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DefExpo 2022: 75 Nations, 1,340 Indian Firms Join Largest-ever Defence Exhibition As many as 451 partnerships in terms of MoUs, transfer of technology agreements and product launches, almost double than the last edition, are expected at the event

By Shrabona Ghosh

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India is set to witness the growing prowess of the domestic defence industry, one of the major drivers of the nation's resolve to achieve 'Make in India'. Gandhinagar, is all decked up to host India's biggest-ever defence exhibition–DefExpo 2022– from October 18 to 22, 2022.

Addressing the curtain raiser press conference in Gandhinagar on Monday, defence minister Rajnath Singh said, "DefExpo 2022, the biennial exhibition has been organized to support, showcase and forge partnerships for the Indian aerospace and defense manufacturing sectors with Indian as well as global customers to achieve the overall objective of catering to domestic requirements while fulfilling the needs of friendly foreign countries."

This 12th edition of the event has been organized on the theme 'Path to Pride'.

The sector has made giant strides to achieve the goal of 'aatmanirbharta' in defence. "We are swiftly moving towards becoming the pioneers in design, development and manufacturing at a global level. We are witnessing a transformational journey from being the largest defense importer to a net exporter. This DefExpo will further accelerate the pace of this journey," Singh added.

The minister described 'path to pride' as not just a theme of DefExpo 2022, but a make in India, make for the world' vision of new India. He called it a continuous process in which all the stakeholders–public and private sectors, MSMEs, academia, startups and research & development establishments – work together with the aim to provide innovative ideas and state-of-the-art products to the world.

Increasing aatmanirbharta

DefExpo 2022 will be the first-ever edition exclusively for Indian companies. Indian companies, Indian subsidiaries of foreign OEMs, divisions of companies registered in India, exhibitors having joint ventures with an Indian company will be considered as Indian participants. The DefExpo 2022 will also mark the celebration of one year of the formation of the seven new defense companies, carved out of the erstwhile Ordnance Factory Board.

According to reports, defence secretary Ajay Kumar said India expects businesses worth INR 1.5 lakh crore during the expo. As many as 451 partnerships in terms of MoUs, transfer of technology agreements and product launches, almost double than the last edition, are expected during the Bandhan ceremony on October 20. DefExpo 2022 has also seen a record registration of 1,340 companies.

The India pavilion - a marque pavilion of the department of defense production - will showcase the maturity of indigenous defense products, startups and latest technology, including artificial intelligence in defense, while presenting India's vision for 2047. In addition, there will be an exclusive innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) Pavilion to showcase the prowess of the country's startups carrying out R&D and innovation in futuristic technologies.

Beyond borders

As many as 75 countries will be participating in DefExpo 2022. The defense minister will host the second India-Africa Defence Dialogue (IADD) on October 18, while the Indian Ocean Region plus (IOR+) conclave will take place on October 19. More than 53 African countries have been invited for IADD and 44 for IOR+ conclave. "IADD and IOR+ conclave will be two very important events for promoting peace, security, prosperity and defense cooperation throughout the region and establishing new defense and industrial partnerships," added Singh.

New opportunities

For the first time, 'Invest for Defence', the first ever marquee event of the ministry of defence, targeted to promote investment in the defence sector in the country both by the Indian industry as well foreign original equipment manufacturers, will be held. It will be inaugurated by the defence minister on October 20. "The event will be an important platform for eminent industrialists as they can contribute to the government's efforts towards development of the defence industrial ecosystem in the country and become a part of the 'Make in India, Make for the World' resolution," the defence minister added.

The event will promote the growth of MSMEs and startups in the country and equip them to become participants in the global supply chain and generate new employment opportunities. Live demonstrations showcasing the equipment and skill set of the armed forces, DPSUs and industry will be held. Another highlight of the event will be the biggest-ever drone-show by IIT Delhi startup M/s Botlabs, which is an iDEX winner. Around 1,600 drones will light up the sky during the show on October 19, which will be a public event.

Raksha Mantri Awards for excellence in defence manufacturing is also being organized for the first time during DefExpo.

Shrabona Ghosh

Correspondent

A journalist with a cosmopolitan mindset. I lead a project called 'Corporate Innovations' wherein I cover corporates across verticals and try to tell stories on innovations. Apart from this, I write industry pieces on FMCGs, auto, aviation, 5G and defense. 
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