DefExpo Is a Symbol Of Global Trust Towards India: PM From unveiling HTT-40 - the indigenous trainer aircraft designed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited to releasing the 'Fourth Positive Indigenisation List' of 101 items, the Prime Minister made a slew of announcements emphasizing the importance and growth of Aatmanirbhar Bharat

By Shrabona Ghosh

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated DefExpo 2022 at Mahatma Mandir Convention and Exhibition Centre in Gandhinagar, Gujarat on Wednesday.

The Prime Minister also unveiled HTT-40 - the indigenous trainer aircraft designed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. The aircraft has state-of-the-art contemporary systems and has been designed with pilot-friendly features. He also launched Mission DefSpace to develop innovative solutions for the armed forces in the space domain through industry and startups. He also laid the foundation stone of the Deesa airfield in Gujarat.

Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister welcomed the delegates to an event of a capable and Aatmanirbhar Bharat. The Prime Minister said "This is the first defence expo where only Indian companies are participating and it features only Made in India equipment from the land of Iron Man, Sardar Patel. We are setting an example of the capabilities of India before the world. The Expo has more than 1,300 exhibitors which include the India defence industry, some joint ventures associated with the Indian defence industry, MSMEs and more than 100 startups."

One of the key constituents of the government's 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan' is to transform the defence sector to achieve self-reliance and boost the export of defence items with active participation of the public and private sector. The 'Fourth Positive Indigenisation List' of 101 items was announced by Modi during the opening ceremony. All the items included in the lists will be procured from indigenous sources as per provisions given in Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP) 2020. This fourth list recognises the growing capacity and capabilities of the Indian defence industry and is likely to stimulate the potential of domestic research and development by attracting fresh investment into technology and manufacturing capabilities.

International participation

The Prime Minister expressed happiness that when India is giving shape to its dreams, 53 friendly countries from Africa are walking with. The second India-Africa Defence Dialogue will also take place. "This relationship between India and Africa is based on time-tested trust that is further deepening and touching new dimensions with the passing of time," the Prime Minister added.

Remembering the old ties between Africa and Gujarat, the Prime Minister recalled that the first railway lines in Africa had the participation of people from Kutch. The 2nd Indian Ocean Region plus (IOR+) conclave will also be held during the Expo, which will provide a stage for a comprehensive dialogue to promote defence cooperation amongst IOR+ nations to foster peace, growth, stability and prosperity, in line with the Prime Minister's vision for security and growth for All in the Region (SAGAR).

Modi said, "Today, from international security to global trade, maritime security has emerged as a global priority. The role of the merchant navy has also expanded in the era of globalization. The world's expectations from India have increased and I assure the world community India will fulfill them. This Defence Expo is also a symbol of global trust towards India."

Gujarat chapter

The Prime Minister acknowledged Gujarat's identity with regard to development and industrial capabilities. "This Defence Expo is giving a new height to this identity. Gujarat will emerge as a major centre of the defence industry in the coming days."

Modi also laid the foundation stone of the Deesa airfield in Gujarat, "The forward airforce base will add to the security architecture of the country. Now India is better prepared to respond to any misadventure on the western borders. We decided to set up an operational base in Deesa and this expectation of our forces is being fulfilled today. This region will now become an effective centre of security of the country," Modi added.

Defence Space

The Prime Minister highlighted that space technology is shaping new definitions of India's generous space diplomacy, giving rise to new possibilities. "Many African countries and many other small countries are benefiting from this," he said.

The Prime Minister informed that there are more than 60 developing countries with whom India is sharing its space science. "The south Asia satellite is an effective example of this. By next year, ten ASEAN countries will also get real-time access to India's satellite data. Even developed countries like Europe and America are using our satellite data," he added.

Space technology is an example of what security will mean for any strong nation in the future. Mission Defence Space will encourage innovation, strengthen the forces and also provide innovative solutions.

Defence exports

New India is moving ahead with the mantra of intent, innovation and implementation. Till eight years ago, India was recognised as the world's largest defence importer. "However, new India showed intent, willpower and Make in India is becoming a success story in the defence sector today. Our defence exports have grown eight times in the last five years. We are exporting defence materials and equipment to more than 75 countries of the world. In 2021-22 Defence exports from India reached $1.59 billion i.e., about INR 13,000 crore. In the coming time, we have set a target to reach $5 billion i.e., INR 40,000 crore," he added.

The world is relying on India's technology today because India's armies have proved their capabilities. The Indian Navy has inducted state-of-the-art aircraft carriers like the INS-Vikrant into its fleet. This engineering giant and colossal masterpiece has been made by Cochin Shipyard Limited with indigenous technology. "The induction of the 'Prachand' Light Combat Helicopters developed under the 'Make in India' initiative by Indian Air Force is a clear example of India's defence capability," said Modi.

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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