Show Report: Defexpo 2014
Defexpo Underscores Global Partnerships
THE EIGHTH EDITION OF Defexpo 2014, India’s biennial land, naval and internal homeland security exhibition, which was held from February 6 to 9 in New Delhi was important as it highlighted India’s determination to partner with global companies. Increasingly, the event is coming to be seen where more than selling, companies are interested in joint ventures, partnerships etc to take their business forward. One of the key takeaways from the event was that Indian indigenisation is inevitable and for high-end technologies the answer is foreign collaborations.
SP Guide Publications, which is celebrating its Golden Jubilee, yet again collaborated with the show organisers as the key official media partner. Collaborations, within and without, are the way forward.
Inaugurating Defexpo, the Minister of Defence A.K. Antony underscored the importance of global partnerships to help accelerate the pace of indigenisation in the defence industry. And the global companies are also moving in that direction, entering into artnerships, joint ventures, agreements, memorandum of understanding, etc, with Indian companies. They want to be here for the long haul and not just as a seller.
While inaugurating Defexpo, Defence Minister A.K. Antony said these initiatives would help in the long run to bring down the dependence on imports from over 70 per cent to below 50 per cent, maybe in the next five to 10 years.
India’s defence market is huge and according to some estimates it is over $150 billion by 2020 and this huge market is attracting players from all over. This year Defexpo attracted 624 companies from 30 countries in the four-day event. Of the 624 companies, 256 were Indian and 368 foreign. The number of Indian companies has gone down from 335 in 2012 as this time companies which are only based in India have been allowed to seek financial concessions of nearly 57 per cent under the category. As many as 30 countries are display- ing their equipment and 12 of them have their own “country pavilions”.
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) was the largest domestic exhibitor which displayed its full range unmanned aerial vehicles and tanks. The largest overseas participation was from Russia, the largest arms supplier to India, with 37 companies followed by France at 24 and Israel at 21. The highlight included the Tor M2KM air defence missile system, which can detect and process up to 48 targets. The Russian ADS assault rifle, claimed to be the most modern in Russia, also was on display.
Expanding joint development and production efforts on weaponry and military equipment were among the key topics during talks between Rosoboronexport (part of the Rostec State Corporation) and Indian partners at Defexpo.
The Defence Minister said the exhibition provided foreign companies an opportunity to tie up with Indian companies to meet their targets under the defence offset policy, which is being modified to allow participation of more firms. The companies have 20,000 crore worth of commitments to fulfil up to 2022. The 26 per cent FDI cap which exists on defence purchases, he stated would be relaxed by the Government in case a vendor brings in state-of-the-art technology. Indian companies had contributed 40,000 crore worth of equipment to the defence sector in 2012-13.
Indian Guns Boom
The artillery gun segment also caught attention as India has embarked upon modernisation of the same and the market is said to be the size of $6 billion. Artillery guns from several Indian companies, Tatas, Kalyani Group, the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB), DRDO, etc were presented. The OFB highlighted ‘Dhanush’ a 155mm 45-calibre gun with a range of over 38 km. The DRDO showcased, among other things, the Advanced Towed Artillery Gun (ATAG) project, to build a more powerful 155mm, 52-calibre gun. This gun will range out to 60 km, with a weight of just 12 tonnes. The Kalyani Group’s Bharat Forge has built its own gun, the Bharat-2. The group, which has tied up with Elbit Systems of Israel, showcased its 130-155mm fully upgraded gun system. BAE systems had a full team to explain the features of its M777 howitzer and other products.
DRDO also unveiled a 130mm self-propelled gun system, built based on the Arjun tank’s Mark 1 chassis. DRDO also highlighted its network-centric warfare system developed for the Navy.
TATA GROUP DOMINATES
Tata companies were present in full strength. The key Tata companies which have programmes related to defence include TAL Manufacturing Solutions; Tata Advanced Systems; Tata Consultancy Services; Tata Elxsi; Tata Industrial Services; Tata Motors; Tata Power – Strategic Engineering Division; and Titan Company. Tata Motors displayed a new wheeled armoured amphibious platform and light armoured multi-purpose vehicles. The wheeled armoured vehicle, developed with DRDO, has interchangeable snap-in modules. The vehicle is integrated with the Raytheon-Lockheed Martin Javelin anti-tank guided missile system.
L&T UNVEILS NEW MOUNTED GUN SYSTEM
Larsen & Toubro, which has tied up with Nexter of France, unveiled a new version of its Caesar 155mm mounted gun system. The French company teamed up with the Indian companies L&T and Ashok Leyland Defence to offer a system fitted to Ashok Leyland’s six-wheel Super Stallion chassis.
ISRAEL DISPLAYS WIDE RANGE OF CAPABILITIES
Israel was represented by 21 companies, the third largest contingent after Russia and France. Israel Aerospace Industries presented a wide range of strategic systems, including mission aircraft, a variety of UAVs, advanced radar systems, air defence systems and command and control gear for various theatres, including cyber.
