More than 900 defence companies and 55 nations have confirmed their participation in DefExpo 2022, Asia’s largest defence show, which will be held in Gandhinagar from March 10 to 13, with officials acquainted with the matter.
The figures are anticipated to rise in the coming days as more confirmations arrive. The number of companies participating in the expo is expected to exceed 1,000, according to the organizers.
One of the exhibition’s centrepieces is scheduled to be a 1,000-drone demonstration. This will be the country’s second time hosting such an event. On January 29, it was originally organized at the Beating Retreat in Delhi. Botlab Dynamics, a start-up backed by the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, and the Department of Science and Technology, will organize the drone display (DST). Only the United States, Russia, and China are capable of putting on a show with 1,000 drones.
Foreign delegations will be led by at least 50 defence ministers/chiefs of staff.
The US pavilion will be the largest among worldwide participants, with the Adani and Tata groups taking up the most area in India. It will be the biggest DefExpo since its inception in 1996.
Seven new defence enterprises formed from the former Ordnance Factory Board would also participate in the event, he noted. The board was corporatized last year to improve efficiency and competitiveness as part of a long-awaited overhaul of the country’s defence industrial industry.
A naval demonstration on the Sabarmati riverfront is among the festivities planned.
The event takes place at a time when the government is focusing on developing self-reliance in the defence industrial sector and portraying itself as a military gear exporter.
DefExpo was typically hosted in Delhi until 2014, when it was moved to Goa (2016), Chennai (2018), and Lucknow (2020). The site was changed to Goa when Manohar Parrikar was the defence minister, to Chennai when Nirmala Sitharaman was in charge, and to Lucknow when Rajnath Singh was in charge.
Over the last two to three years, the government has taken a slew of measures to boost self-reliance in the defence sector, including increasing foreign direct investment (FDI) in defence manufacturing, creating a separate budget for buying locally-made military hardware, and notifying two lists of weapons/equipment that cannot be imported.
Earlier this month, India set aside 84,598 crores (68 per cent of the military’s capital acquisition budget for 2022-23) for purchasing locally produced weapons and systems to boost self-reliance in the defence sector, as well as 25 per cent of the defence R&D budget for private industry, startups, and academia to encourage them to pursue military platform design and development.
The Def-Expo 2022, with the subject “India-The Emerging Defence Manufacturing Hub,” will also include a “Bandhan ceremony” during which several MoUs are likely to be signed. The event will be presented in a hybrid format, with guests able to join remotely and engage in seminars, B2B meetings, and product viewing.
Also Checkout: 8 Biggest financial Scams In India | Explained