New Delhi: India is all-set to showcase its capability as a major defence manufacturing hub at the DefExpo 2018 which is scheduled to be held in Chennai between April 11 and 14. In a press release on Monday, the Defence Ministry stated that the expo will project India’s ability to manufacture and export several defence systems and components for all three Services – Army, Navy and Air Force.
In prime focus at the expo would be Hindustan Aeronautics Limited’s various flying platforms including domestically designed and manufactured fourth-generation Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) – Tejas; Advanced Light Helicopter – Dhruv, and Dornier civilian aircraft. Naval design capabilities too would be highlighted. “As the DefExpo is being held on sea-shore, along the East Coast road enroute Chennai to Mahabalipuram, it provides Indian Navy to brandish its domestic design and manufacturing capabilities. India will proudly present its Naval designing capabilities in shipbuilding,” read the release from the Defence Ministry.
Land systems too will get a large share of the spotlight with 155mm Advanced Towed Artillery Gun (ATAG) all-set to be unveiled at the expo. Designed by Defence Research and Development Organisation in partnership with Kalyani Group, Tata Power and OFBs, it is the first time India will have its own ATAG. Dhanush – a 155mm artillery gun – will also be on display. Other highlights for the Army include India’s tank-manufacturing abilities courtesy MBT Arjun, T90 and T-72 and Bridge Laying Tanks (BLTs).
The country’s missile and rocket manufacturing capabilities would be showcased with BrahMos missiles, Akash missile systems and Pinaka rockets.
The expo will also seek to promote domestic private industry and aero-components industry at a time when the government is looking to reduce dependence on imports and instead, increasing abilities to manufacture for forces within the country as part of ‘Make in India’ initiative. The country has one of the largest defence budgets at Rs 2.95 trillion with imports eating into a large chunk of the allocated money. In the face of new and dynamic challenges from Pakistan and especially China, defence spendings will continue to dominate the country’s overall expenditure but manufacturing domestically may bring costs down.