Rafael displayed the Spike anti-tank guided munition, which is being considered for purchase by the Indian Army. The Iron Dome short-range artillery system was also on display. In addition, the company displayed the Python-5, Derby and MiC4AD air defence missiles.
IAI OFFERS A WIDE RANGE OF STRATEGIC SYSTEMS
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) presented a wide range of strategic systems, including a range of mission aircraft, various UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles), advanced radar systems, L/MRSAM air defence systems, command and control systems for different levels of warfare including cyber and communication systems.
In the field of homeland security (HLS) and protection of maritime economic exclusion zones (EEZ), IAI showcased its integrated maritime systems including UAVs, sensors, radars, and command and control systems. In addition, IAI presented an unmanned surface vessel (USV), which supports a wide range of applications for HLS and EEZ protection, including harbour security, patrol of coastal and territorial waters, surface security, electronic warfare, coastal and offshore platform and infrastructure protection (including oil rigs and pipelines). IAI also displayed its advanced BMS (battle management system) for ground forces.
LOCKHEED MARTIN FOCUSED ON THREE PROGRAMMES
Lockheed Martin has several programmes and capabilities on offer to India such as the guided multiple launch rocket system (GMLRS); Hellfire II modular missile system; unmanned aerial vehicles ranging from micro-UAVs such as the Stalker or the Desert Hawk III to larger platforms like the Reaper; the Aegis combat system, etc. The company is clear in its strategy—to keep the Indian market aware of these programmes and to work in partnership with Indian companies to expand its presence here.
MBDA HIGHLIGHTS RANGE OF CAPABILITIES
MBDA, fully integrated European company, had a strong presence at Defexpo and had several meetings with a few Indian companies and officials on taking the partnership further. MBDA displayed its Mistral MANPAD system awaiting a decision on the Indian Army’s very short-range air defence system (VSHORADS) programme.
MBDA also showcased the entire family of Exocet missiles, which included the surface, submarine and air-launched variants. The Exocet SM39 has been ordered for India’s Scorpene submarines. The company also had discussions with the Indian Army to offer its Missile Moyenne Portée (MMP) anti-tank guided weapon (ATGW). The company has developed the MMP missile to meet French Army requirements, receiving a contract for 2,850 missiles in December 2013 and it believes that it will be a good fit for the Indian requirement.
With discussions having been concluded and a decision expected shortly to proceed with a short-range surface to air weapon to fill a recognised capability gap within the Indian Air Force and Navy, a full scale model of the SR-SAM missile took pride of place on the company’s stand. Often referred to as MAITRI, this programme sees MBDA supporting the DRDO and represents the cornerstone of MBDA’s long-term partnership and cooperation strategy in India. Displayed for the first time in India, the weapon system represents a major advance for the battlefield. This weapon, MMP is being developed as a highly advanced successor to the successful MILAN with a range of important features placing it well beyond the capabilities of the competition.
RAFAEL TECHNOLOGIES FOR INDIA
Rafael’s Litening G4 had been selected following an Indian Air Force (IAF) call for tenders for 164 pods to equip its entire fleet of fighter-bombers. Deliveries are slated for end of 2014 and when completed, the IAF will have about 220 Litening pods. The Rafael stand also featured the Reccelite reconnaissance pod, which retains the outer casing of the Litening but replaces certain components (including the laser designator) with higher-performance sensor and optics.
The IAF plans to fit the new Litening G4 to its Jaguars, MiG-27s, Su-30MKIs and Mirage 2000s, the latter having been equipped several years ago with the earlier-generation Litening. Rafael also stated that it was in discussions with Dassault on the possible integration of Litening on the Rafale, which India is acquiring 126 aircraft for the IAF.
Rafael also indicates that integration of the Derby and Python 5 missiles on India’s LCA Tejas combat aircraft should be complete by the year-end. Rafael team at Defexpo explained that its Spike missiles and the Spike Team Trainer were being used by the NATO forces, indicating its combat capabilities.
Rafael specialises in current and future land systems. In addition to the traditional battlefield, Rafael’s combat-proven land sys- tems are optimal for the ever-growing arena of urban warfare. These include Rafael’s Spike missiles, remote controlled weapon stations, trophy active protection system for armoured vehicles, air defence systems (Iron Dome, David’s Sling, Spyder) etc.
ELBIT INTRODUCES UGS SYSTEM FOR BORDER PROTECTION
Elbit Systems introduced for the first time, in India, its UGS system for continuous force or border protection using a variety of advanced sensors—The “Treasures”. The system was presented at the Defexpo.
Elbit Systems introduced the system components and explained that it is based on a combination of four main sensors – A sand sensor sensitive to vibrations, an acoustic sensor (both of these are set in the ground), a miniature tactical radar which can “cover” an area at up to an angle of 60 and a still camera that launches photographs according to a predetermined rate. The sensors are connected to command and control and communication systems, which process the information and transmit it to the back post.
