De­f­expo Ex­plores ‘Make in In­dia’ Pos­si­bil­i­ties

De­f­expo had at­tracted 1,055 com­pa­nies com­pared to 624 in the pre­vi­ous edi­tion and the net ex­hi­bi­tion area was up from 27,515 square me­tres to 40,725 square me­tres, an in­crease of 48 per cent

SP's LandForces - - FRONT PAGE - R. Chan­drakanth

De­f­expo had at­tracted 1,055 com­pa­nies com­pared to 624 in the pre­vi­ous edi­tion and the net ex­hi­bi­tion area was up from 27,515 square me­tres to 40,725 square me­tres, an in­crease of 48 per cent.

QUITOL IN GOA MAY be back of be­yond. But from March 27 to 31, 2016, it beck­oned those in de­fence and aerospace to the ninth edi­tion of De­f­expo 2016, the most def­i­nite land, naval and home­land se­cu­rity ex­hi­bi­tion. The place was trans­formed from scratch into an ex­hi­bi­tion area, though with hic­cups, and it sig­nalled to the world that there is so much space for de­vel­op­ment in In­dia and it can hap­pen any­where, not just in big cities.

De­f­expo 2016 at­tracted a record num­ber of par­tic­i­pants re­flect­ing in­dus­try sen­ti­ments to In­dia’s march to­wards in­di­geni­sa­tion, de­vel­op­ment and an eco­nomic pow­er­house. This edi­tion at­tracted 1,055 ex­hibitors, up from 624 in the last edi­tion held at Pra­gati Maidan in New Delhi.

In­au­gu­rat­ing De­f­expo 2016, the Min­is­ter of De­fence Manohar Par­rikar said: “The huge num­ber of ex­hibitors is en­cour­ag­ing. Maybe Goa has some­thing to do with it or may be ‘Make in In­dia’ ini­tia­tive has some­thing to do with it.” He gave a hint that the suc­ces­sive edi­tions may be held in Goa and asked the Chief Min­is­ter of Goa to look into as­pects such as road widen­ing.

Do­mes­tic and ex­port mar­kets

Par­rikar an­nounced that the De­fence Pro­cure­ment Pro­ce­dure (DPP) had been tweaked and the lat­est up­dates had been put up on the Min­istry of De­fence’s web­site. “This will boost the agenda of ‘Make in In­dia.’ It will cre­ate a de­fence in­dus­try net­work not just for do­mes­tic con­sump­tion but also ex­ports. sim­i­larly, there were is­sues re­lated to off­sets which would be tack­led in a few months, all to cre­ate a con­ducive de­fence industrial base.”

Grow­ing from strength to strength

The Sec­re­tary of De­fence Pro­duc­tion, Ashok Kumar Gupta, men­tioned that this edi­tion had at­tracted 1,055 com­pa­nies com­pared to 624 in the pre­vi­ous edi­tion and the net ex­hi­bi­tion area was up from 27,515 square me­tres to 40,725 square me­tres, an in­crease of 48 per cent. The gross area of ex­hi­bi­tion has in­creased over three­folds to 1,50,000 square me­tres against 45,000 square me­tres in 2014.

The ex­hi­bi­tion show­cased In­dia’s ca­pa­bil­i­ties in land, naval and se­cu­rity sys­tems as well as its emer­gence as an at­trac­tive des­ti­na­tion for in­vest­ment in de­fence sec­tor. The event pro­vided a plat­form for forg­ing al­liances and joint ven­tures in the de­fence in­dus­try.

About 47 coun­tries from dif­fer­ent con­ti­nents took part in the ex­hi­bi­tion against 30 coun­tries which par­tic­i­pated in the last edi­tion. The coun­tries were Aus­tralia, Aus­tria, Be­larus, Bel­gium, Brazil, Bul­garia, Canada, Croa­tia, Cyprus, Czech Repub­lic, Egypt, Fin­land, France, Ger­many, Hong Kong, Hun­gary, In­dia, Is­rael, Italy, Ja­pan, Lithua­nia, Malaysia, Nether­lands, New Zealand, Nige­ria, Nor­way, Panama, Poland, Por­tu­gal, Repub­lic of Korea, Ro­ma­nia, Rus­sia, Ser­bia, Sin­ga­pore, Slo­vak Repub­lic, South Africa, Spain, Su­dan, Swe­den, Switzer­land, Tai­wan, Turkey, UK, Ukraine, United Arab Emi­rates and the United States of Amer­ica.

For­eign OEMs mak­ing moves

Though there were no ma­jor industrial part­ner­ship an­nounce­ments at De­f­expo, there cer­tainly was an­tic­i­pa­tion in the air that the gov­ern­ment would fur­ther tweak its poli­cies to push the ‘Make in In­dia’ pro­gramme and also at­tract for­eign play­ers. The biggies such as Air­bus Group, Boe­ing De­fense and Se­cu­rity, BAE Sys­tems, Northrop Grum­man, Lock­heed Martin, Saab and many oth­ers showed the road map they have cre­ated to be part of In­dia’s in­di­geni­sa­tion ef­forts. Is­raeli, Rus­sian, US and French com­pa­nies had strong pres­ence at the event and were busy in con­nect­ing with In­dian com­pa­nies. Boe­ing an­nounced that it would be ex­pand­ing its sus­tain­ment pro­gramme in In­dia con­sid­er­ing that the num­ber of mil­i­tary aircraft ac­qui­si­tions was go­ing up con­sid­er­ably.

