NAMEXPO to be a biennial event
The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) ambitiously organised India’s first Naval and Maritime Exposition (NAMEXPO) 2013 from September 23 to 27. While the focused effort has to be appreciated, there were quite a number of hiccups and one of them being it was stretched out over five days and none of the participants had any steam left after the second day. The CII needs to rethink on the duration, now that it has decided NAMEXPO would be a biennial event.
One other major let down was that it was low key participation, both from national and international companies. Being held in Kochi and Cochin Shipyard was conspicuous by its absence and so were major countries such as the US and UK. Only Russia dominated and the Rosoboronexport Deputy Director General Viktor M. Komardin made it a point to ask, “Where are the other countries? See India and Russia are genetically friendly.” Besides companies, the lack of attendance by the Defence Minister A.K. Antony whose State is Kerala and the Naval Chief and other to decision-makers came as a dampener.
There were 30-odd exhibitors and there was mixed reaction from them, some praising the focused environment, some stating that it had not helped in business development. But then these are teething years.
Saab’s strong portfolio of naval products
Saab, which was a key sponsor, was enthused by the event and it presented a spectrum of naval products covering the air, surface, underwater and coastal security domains that provide naval forces complete command over the seas. Saab’s portfolio of products included the Sea Gripen, 9LV SAT, 9LV CMS, 9LV FCS, AUV 62 MR Spurt, Sea Giraffe, Saab 340 MSA, Naval training and AIS.
Saab India Country Chairperson Lars-Olof Lindgren said: “This event is a good forum for us to meet with the relevant stakeholders in the naval domain. The main theme for Saab for this NAMEXPO is ‘Teaming Up With India’ on naval systems. We believe that partnership is the way forward to work in India and to be able to fully support the market.”
Commodore (Retd) Jagdish Anand, Senior Vice PresidentDomain of Saab India, said: “Kochi is the nerve centre of naval training and we have had good audience.” As regards Saab’s offerings to the Indian market, he said: “We are very bullish” though the Indian procurement process is ‘very slow’.
Rosoboronexport puts up good show
Enterprises affiliated with the United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC) – Rubin Central Design Bureau for Marine Engineering, St. Petersburg-based Malakhit Marine Engineering Bureau and Sudoexport – as well as the Mars Research & Production Association and the Aquamarin Company displayed their products under the aegis of Rosoboronexport, part of the Rostec State Corporation.
“We work closely with our Indian partners in the naval area and hope that the new specialised exhibition will be a good platform to showcase our capabilities. Today, India has set ambitious goals to strengthen the national naval forces and Russia, as its strategic ally, is ready to comprehensively cooperate to effectively implement these plans,” said Viktor Komardin.
Turkey’s Dearsan Shipyard on exploratory mission
For the first time ever, Dearsan Shipyard was participating in an Indian exhibition only to ‘understand the Indian market’. Deniz Esrefoglu of Dearsan said the visit has been a truly learning experience and we are keen on entering the Indian market which is huge, both in military and civil segments.
Dearsan Shipyard has constructed and delivered numerous vessels including specialised and sophisticated vessels like naval combatants, mega yachts, tug boats and chemical tankers for leading companies in the world and the Turkish Navy. At the show it presented Tuzla class patrol boats; fast intervention boats; fast passenger ferry; tug boats and
Selex ES debuts Miysis DIRCM
Selex ES, a Finmeccanica company, brought to Kochi Miysis DIRCM for the first time after its recent launch. Said to be the lightest countermeasure system in the world, the product provides all-round infrared countermeasure protection for large and small, rotary- and fixed-wing platforms. It is the latest generation of Directed Infrared Countermeasure (DIRCM) system from Selex ES and the company hopes to capture substantial market in the near future.
The company presented Seaspray 7000E and 7500E multi-mode surveillance radar which uses multiple low power, is solid state transmit/receive modules and makes them highly reliable. Selex also put on show the Picosar, compact, lightweight airborne ground surveillance radar with allweather capability for unmanned aerial systems, fixed-wing and helicopter platforms.
Low-key Indian participation
The major exhibitors at the show were Defence Research and Development Organisation, Larsen and Toubro Engineering division, BrahMos Aerospace, Tata Power, GRSE, among others. The Kerala Minister for Ports K. Babu inaugurated the expo and Vice-Admiral Satish Soni, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Southern Naval Command, who spoke at the inaugural said the country had no choice except to give impetus to indigenisation. Warship construction in the country had come a long way, meeting the requirements of the Navy. However, indigenisation must not be at the cost of critical technology, like propulsion systems.
The expo had a grand start marked by the berthing of indigenous stealth frigate INS Satpura and a scintillating operational demonstration by marine commandos on the waterfront.
Minister for Ports, Fisheries & Excise, Government of Kerala,
K. Babu lighting of lamp at the NAMEXPO 2013