India: The Emerging Defence Manufacturing Hub In DefExpo 2018

DefExpo India has become one of the largest events of its kind in the world for the last 10 years. For the first time, DefExpo is being held in Tiruvidanthal, Kancheepuram near Chennai from 11 to 14 April 2018.

Shortly after the announcement of the dates of DefExpo 2018, there is an overwhelming response for participation from both foreign countries and domestic defence industries. 42 countries have already confirmed their participation and the number is expected to grow in the coming days.

The countries who have confirmed participation include major defence manufacturing nations like USA, UK, Russia, France, Israel, Korea, Sweden, among others. Several of the delegations participating in the DefExpoare expected to be at the ministerial level. Several top Service Officers (Army/ Navy/ Air Force) are also participating in the DefExpo 2018.

The main theme of this DefExpo 2018 is to showcase India as a major hub of defence production in the world. This has generated tremendous enthusiasm amongst the domestic industries to showcase their indigenously manufactured platforms and components. Nearly ten companies are booking space for DefExpo every day. DefExpo 2018 is expected to be held in nearly two lakh square metre of space.

India: The Emerging Defence Manufacturing Hub

DefExpo 2018 will, for the first time, project India’s Defence manufacturing capabilities to the world. This is reflected in the tagline for the Expo, which is ‘India: The Emerging Defence Manufacturing Hub’. DefExpo 2018 will brand India as a defence exporter of several defence systems and components for all three Services – Army, Navy and Air Force. While showcasing strengths of India’s substantial public sector, it will also uncover India’s growing private industry and spreading MSME base for components and sub-systems.

Boost to Indigenous Development:

DefExpo 2018 will brandish Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd’s various flying platforms including domestically designed and manufactured fourth-generation Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) – Tejas; Advanced Light Helicopter – Dhruv which have both civil as well as combat variants; Light Combat Helicopter for which IOC was received recently; Dornier civilian aircraft for which DGCA clearance was received and which is likely to be inducted for regional connectivity purposes. Apart from HAL’s platforms, the Expo will also promote domestic private industry and aero-components industry.

Expo of Naval Technology:

As the DefExpo is being held on sea-shore, along the East Coast road en route Chennai to Mahabalipuram, it provides Indian Navy to brandish its domestic design and manufacturing capabilities. India will proudly present its Naval designing capabilities in shipbuilding. India is one of the few countries of the world with capabilities to design a naval vessel from scratch to finish. India will also physically showcase, along with the shoreline several frigates, corvettes and other ships.

The exhibition will also unveil India’s capabilities in manufacturing Scorpene class submarine. Naval shipyards in public sector including Mazagon Docks, GRSE, Goa Shipyards, Hindustan Shipyard and private shipyards will bring to view their capabilities in manufacturing and servicing ships. Kattupalli shipyard of L&T is only 40 km from Chennai and visitors to DefExpo can easily visit the same. It is relevant to mention that Indian shipbuilding is marked by growing indigenisation levels and ‘float’ of ships built in India have nearly 90% indigenous components. There is growing demand for Indian built vessels from many countries in South Asia, ASEAN and Africa and DefExpo will be a perfect stage to unfold the might of India’s shipbuilding capabilities.

Showcase of Army’s Prowess:

As regards land systems, India will unveil its 155mm Advanced Towed Artillery Gun (ATAG) in DefExpo. This is the first time that India has its own ATAG which has been designed and developed by DRDO in partnership with Kalyani Group, Tata Power and OFBs. India also proposes to showcase its tank making capabilities, including MBT Arjun, T90 and T-72, Bridge Laying Tanks (BLTs) with a span of over 70 feet among others. India will also be showcasing 155mm artillery gun ‘Dhanush’. DefExpo will also provide an opportunity to showcase India’s plans for putting India on the global map of small arms manufacturing with its decision to manufacture about 7.5 lakh Assault Rifles, 3.5 lakh Carbines and about 40,000 LMGs.

India will also showcase its Missile and Rocket manufacturing capabilities, including BrahMos missiles available for all kind of attacks including surface-to-air, air-to-air and sea-to-air. Further Akash Missile system will be a major attraction at DefExpo. Pinaka rockets will also be highlighted during the show.

Given the focus on highlighting India as an emerging defence production hub, DefExpo 2018 has earmarked at least half the space for domestic exhibitors. This will make DefExpo 2018 the biggest ever opportunity to show their capabilities and integrate with the global supply chain of defence manufacturing. Emphasis is being given to inviting delegations from countries which have shown a keen interest in India’s weapon systems and platforms so that DefExpo 2018 provides a boost to overall defence manufacturing capabilities in the country and to its export potential.

How to register your business:

For those companies planning to participate in DefExpo 2018, the website ( provides all necessary information in a comprehensive manner. It has complete registration details whether one is an international business visitor, company, MSME or a general visitor. DefExpo is open for business visitors from April 11-14, 2018 and for the general public on April 14th. The deadline to register is 15 March 2018.

50% concessional rates have been offered to MSMEs, thereby making it extremely easy for them to participate in the Expo.

DefExpo and Government of Tamil Nadu Tourism Department have tied up with hotels in and around Chennai for the benefit of outstation visitors during the DefExpo. Special rates have been negotiated with these hotels so that the visitors, especially foreign delegates do not face difficulty.

All Facts and Figures are Sourced from Government of India’s Press Release. For more information, refer the DefExpo website.

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