Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday inaugurated ‘DefExpo 2022’ in Gandhinagar.
With an aim to give impetus to the defence sector, India’s “biggest ever” defence exhibition – DefExpo 2022 is being held in Gandhinagar, Gujarat. This is the 12th edition of the event that has been organised on the theme ‘Path to Pride’.
At the India Pavilion, Prime Minister unveiled HTT-40 – the indigenous trainer aircraft designed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
According to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), the aircraft has state of art contemporary systems and has been designed with pilot-friendly features.
During the programme, Prime Minister also launched Mission DefSpace – to develop innovative solutions for the Defence Forces in the Space domain through industry and startups. At the inauguration ceremony, PM Modi also laid the foundation stone of 52 Wing Air Force Station Deesa.
Speaking at the occasion, PM Modi said, “DefExpo is displaying a grand picture of the New India. It has the nation’s development, states’ participation, youth power, young dreams, young courage and youth’s capabilities. Defence Expo used to be held in our country earlier too but DefExpo2022 is unprecedented. It is the symbol of a new beginning.”
He said it is the first such Defence Expo in the country where only Indian companies are participating and where there are only Made in India defence equipment.
“In the defence sector, new India is moving ahead with the mantra of intent, innovation and implementation. Indian defence companies today are becoming a significant part of the global supply chain. Indian defence products export increased eight folds in the last eight years.”
PM said Defence forces will release a list of 101 items that will be barred from import. With this, he said 411 defence-related goods can only be procured locally.
Prime Minister further emphasised on the cooperation between African nations and India in the defence sector.
He said, “The biggest Defence Expo of the country so far has marked an emphatic beginning of a new future. I know that this has also caused inconvenience to some countries but several countries, with a positive mindset, have come with us. I am delighted that when India is giving shape to these opportunities of the future, 53 African nations that are friends of India are standing shoulder to shoulder with us.”
“In the arena of Defence and Security, the cooperation and synergies developed between India and the African nations have taken our mutual relations to yet newer heights,” PM Modi added.
Prime Minister stressed the importance of maritime security to boost global trade.
“Today, from international security to global trade, maritime security has emerged as a global priority,” he said.
This year’s DefExpo is the first-ever edition exclusively for Indian companies. Indian companies, Indian subsidiaries of Foreign OEMs, Division of a company registered in India, and Exhibitor having a joint venture with an Indian company will be considered as Indian participants.
The DefExpo 2022 also commemorates one year after the foundation of the seven new defence businesses, which were formed from the former Ordnance Factory Board.
All of these companies will be attending DefExpo for the first time. During the Bandhan ceremony on October 20, 451 MoUs, Transfer of Technology agreements, and product launches are expected, nearly double the previous edition.
The India Pavilion, a marquee pavilion of the Department of Defence Production, will highlight India’s vision for 2047 while showcasing the maturity of indigenous defence products, start-ups, and the latest technologies, including Artificial Intelligence in defence.
In addition, a unique Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) Pavilion will be set up to highlight the capabilities of the country’s start-ups engaged in R&D and innovation in futuristic technologies.
States and Union Territories (UTs) have been asked to build up pavilions at the event for the first time. The Defence Minister has emphasised that under this new effort, states and UTs will be able to participate in nation-building by attracting investment and enhancing their indigenous aerospace and defence manufacturing capabilities.