India's advanced AKASH has matured into a world-class air defence system

As many as 165 foreign companies will also showcase their equipment, say officials

LUCKNOW: The state capital is gearing up to host the 11th edition of the International Defence Expo-2020 to be organised at Sector 15, Vrindavan Yojna here from February 5 to 9.

The expo, which is likely to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, aims at bringing leading technologies in the defence sector under one roof and provide opportunities for tie-ups between the government, private manufacturers and start-ups.

DefExpo is part of the defence corridor project sanctioned by the Centre for UP. Bundelkhand region of the state is the biggest beneficiary of this project.

“The expo will see participation of 702 exhibitors. Of these, 542 will be Indian and 160 foreign exhibitors. Besides, 160 MSMEs will take part in the event,” said Gargi Malik, public relations officers (PRO), defence, while addressing a press conference on Tuesday.

She said the inaugural ceremony of the DefExpo-2020 will be held on February 5, during which the prowess of the Indian Army and Indian Air force (IAF) will be on display in the form of a live demonstration.

While military equipment, developed by the DRDO, will be showcased, a display of skills by the Daredevils team of the Corps of Signals will be a major attraction of the mega exhibition.

She said entry will be free for the public on February 8 and 9 (Indians and foreigners) while business visitors can visit the expo on February 5, 6 and 7. Entry charges would be Rs 2,500 and Rs 5,000 for Indians and foreigners, respectively.

“Till date, the government has approved 65 MoUs that will be signed with companies for investment in the defence corridor. These companies will be given 50% discount on purchase of land for setting up their units,” said Satish Mahana, industries minister, UP.

The expo would showcase a large number of military equipment. These include the Army’s Tk-T-90, BMP, Simulators Firing Range, Surface Mine Clearing System (SMCS), Bridge Layer Tank , Full Width Mine Plough, 155mm Bofors, Anti Tank Guided Missile Launcher, Camouflaged Motor Cycle, Cheetah Helicopter, Armoured Recovery Vehicle (ARV), AKASH - Surface To Air Missile, K-9 VAJRA, Ultra-Light Howitzer (ULH M-777), Tunguska AD System, Schilka AD System, Pinaka and others.

The Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) would display equipment like Arjun Tk, Modular Bridging System, Advanced Carbon Composite Modular Bridging System, Wheeled Armoured Platform (Wh AP), Counter Mine Flail (CMF) Medium Power Radar, Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV), Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS) and Unexploded Ordnance Handling Robot (UXOR).

Officials said 165 foreign companies will also showcase their defence equipment at the expo while the state government was expecting an investment of more than Rs 3,700 crore from the event.

Companies from US, UK, France, Norway, Germany, Brazil, Russia, the Czech Republic, South Korea, Israel and Sweden among other countries will showcase their equipment, they said.

Gargi Malik said city dwellers will have a rare opportunity to see Indian Navy and Coast Guard operating at the Gomti Riverfront.

Water scooters of the Indian Navy had already reached the Gomti riverfront on Tuesday.

“Live demo by Navy and Coast Guard, symphony of Indian Army, Navy and AF band and cultural programmes will be running concurrently at the Gomti riverfront. It will be open for the general public on all days from Feb 5 to 9,” she added.