PHOTONIS OFFERS NIGHT VISION TECHNOLOGIES
Photonis presented its latest night vision sensor innovations at Defexpo. With deep knowledge of night vision, Photonis offered to upgrade the Indian Army and Special Forces with modern night vision technology such as night sights for rifles, night vision equipment for armoured and mechanised formations. Photonis displayed its combat proven, ITAR free XR5 and XD-4 image intensifier tubes, with auto-gating. It also featured the black and white ONYX variant that is used in many night vision applications.
Photonis also showcased its digital night vision solutions Nocturn, a digital extreme low-light CMOS camera, especially designed for high performance under both daylight and low-light level conditions (up to light level 3). Its small size, weight and power (SWaP) also make this camera module ideal for integration into aerial, mobile and hand-held surveillance systems.
SAAB AND KALYANI GROUP IN PARTNERSHIP
Defence and security company Saab and the Kalyani Group, one of India’s leading hightechnology multinationals, entered into a strategic alliance to partner and address key Indian Army air defence projects, including the VSHORAD and SRSAM requirements.
The teaming combines Saab’s many decades as a leading developer and supplier of proven high-technology radar and missile systems, with the rich engineering and manufacturing capabilities of Kalyani. The agreement was signed by Saab’s CEO and President Håkan Buskhe and Baba Kalyani, Chairman of the Kalyani Group, during Defexpo in New Delhi.
Baba Kalyani stated: “This coming together of the Kalyani Group and Saab is a very important step in our journey to address the indigenisation efforts of the Indian defence sector. The partnership between the Kalyani Group and Saab will leverage our strong innovation-based manufacturing capability, coupled with Saab’s technical expertise and leadership in air defence systems, to deliver stateof-the-art, world leading solutions to the Indian Army’s air defence programmes.”
Håkan Bushke again expressed his continuing support for India’s ambitions noting that “Saab has made a long-term commitment to India and is keen to support India’s efforts to create an indigenous defence industry. This tie-up with Kalyani Group marks a significant step in that direction, where the two parties will serve India’s air defence missile system requirements through indigenous production and transfer of technology.”
The agreement will initially focus on the VSHORAD and SRSAM programmes for India. Saab is offering a system based on the RBS 70 NG missile system for VSHORAD, delivering a highly accurate, man-portable system with 24 x 7 all-target capability that is immune to countermeasures. For the SRSAM requirement Saab is offering a unique combination of its Giraffe AMB 3-D radar and the BAMSE advanced groundbased air defence missile system.
RAYTHEON’S NEXT-GEN SOLUTIONS
Raytheon delivers next-generation solutions to its partners in India in various areas such as integrated air and missile defence; sonar, navigation, integrated bridge and shipboard combat systems; land and warfare systems; strategic intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; air traffic management; and maritime, border, cyber and civil security.
At Defexpo, Raytheon showcased these solutions and each of these solutions help support critical systems, promote economic growth and strengthen a relationship that is based on more than six decades of innovation. Raytheon officials mentioned that the way forward in India was continued partnership and it was here for the long haul.
The company made an announcement of its testing of Excalibur lb precisionguided artillery shells during an extensive test event in Arizona. The first article test validates performance and reliability and moves the 155mm projectile closer to fullrate production, the company said.
BEL, TEXTRON SYSTEMS SIGN MOU FOR MICROOBSERVER UGS SYSTEM
Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Textron Systems, a Textron Inc company, as a first step toward providing the Textron Systems MicroObserver unattended ground sensor (UGS) system to Indian security agencies.
The MicroObserver UGS system brings a new level of covertness, ease of use and performance for border security, surveillance and critical infrastructure protection missions. Textron Systems reports that its MicroObserver system has been fielded around the world in support of these applications.
“We’re looking forward to working with BEL to bring this critical surveillance system to Indian Government agencies that will benefit from its wide range of proven capabilities,” explained Ian Walsh, Textron Defense Systems’ Senior Vice President and General Manager.
“Bharat Electronics Limited expects the benefits of this system to filter down to various agencies responsible for the management of the Indian borders, thus fulfilling its overall objective of bringing in cuttingedge technologies to India,” said P.C. Jain, Director (Marketing), BEL.
On the occasion of SP Guide’s 50th anniversary, many top officials from MoD, armed Forces and senior excutives from the defence industry came to wish and congratulate the company. Amongst them was Ratan N Tata. (Left) SP Guide Publications CMD and Editor-in-Chief Jayant Baranwal welcoming former Chairman of
Tata Group Ratan Tata to SP’s Booth. (Right) Ratan Tata congratulated and offered his best wishes on SP’s 50 years celebration message board.
Defence Minister A.K. Antony inaugurating Defexpo 2014 at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi, on February 6, 2014