Indigenous battlefield platform ARJUN MBT in action during Defence Expo 2020 at Lucknow

Breakthrough moment for defence sector, says Rajnath

A number of people thronged the DefExpo 2020 venue here to get a glimpse of India’s growing defence prowess as the event was opened to public on Saturday. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh termed the event as a breakthrough moment in the field of Indian defence manufacturing sector.

The first three days of the five-day DefExpo were classified as “business days”.

In the first three days, Indian companies not just entered into joint ventures with global companies, but they also announced to buy companies holding critical technologies.

From the Ministry of Defence, missiles and artillery guns made by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) are a success story.

From the latest anti-sat missiles to strike in space to truck-mounted Akash missiles are now made in India. The artillery guns of the DRDO and OFB could mean there would possibly be no more imports.

Away from the public sector giants and well-known tie-ups that Boeing Airbus and Lockheed Martin have in India, new JVs have emerged.

Private sector company Bharat Forge, a major player in the artillery programme, is ambitious. Baba Kalyani, Chairman of Bharat Forge, claims, “We can be the artillery leader by 2030.”

Pavitra Goel, General Manager at Lohia Groups, says, “We have purchased a firm in Israel doing the latest in composites and are now a ‘Tier one’ supplier to an Israel aerospace company.” “We can provide composites for planes and missiles,” added Goel.

Among drones, Adani has tied up with Elbit of Israel for making an anti-drone system.

Noida-based Tak technologies has tied up with Russian partners to undertake indigenous design and development of electro-optical/night vision equipment.

In the field of small arms, Bangalore-based SSS Defence had a range of locally made future infantry small arms and light weapons as well as small and medium calibre ammunition.

Rajnath said DefExpo 2020 not only witnessed participation of a large number of exhibitors, but also forged new partnerships and attracted more than 12 lakh visitors.