The 8th edition of defexpo India, a biennial exhibition on Land, Naval, Internal Security and Defence Systems organized by the Defence Exhibition Organisation (DEO) opened on 6th February 2014 at the New Delhi’s Pragati Maidan. It was inaugurated by Shri A K Antony, India’s Defence Minister. The exposition culminated on 9th February 2014 after having received an overwhelming response from national and international exhibitors.
Defence Exhibition Organisation (DEO) DEO was created as a nodal agency in 1981 as part of the Department of Defence Production, Ministry of Defence to promote and export potential of Defence Public Sector Undertakings, DRDO and the Ordnance Factory Board. Over the years, it has immensely contributed towards export promotion activities on behalf of Ministry of Defence. It is the nodal and coordination agency for the conduct of two major expositions in India, viz; Aero India and Defexpo India, which have seen exponential growth over the years. The DEO also co-ordinates the participation of Indian Defence industries in exhibitions abroad.
The exposition was an attractive destination for investment in Defence Sector by providing a platform for forging alliances and joint ventures in the defence industry. The event also provided excellent opportunity to other private defence related industries to demonstrate their capabilities to design, develop and deliver a wide range of military and civil products/services.
The countries which participated in the exhibition were:-
Australia, Austria, Bulgaria, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungry, India, Isreal, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovak Republic, South Africa, South Korea (RoK), Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, UK, Ukraine, USA
The Country Pavilions were from :-
France, Germany, Hungry, Isreal, Italy, Norway, Poland, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, UK, and USA.
DELEGATIONS: Official comprising 511 delegates from 52 counties attended the event. Government invited 133 delegates from 36 countries also attended the defexpo 2014, including ministers and high ranking officials. As a holistic presentation, the organizers successfully conducted a well attended seminar on ‘INDIGENISATION OF DEFENCE PROCUREMENT: GLOBAL PARTNERSHIPS TOWARDS JOINT DEVELOPMENT AND INDIGENISATION’.
SPACE BOOKED: Compared to the defexpo2012 however, the space for defexpo 2014 remained unchanged at a total of about 27000 sqm whilst the gross area remained at 45000 sqm.
A CHOICE OF EXHIBITS
Undoubtedly, the labs of the Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) with their developed products were most prominently seen. The DRDO as promised had presented the “Unmanned systems”, as their main focus at the exposition. In their doctrinal determination, “Unmanned systems” were expected to play a dominant role in future warfare and thus they had taken up development of “Unmanned systems” for the three services with some urgency and some of which were already introduced into the services. The Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) RUSTOM-2, the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, Confined Space ROV (CSROV), Weaponised DAKSH (UGV), the mini UAV NETRA integrated with Radiation Sensor that can detect Radiation Hazards & Leakages and the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) were some of the highlights of DRDO Pavilion in Defexpo-2014.
“Desert Ferrari” Arjun Mk-II integrated with Mine Ploughs and the Commanders’ Panoramic Sight integrated with the Thermal Imager were also on display. ‘Arjun Catapult’, the 130mm (SP) Catapult integrated with MBT Arjun chassis, significantly enhancing the capability of time tested Catapult gun were also displayed for the first time.
The formidable, land based supersonic BrahMos Cruise Missile, integrated on a Mobile Platform was exhibited rather prominently to perhaps sparkle an interest in the Defence Minister.
The other highlights were an “Indigenously developed WLR”, “Vehicle mounted Laser Dazzler System” and a “Vehicle mounted laser ordnance disposal system”. The DRDO also displayed a number of products developed for the low intensity conflict for use by the Armed Forces and Paramilitary forces as also the spin off technologies that are being commercialized.
The presentations of the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) appeared quite meaningful considering the current needs of the armed forces. An awesome sight of their 155mm field gun on display seemed timely although the questions of its selection with the Indian army remained largely unanswered.
The OFB had also placed on display a very elaborate presentation of “Small Arms” which invited large groups of servicemen from the para military forces.
The displays of the “Multi barrel rocket launcher” and the Infantry Combat Vehicle “Sarath” invited some interest from militarymen.
Amongst the DPSUs, the BEL, the Cochin Shipyards, the Garden Reach Workshop etc. had a prominent presence but one must admit their contribution can never be commensurate with their reduced visibility at these display forums. Our interaction with the BEML stood out for their zeal despite their recent set backs due to the severe adverse criticism surrounding the business handling of their Tatra trucks. They took great pains to demonstrate their specially designed sprinkler vehicle for the deserts.
The Kalyani Group among the private players had shown tremendous verve and determination by showcasing 155 mm field gun which according to them is totally indigenous and has been assessed totally useful for any battle field by experts. However, their aspirations can only bear fruit if the Defence Ministry is willing to test their formidable weapon platform and give them the requisite certification. And that according to them will place them on a sound platform in the export market even if the Indian Army could not find the gun useful at the current juncture and specially its level of technology. The Group had also placed on display the Bharat-52 and Garuda-105 artillery systems, its Mine Protected Vehicle and Light Tactical Vehicle among other products.
The OIS family of companies, spearheaded by OIS-AT participated in Defexpo 2014 with the aim of showcasing its competitive and extensive range of advanced technology products and capabilities including R&D, manufacturing and Systems Integration capabilities. They had showcased their 3D Avian (Bird) Detection Radar in a special focus. This product has been entirely developed, designed and manufactured by OIS-AT, which also owns the intellectual property rights of the product. It would be of immense interest to India’s aviation sector. Considering the acute problems of bird menace, faced by India’s military aviation, the Armed Forces may chose to examine the product.
The manufacturers claim that the significance of this product derives from its technological and environmentally sensitive value to air-space security and as such would be of interest to countries world over. This unique product has been proven in operation as part of recent trials. This along with several other products in OIS’ portfolio, further exemplify its ability to absorb and integrate complex technologies, provide complex solutions, systems integration and support to a host of companies in India and globally.
Lastly, this report will not to do justice to discoveries in the vast ocean of the defexpo 2014 if it does not mention Narendra Explosives Limited, India’s singular explosives manufacturing company who have been supplying all kinds of explosives to the Indian Army for the last sixty years. Based in Dehradun they are well established manufacturers of practice rounds for several NATO specifications , Stun and Tear grenades and several other products currently in use by Police and Paramilitary forces apart from the Indian Armed Forces.