In­di­geni­sa­tion, the Mantra at De­f­expo 2012

As the In­dian de­fence forces and home­land se­cu­rity ac­qui­si­tion needs are grow­ing, there is en­hanced mo­men­tum in de­fence pro­duc­tion and pro­cure­ment. Hence, the at the seventh edition of De­f­expo In­dia 2012 was to en­hance pri­vate sec­tor par­tic­i­pa­tion and rev

SP's LandForces - - SHOW REPORT - SP’S TEAM

THAT IN­DIA WILL CONTINUE to be one of the big­gest de­fence mar­kets for some time to come is ob­vi­ous to the world. Orig­i­nal equip­ment man­u­fac­tur­ers (OEMs) head­ing to In­dia in droves is a nat­u­ral corol­lary and De­f­expo 2012 made an em­phatic state­ment to that ef­fect.

De­f­expo 2012, jointly or­gan­ised by the Min­istry of De­fence and the Fed­er­a­tion of In­dian Cham­bers of Com­merce and In­dus­try (FICCI), brought 567 ex­hibitors from 32 coun­tries (up from 412 in 2010) for the coun­try’s big­gest-ever land, naval and home­land se­cu­rity sys­tems ex­hi­bi­tion at Pra­gati Maidan, New Delhi, from March 29 to April 1.

The 32 coun­tries in­cluded Rus­sia, France, Is­rael, Bel­gium, Bul­garia, Canada, Cyprus, Czech Repub­lic, Fin­land, Ger­many, Greece, Hun­gary, Italy, Ja­pan, Repub­lic of Korea, Nether­lands, Nor­way, Panama, Poland, Sin­ga­pore, Slo­vak Repub­lic, Spain, Swe­den, Switzer­land, South Africa, Tur­key, USA and the UK. There was strong pres­ence from Is­rael which had taken the most space at the show with 1,293 square me­tres and Rus­sia had the high­est num­ber of com­pa­nies (37). The US and France had con­sid­er­able rep­re­sen­ta­tion.

In­dia Fo­cus

As the In­dian de­fence forces and home­land se­cu­rity ac­qui­si­tion needs are grow­ing, there is en­hanced mo­men­tum in de­fence pro­duc­tion and pro­cure­ment. Hence, the mantra at the seventh edition of De­f­expo In­dia 2012 was to en­hance pri­vate sec­tor par­tic­i­pa­tion and re­vi­talise the pub­lic sec­tor to ac­cel­er­ate de­fence pro­duc­tion in In­dia. The agenda for this was set by De­fence Min­is­ter A.K. Antony who in­au­gu­rated the event.

The ed­i­to­rial team of SP Guide Pub­li­ca­tions, which spoke to a num­ber of OEMs and de­fence of­fi­cials, found that they were not only en­thused by the mar­ket prospects, but also were ready for the long haul. Im­por­tantly, they found that De­f­expo had ma­tured over the years and the qual­ity of ex­hi­bi­tion and con­fer­ences had ‘upped’ con­sid­er­ably.

Though a sub­stan­tial num­ber of for­eign OEMs were present, the re­frain was to in­crease the level of in­di­geni­sa­tion, with or with­out trans­fer of tech­nol­ogy. Antony was em­phatic that In­dia’s thrust area was high level of in­di­geni­sa­tion in de­fence. “Our em­pha­sis is on pub­lic-pri­vate sec­tor part- ner­ship in the de­fence in­dus­try. En­abling pol­icy frame­work has been put in place to de­velop in­dige­nous ca­pa­bil­i­ties through har­ness­ing the po­ten­tial and util­is­ing the re­sources avail­able both in the pub­lic and the pri­vate sec­tor. Our de­fence in­dus­try is now open up to 100 per cent for In­dian pri­vate sec­tor par­tic­i­pa­tion, while for­eign di­rect in­vest­ment (FDI) is per­mis­si­ble up to 26 per cent.”

