Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday inaugurated 12th edition of India’s defence exhibition. The event has been organized on the theme 'Path to Pride' and aims to exhibit indigenous Land, Naval and Homeland Security Systems. DefExpo-2022 is set to boost the nation’s aspiration of achieving ‘Atmanirbharta’ or self-reliance in the domain of defence production.

While DefExpo-2022 will showcase many burgeoning technologies from different nations, the exhibition also includes indigenous weapons and vessels that have achieved milestone for India's defence sector. As the nation makes a speedy transition from being the largest importer of defence-related products to a major exporter, here are 10 defence products built by India that the country is proud of-

155mmX45 Dhanush (Howitzer)

India’s first indigenous long-range Artillery weapon system, Dhanush is a 155-millimetre towed howitzer. The need for the artillery gun was felt after the nation’s defence establishment realized that the import-oriented approach regarding the nation’s arsenal made them dependent on foreign powers. The howitzer was developed under the Indian Army's artillery modernization program, by Advanced Weapons and Equipment India Limited, which was previously a part of India’s Ordnance Factory.

Adding to the firing power of the Indian military, the Dhanush Gun system is capable of being deployed in all types of terrain and is superior to the existing Bofors, which had played a key role in the 1999 Kargil war. It can fire 3 rounds in 30 seconds, and the latest mechanical upgrade extends the firing range up to 38 Kilometers.

Akash Missile

Developed by the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO), Akash is a short-range Surface to Air Missile system (SAM). The missile system is capable of targeting enemy aircraft up to 30 Kilometers away. Moreover, it can neutralize aerial targets like fighter jets, cruise missiles, air-to-surface missiles as well as ballistic missiles.

The Akash system is capable of protecting a moving convoy of vehicles and is fully mobile. Moreover, the launch platform has been integrated with both tracked and wheeled vehicles The missile system comes with two modes-the group mode and the autonomous mode-and can simultaneously engage multiple targets. Akash has been in operational service with the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force since 2009 and has provided a boost to the nation’s defence capabilities.

Arjun Main Battle Tank (MBT)

Named after the main protagonist of the Mahabharata, Arjun is a third-generation main battle tank developed by the Combat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment (CVRDE), which comes under DRDO. The original variant of Arjun entered service in 2004. Indian Army’s 43rd Armoured Regiment was the first to be graced by Arjun’s prowess.

Featuring a 120-millimetre rifled main gun with indigenously developed armour-piercing ammunition, the tank can achieve a maximum speed of 70 kilometres per hour and a cross-country speed of 40 kilometres per hour. It is operated by a four-man crew which includes the commander, gunner, loader and driver. Moreover, the latest variant of the tank called the MK-1A, touted as the 'Dessert Ferrari', is designed to enhance firepower, mobility and survivability and comes with a completely redesigned turret protected with improved Kanchan Armour.

INS Vikrant Aircraft carrier

Boosting the prowess of the Indian Navy in not only securing India’s waters but also the skies, INS Vikrant is the first Aircraft Carrier built indigenously. Named after INS Vikrant (1961) as a tribute to India's first aircraft carrier, the word Vikrant means "courageous" in Sanskrit.

Jayema Saṁ Yudhi Spr̥dhaḥ is the ship’s motto and means "I defeat those who fight against me". The ship was recently commissioned into service on 2 September 2022 and is capable of carrying 30 aircraft. These include the fixed-wing MiG-29K and Rotary-wing (Helicopters) Kamov Ka-31, MH-60R and HAL Dhruv. One key feature of the aircraft carrier is its short take-off but arrested recovery (STOBAR) with a ski jump. This provides an additional lift for embarked aircraft on take-off.

Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) TEJAS

A product of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), TEJAS is an Indian multi-role delta-winged fighter. The single-engine jet was designed by the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) in collaboration with HAL’s Aircraft Research and Design Centre (ARDC). It is the smallest and lightest jet in its class of contemporary supersonic fighter jets.