While In­dian com­pa­nies such as the Bharat Elec­tron­ics Lim­ited, Mahin­dra, L&T, DRDO in­sti­tu­tions, Ord­nance Fac­tory Board, Al­pha De­sign Tech­nolo­gies, Zen Tech­nolo­gies, Bharat Forge, Ashok Ley­land and oth­ers ex­celled in their pre­sen­ta­tions on how In­dia was ca­pa­ble to de­liver in the de­fence realm, al­beit start­ing a bit late. Many of them have tied up with for­eign com­pa­nies to bring in lat­est tech­nolo­gies.

Bharat Forge, AM Gen­eral tie up

Kalyani Group’s flag­ship com­pany, Bharat Forge Lim­ited, and US-based AM Gen­eral LLC, an­nounced to bid for In­dia’s light spe­cial­ist ve­hi­cle (LSV) pro­gramme us­ing AM Gen­eral’s bat­tle-tested HMMWV as the LSV’s base plat­form — with fi­nal build and pro­duc­tion to take place in In­dia.

“The team­ing be­tween world renowned light tac­ti­cal ve­hi­cle provider AM Gen­eral and Bharat Forge known for man­u­fac­tur­ing ex­cel­lence will lead to pro­vid­ing cost-ef­fec­tive and best-in-class mo­bil­ity so­lu­tions for In­dian armed forces,” said Baba N. Kalyani, Chair­man and Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor of Bharat Forge.

“AM Gen­eral is pleased to be teamed with the Kalyani Group’s Bharat Forge to bring our proven light tac­ti­cal ve­hi­cle so­lu­tions to In­dia for mil­i­tary and para­mil­i­tary re­quire­ments,” said AM Gen­eral Pres­i­dent and CEO Andy Hove. “Bharat Forge has proven to be a world-class man­u­fac­turer, and we look for­ward to work­ing to­gether with them to de­liver com­bat-proven mo­bil­ity so­lu­tions to cus­tomers in In­dia.”

Rock­well Collins cam­paign

Rock­well Collins demon­strated its strong value propo­si­tion for cus­tomers in In­dia with com­mer­cially-based, cus­tomis­able, tech­no­log­i­cally-ad­vanced prod­ucts and sys­tems. “We are fully aligned with the gov­ern­ment’s ‘Make in In­dia’ cam­paign by de­vel­op­ing ca­pa­bil­ity lo­cally while si­mul­ta­ne­ously align­ing with lo­cal strate­gic part­ners,” said Su­nil Raina, Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, In­dia, for Rock­well Collins.

BEL ties up with Rosoboronex­port

The Bharat Elec­tron­ics Ltd (BEL) and Rosoboronex­port (part of Rostec State Cor­po­ra­tion) signed a mem­o­ran­dum of un­der­stand­ing (MoU) un­der which the two will co­op­er­ate for the joint de­vel­op­ment of var­i­ous sub­sys­tems of ma­jor de­fence projects un­der the off­set clause of the De­fence Pro­cure­ment Pro­ce­dure (DPP). The industrial tie-up will cater to the re­quire­ments of all the three arms of the In­dian de­fence forces as well as the civil­ian sec­tor.

M777 how­itzer takes cen­tre stage

BAE Sys­tems’ world-class, bat­tle proven M777 ul­tra light­weight how­itzer, for which In­dia and the United States are in dis­cus­sions for a for­eign mil­i­tary sale (FMS) for the In­dian Army, took cen­tre stage at De­f­expo. The com­pany re­cently reaf­firmed its com­mit­ment to ‘Make in In­dia’ by downs­e­lect­ing Mahin­dra and Mahin­dra as its business part­ner for the pro­posed in-coun­try assem­bly, in­te­gra­tion & test fa­cil­ity. In ad­di­tion to the M777 ul­tra light­weight how­itzer, BAE dis­play in­cluded the Archer 155mm FH 77 BW L52 self-pro­pelled field how­itzer along with a full spec­trum of mu­ni­tions span­ning hy­per ve­loc­ity pro­jec­tile, 81mm mor­tar, 105mm and 155mm ar­tillery am­mu­ni­tion, 120mm tank am­mu­ni­tion and the 3P ammo.

There were many such prod­ucts and so­lu­tions from for­eign OEMs which were new to In­dia and the re­frain at De­f­expo was to get into part­ner­ships as to make In­dia’s dream of de­fence in­di­geni­sa­tion come true.

(Top) De­fence Min­is­ter Manohar Par­rikar at the De­f­expo 2016; (mid­dle) Main Bat­tle Tank Ar­jun Mk II and (above) Ar­moured Fight­ing Ve­hi­cle (Wheeled) demo at the De­f­expo 2016.

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