExpo 2018 will, for the first time, project India’s defence manufacturing capabilities to the world. It will brand India as a defence exporter of several defence systems and components for all three services — Army, Navy and Air Force,” the defence ministry said in a statement. It said showcasing the potential of India’s public sector as well as private industries to manufacture components and sub-systems of major platforms will also be a focus area.
India has been one of the largest importers of defence hardware and the government has been trying to promote the domestic defence industries to cut dependence on foreign procurement. The officials said state-run aerospace major Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd’s various flying platforms including domestically designed and manufactured fourth-generation Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) – Tejas, Advanced Light Helicopter – Dhruv and Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) and Dornier civilian aircraft will be the major highlight of the expo. They said that displaying the country’s naval designing capabilities will be another key focus area of the government as domestic production of frigates, corvettes and other warships will be among the key exhibits of naval platforms. “The exhibition will also unveil India’s capabilities in manufacturing Scorpene class submarine,” the ministry said, adding that naval shipyards in the public sector including Mazagon Docks, Goa Shipyards, Hindustan Shipyard and private shipyards will showcase their capabilities in the manufacturing and servicing of ships.
Officials said there is a growing demand for Indian built vessels from many countries in South Asia, ASEAN and Africa. They said a range of land systems including India’s 155mm Advanced Towed Artillery Gun (ATAG), tanks MBT Arjun, T-90 and T-72 will also be showcased. “The expo will also provide an opportunity to showcase India’s plans for putting India on the global map of small arms manufacturing with its decision to manufacture about 7.5 lakh assault rifles, 3.5 lakh carbines and about 40,000 LMGs,” said an official. The ministry said the missiles to be displayed at the expo include all available BrahMos missiles — surface-to-air, air-to-air and sea-to-air. “Further Akash Missile system will be a major attraction at DefExpo. Pinaka rockets will also be highlighted during the show,” the ministry said. “Emphasis is being given to invite delegations from countries which have shown keen interest in India’s weapon systems and platforms so that the expo provides a boost to overall defence manufacturing capabilities in the country and to its export potential,” said the ministry.