TEJAS has given a significant boost to the Indian Air Force and the Indian Navy and aims to replace India's ageing MiG-21 fighters under the military’s modernization program. Number 45 Squadron (AKA- Flying Daggers) of the Indian Airforce was the first to have their MiG-21s replaced with the Tejas and became operational in 2016. Currently, a new variant of the aircraft is being worked on to meet the requirements of the Indian Navy, particularly carrier-based requirements.

Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) Prachand

Induction of the multi-role Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) Prachand, is yet another feat accomplished by the HAL. LCH Prachand boosts the operational capabilities of the Indian Army’s Aviation Corps and the Indian Air Force. One significant feature of Prachand is its flight ceiling, which is the highest among all attack helicopters in the world.

The need for a homegrown lightweight assault helicopter that could carry out precision strikes in all Indian battlefield scenarios was first felt in the backdrop of the 1999 Kargil war. Equipped with an extensive electronic warfare suite, LCH Prachand is protected from threats by a radar warning receiver (RWR), laser warning receiver (LWR) and a missile approach warning (MAW) system. Capabilities of Prachand include destruction of enemy air defence, counter-insurgency warfare, combat search and rescue, and counter surface force operations.

Radio Imaging Satellite (RISAT)

Boosting India’s surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) developed Radar Imaging Satellite (RISAT). The series of satellites use synthetic aperture radars (SAR) to provide all-weather surveillance. The first RISAT was launched in 2009.

Observation by previous satellites relied primarily on optical and spectral sensors which were hampered by cloud cover. However, the problem was solved by RISAT-1, which is a state-of-the-art Microwave Remote Sensing Satellite. The satellite is capable of carrying out surface imaging during both day and night, under all weather conditions, and operates on C-band (5.35 GHz). Additionally, the satellite has a nominal mission life of five years.

Nag Missile

Categorised as a third-generation fire and forget class anti-tank guided missile (ATGM), Nag has been designed by the DRDO and manufactured by BDL. A significant feature of the missile is its ten-year, maintenance-free shelf. Moreover, it has a single-shot hit probability of 90%. The missile has been developed to target and terminate highly-fortified enemy tanks and has night strike capabilities.

Five variants of the missile are currently under development. The land-attack version is called Prospina, while the helicopter-launched Nag (HELINA) is also known as Dhruvastra, as it can be mounted on Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) Dhruv. Moreover, the missile is capable of two modes- top attack mode and direct attack mode. The missile is currently in use by the Indian Army and the Indian Airforce. Meanwhile, Armenian Ground Forces also use Nag (on Order).

Pinaka Multi-Barrel Rocket Launcher

Developed by the DRDO and equipped to the Indian Army, Pinaka is a multi-barrel rocket launcher. Pinaka has a maximum range of 40 kilometers for the Mark-I variant and 60 kilometers for Mark-I's enhanced version. Moreover, it is capable of firing a salvo of 12 high-explosive (HE) rockets in 44 seconds. Pinaka has been developed by the Armament Research & Development Establishment (ARDE) of the DRDO and is manufactured by TATA Group, Larsen & Toubro.

The rocket launcher system saw service during the 1999 Kargil War. It was successful in neutralizing enemy positions on the mountaintops during the conflict. Pinaka is mounted on a Tatra truck for mobility. It consists of two pods containing 6 rockets each, and is capable of neutralizing the area of 700 x 500 meters.

HAL Dhruv
Developed and manufactured by HAL, Dhruv is an Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) and works as a Multirole Utility rotorcraft. Entering service in 2002, HAL Dhruv is utilized by the Indian Army, Navy, Air force, and Coast Guard. The armed version of HAL Dhruv is known as HAL Rudra (DHRUV MK-IV WSI).

Dhruv’s multirole can be understood from the fact that the chopper is used in the transportation of troops, utility, reconnaissance and to carry out medical evacuations. Moreover, the chopper has six military variants. Israel, Maldives, Mauritius and Nepal are notable nations that have purchased the multirole utility helicopter from India.