De­fence Out­sourc­ing Hub

With the in­tro­duc­tion of the De­fence Off­set pol­icy, In­dia is grad­u­ally be­com­ing a key out­sourc­ing hub for the global de­fence in­dus­try. “De­f­expo demon­strates our ca­pa­bil­ity to de­sign, de­velop and de­liver a wide range of mil­i­tary and civil prod­ucts and ser­vices to meet the strin­gent spec­i­fi­ca­tions and that too at the most com­pet­i­tive price. We are open to en­ter into mu­tu­ally ben­e­fi­cial agree­ments with friendly coun­tries in the field of crit­i­cal and state-of-the-art fu­tur­is­tic de­fence tech­nolo­gies. We would wel­come all such pro­pos­als in our en­deav­our to mod­ernise our armed forces.”

The Min­is­ter of State for De­fence Dr M.M. Pal­lam Raju said that the in­tro­duc­tion of the new cat­e­gory of ac­qui­si­tion, ‘Buy and Make (In­dian)’, is a ma­jor shift en­abling In­dian in­dus­tries to en­ter into joint ven­tures with for­eign OEMs. The route opened up ways for tech­nol­ogy trans­fer.

Launches, MoUs, JVs and Mega Deals

De­f­expo 2012 pre­sented a per­fect plat­form for com­pa­nies to show­case their ca­pa­bil­i­ties and fur­ther their busi­ness. The seventh edition saw a slew of launches, mem­o­randa of un­der­stand­ing, joint ven­tures and other mega deals.

Here we present some of the ma­jor an­nounce­ments at the show. In­dia’s De­fence Re­search and De­vel­op­ment Or­gan­i­sa­tion (DRDO) launched about 70 prod­ucts (some of which had dual ap­pli­ca­tion). It had on dis­play its well-known mis­sile sys­tems, un­manned aerial ve­hi­cles and sol­dier sup­port sys­tems, ex­plo­sive de­tec­tion kits, etc. The coun­try ex­pects more from DRDO and there seems to be some prom­ise on that front.

DRDO signed a mem­o­ran­dum of un­der­stand­ing with the Bharat Elec­tron­ics Lim­ited (BEL) for de­vel­op­ment of In­dian au­to­matic iden­ti­fi­ca­tion sys­tem (IAIS) for coastal se­cu­rity. It is a satel­lite data ter­mi­nal which will be jointly de­vel­oped by the De­fence Elec­tron­ics Ap­pli­ca­tions Lab­o­ra­tory (DEAL), Dehradun and BEL.

Mahin­dras En­ter into JVs

Pri­vate sec­tor is mak­ing fast in­roads into de­fence pro­duc­tion and many big play­ers are bet­ting big on it. Mahin­dra & Mahin­dra Lim­ited an­nounced two joint ven­tures— first with Is­rael’s Rafael Ad­vanced De­fense Sys­tems and the other with Tele­phon­ics Cor­po­ra­tion, a sub­sidiary of the North Amer­ica’s Grif­fon Cor­po­ra­tion.

Tata’s Show­stop­per

The Tatas had many prod­ucts on dis­play in­clud­ing the LPTA 5252 12X12 Pra­haar mis­sile sys­tem, the 8X8 Pinaka con­tainer, the 8x8 and 6x6 car­rier and the mine pro­tected ve­hi­cle (MPV). How­ever, the show­stop­per was the Xenon Recce 4X4, a mul­ti­pur­pose ve­hi­cle that will serve as a gen­eral ser­vice, troop car­rier, es­cort, recce or a weapon mount ve­hi­cle.

MKU Ties Up with Ger­man Firm

MKU, In­dia’s lead­ing man­u­fac­turer and sup­plier of bal­lis­tic pro­tec­tion and sur­veil­lance equip­ment for armed forces, para­mil­i­tary forces and po­lice world­wide an­nounced a 50:50 joint ven­ture with EIS Elec­tron­ics GMBH from Ger­many to form EIS Elec­tron­ics In­dia Pvt. Ltd. The com­pa­nies will in­vest $5 mil­lion (`25 crore) to man­u­fac­ture ca­ble har­ness prod­ucts.

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