Def Expo-2018: Some Glimpse

In the recent past DEFEXPOs has become a political tool rather than its intended purpose. In the recently held DEFEXPO at Chennai the participation and footfall from the stake holder from industry was luke warm. However for the local residents of Chennai, region it was a life time experience to see the live demonstration and Ship ride.

The manufacturers showcased indigenously developed military helicopters, aircraft, missiles and rockets, submarines, frigates and corvettes. The DRDO's exhibits include the Tejas fighter jets, advanced towed artillery gun systems, Nirbhay missile system with launcher, MBT Arjun Mk-I tank, Astra missile, low level transportable radar system, medium power radar system and Varunastra heavy weight anti submarine electric torpedo. OFB in association with BEML & BEL showcased an indigenous 155mm 52 Cal Mounted Gun System. BEL unveils its indigenously developed 'Drone Guard' solution. The company also launched 3D Air Surveillance Radar. A Multi-Function Active Phased Array Radar with Solid state Transceiver for Land and Naval applications.

The Larsen and Toubro-Nexter consortium showcased their artillery systems.
For the first time Tata Aerospace and Defence (Tata A&D) show cased their capabilities as a single unified entity, in aerospace and defence sector.

MOU Galore
During the expo 40 MoUs were signed, including 25 agreements sealed with foreign countries. Bharat Electronics, Mazagon Docks and Goa Shipyard had signed 16 MoUs including 11 with foreign countries like Ukraine, Israel, the US, Bhutan, Germany and France. Seven deals were sealed by Indian private companies with foreign manufacturers for jointly developing various platforms. Seven agreements were signed with Russia to indigenously manufacture spare parts, get technical and logistic support for systems and platforms from Russia that are in service with the Indian armed forces.

Some of the joint ventures, memorandum of understanding and agreements were signed amongst the foreign and Indian companies.

  • Boeing has tied up with HAL and Mahindra combined for manufacturing fighter aircraft.
  • Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and Mahindra Defence Systems Limited signed a MoU to jointly address emerging opportunities in the domestic market and the export market.
  • Mahindra has signed a MoU with Aeronautics to manufacture naval shipborne Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) Orbiter UAVs in India.
  • Mahindra Group signed a MoU with Japanese firm ShinMaywa Industries Limited, to provide service support for Amphibious Aircraft US-2 in India.
  • Goa Shipyard Ltd (GSL) signed an agreement with MTU Friedrichshafen to manufacture MTU Series 8,000 marine engines.
  • Cyient and Israel-based BlueBird entered into a joint venture to offer field-proven unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) systems to Indian defence, paramilitary, security and police forces.
  • MKU and EDIC-Caracal signed a MoU for strategic co-operation for the manufacture of the advanced CAR817AR rifles in India.
  • MKU Limited and Thales signed two MoUs for strategic co-operation in the development and production of optronic devices and F90Close Quarter Battle (CQB) Rifle for soldiers.

  • Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and Larsen & Toubro signed a MoU to share their expertise in design, development, engineering and manufacturing to develop and produce products and systems.
  • Kalyani Group and BAE Systems formed an alliance to develop Air Defence Guns for the security forces and agreed to partner for "transfer of technology" for developing the Air Defence Guns and Ammunition.
  • 'Kalyani Rafael Advanced Systems (KRAS)' a joint venture between Kalyani Strategic Systems and Rafael Advanced Defence Systems of Israel announced to expand its product profile. The JV will now venture into the space of Missile systems with the New Generation Precision Guided Munitions (PGM), Air Defense systems and capabilities for MRSAM, LLQRM and QRSAM programs.
  • Goa Shipyard Limited and French Naval-Group signed a 'Letter of Intent' to expand and develop their partnership in design and production of all shore-based simulators for Scorpene-class submarines.

General sentiments were if India is to emerge defence manufacturing hub and self - reliant in defence equipment it must create innovative ecosystem in defence manufacturing.

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