Prahar missile, HAL’s new jet and more…What to expect at DefExpo 2022, India’s largest defence exhibition

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The big guns are out at Gandhinagar’s Helipad Exhibition Centre! Welcome to DefExpo 2022 — India’s biggest-ever defence exhibition till date, which is starting today (18 October) and will end on Saturday (22 October).

Speaking at the curtain raiser for the 12th edition of the event, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said that the DefExpo 2022 will showcase the growing prowess of the domestic defence industry, which is one of the major drivers of the nation’s resolve to achieve ‘Make in India, Make for the World’ as envisioned by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The defence minister further said, “India, which was until a few years back, considered the world’s biggest (defence) importer is now standing in the queue of 25 top exporting countries.”

As we gear up for this five-day defence exhibition, here’s all that we know about it and what to expect from it.

About DefExpo 2022

DefExpo 2022 is the 12th such exhibition being held in India with the theme of ‘Path to Pride’. Interestingly, DefExpo 2022 is the first ever exhibition exclusively for Indian companies.

This year, DefExpo 2022 is being held in Gandhinagar’s Helipad Exhibition Centre. DefExpo was traditionally held in Delhi until 2014 after which it has seen a string of new venues — Goa (2016), Chennai (2018) and Lucknow (2020). The venue was shifted to Goa when Manohar Parrikar was the defence minister, it moved to Chennai when Nirmala Sitharaman held the portfolio and it was staged in Lucknow with Rajnath Singh as the defence minister.

Initially, DefExpo 22 was to be held in February. However, foreign exhibitors were reluctant to come to India in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In March, the exhibition was once again pushed back with A Bharat Bhushan Babu, the Indian ministry of defence’s spokesperson saying, “Due to logistics problems being experienced by participants, the #DefExpo2022 proposed to be held in Gandhinagar, Gujarat from March 10th till March 14th is postponed.”

While the defence ministry gave no further explanation for the delay, many experts believed it was owing to the Ukraine war, as Russia was among the leading speaker countries at the event.

Also read: From LCH Prachand to INS Vikrant, how ‘Make in India’ defence is transforming the nation

This year’s event is expected to be the biggest such event with it being spread over one lakh square metres (the previous edition covered 76,000 square metres).

DefExpo 2022 has also seen a record registration of 1,340 companies, and 75 other countries will also participate in the event. The exhibition will also see two major conclaves — the India-Africa Defence Dialogue on 18 October and the Indian Ocean Region plus meeting of 44 countries.

Defence secretary Ajay Kumar has been quoted as saying that India expects businesses worth Rs 1.5 lakh crore during DefExpo 2022 and as many as 451 agreements are expected to be signed during the five-day exhibition.

What to expect at DefExpo 2022

The five-day exhibition will give Indian defence companies a chance to showcase their skills and capabilities.

As per reports, there will be live demonstrations of equipment and skill sets of the Armed Forces, DPSUs and industry will be held through the event at Sabarmati riverfront, which will include a Sarang Acrobatic display, search and rescue, combat free fall, and paratrooper activities.

According to a report in the HinduBusinessLine, a complete armoury solution, 9mm pistols and 5.56 mm assault rifles will also be showcased at the event.

Besides these, a special unveiling of the HAL’s HTT-40 basic trainer will take place on 19 October. The HTT-40 is a basic trainer aircraft developed by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited for the Indian Air Force. The HTT-40 basic trainer aircraft boasts of a speed of 450 km/hour, with a range of 1,000 kilometres.

DefExpo 2022 is also where Larsen and Tourbo will unveil its Future Infantry Fighting Vehicle (FICV). The 8X8 mobility vehicle are expected to become the mainstay of the mechanised forces. The Indian Army is keen to get 1,750 FICV, a project which is expected to cost around Rs 60,000 crore.

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) will also display a wide range of around 430 products encompassing strategic and tactical weapon systems, defence equipment and technologies at DefExpo 2022. It has been reported that DRDO’s display will include the Border Surveillance System (BOSS), Laser Fence System (LFS), BrahMos Air Version Missile, Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS), Wheeled Armoured Platform (WhAP), Prahar Missile, Rudram III Missile, Quick reaction Surface to Air Missile (QRSAM) and Medium Range Surface to Air Missile (MRSAM) among others.

With inputs from agencies

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Prahar missile, HAL’s new jet and more…What to expect at DefExpo 2022, India’s largest defence exhibition
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