This issue of Naval Forces coincides with India’s International Land, Naval and Internal Homeland Security Systems exhibition named Defexpo India 2018; which is being held in Chennai from April 11 to 14. DefExpo 2018 for the first time and will project India’s Defence manufacturing capabilities to the world. This is reflected in the tagline for the Expo, ‘India: The Emerging Defence Manufacturing Hub’.
DefExpo 2018 will brand India as a defence exporter of several defence systems and components for all three Services - Army, Navy and Air Force. While showcasing strengths of India’s substantial public sector, it will also uncover India’s growing private industry and spreading MSME base for components and sub-systems. As the DefExpo is being held on the sea-shore, it provides the Indian Navy to brandish its domestic design and manufacturing capabilities including display of frigates, corvettes and other ships.
The exhibition will also unveil India’s capability in manufacturing Scorpene class submarine. Kattupalli shipyard of L&T is only 40 km from Chennai and visitors to DefExpo can easily visit the same.
As per the directions of Raksha Mantri Smt Nirmala Sitharaman, the work for preparing Detailed Project Report for the Tamil Nadu Defence Quad has been initiated by Department of Defence Production in the Ministry of Defence. The corridor, which is organized as a quadrilateral will extend from Chennai, Hosur, Coimbatore, Salem and Tiruchirappalli. It is expected that with government opening up new opportunities for industry in defence sector, the Tamil Nadu Defence Quad will provide a major opportunity to the vibrant manufacturing sector in the State.
The lead article on Indian Navy’s(IN’s) Acquisition and Modernisation Plans where the author reviewing the progress on surface, sub surface and aerial platforms, comes to the conclusion that, despite the severe setbacks especially in submarine build-up plan causing serious capability gaps, IN’s acquisition and modernisation plans, spanning over three plan periods 2005-2022 are well on track, in spite of some prestigious projects having missed the delivery milestones.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has indicated a maritime vision for Indian –Pacific Region and the concept of Indo-Pacific security. He is convinced that India’s development depends upon the freedom of sea lanes of the Indian and Pacific Oceans. In his policy of not only ’look East but also act East’, he has reached out to other maritime nations in the region like Japan, US and Australia. Thus a review of the Indo-US Maritime cooperation is included. There is an update on Mine Countermeasures Vessels and naval rotary UAVs. There are also write ups on Exercise Paschim Lehar which was aimed at extensively testing and revalidating the operational plans and manoeuvres in a hostile maritime scenario on India’s Western seaboard; Indo-French Naval Exercise – Varuna- 2018, the importance of which was underlined by Emmanuel Macron, the President of the Republic of France when he said that, “We want India as our first strategic partner here, and we want to be India’s first strategic partner in Europe, and even the western world;” and MILAN 2018 with the theme of ‘Friendship Across the Seas’. The issue just about wraps up with the News Digest and flag rank postings. Happy reading and meet you all at Hall 6 Stall 6.2.10.