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India’s biggest defence expo opens in New Delhi

India’s biggest defence expo opens in New Delhi
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First Published: Sun, Feb 17 2008. 03 19 PM IST

Pradeep Kumar, secretary defence production, flanked by Air Vice Marshal Gavin Gavin Mackay, CMackay, senior military adviser, ministry of defence, UK and Atul Kirloskar, chairman, CII national commit
Pradeep Kumar, secretary defence production, flanked by Air Vice Marshal Gavin Gavin Mackay, CMackay, senior military adviser, ministry of defence, UK and Atul Kirloskar, chairman, CII national commit
Updated: Sun, Feb 17 2008. 03 19 PM IST
Agencies
New Delhi: The biggest defence show in New Delhi, attracting the world’s major armament makers who are keen to bag contracts in the lucrative $30 billion market.
Artillery guns, tanks, missiles, armoured carriers and battle-networking gadgets from 30 countries are on display at the Defence Expo-08. Defence PSU’s like HAL, BEML, BEL, Ordnance factories and upcoming defence private players like TATA Sons, Larsen and Tubro, Mahindra, Ashok Leyland and others.
On show at the fair would be Air Defence systems, missile components, helicopters, infantry equipment, Naval attack systems and bigger weapons like armoured vehicles and tanks.
Pradeep Kumar, secretary defence production, flanked by Air Vice Marshal Gavin Gavin Mackay, CMackay, senior military adviser, ministry of defence, UK and Atul Kirloskar, chairman, CII national committee on defence
Defence Minister from six countries Afghanistan, Belarus, Namibia, Nigeria, Kazakhistan and Qatar would lead their countries delegations. Besides, these countries, Kumar said 41 other nations would also be sending their official delegations. Coinciding with the Expo, a defence industry summit would also be held. PTI
The US, which just bagged first major military contract for sale of C-130J aircraft, is showing the maximum enthusiasm with 47 firms showcasing their arms and equipment, outshining India’s traditional weapons supplier Russia.
American companies at the show range from aviation majors Lockheed Martin, Boeing, radar company Raytheon to naval firms like General Dynamics and Northrop Grumann.
Russia with 24 exhibitors, Israel with 26 and France with 24 also have presence in the four-day show, which was inaugurated by Defence Minister A K Antony.
With arms sales running upto a whopping $14 billion, Russia still is India’s main weapons supplier followed by Israel which last year registered weapons sales to New Delhi worth over $5 billion.
AJ Pillai, CEO & MD, Brahmos Aerospace stands in front of a Brahmos missile on display at the inaugural ceremony of the international DefExpo 2008. The Brahmos missile is a product of an Indo-Russian joint venture known by the same name
UK to supply four Sea Harriers to Indian Navy
United Kingdom today said it would supply four Sea Harriers air frames to the Indian Navy to cannabalize them for spares for use in India’s fast depleting Jump Jet squadrons.
“We have negotiated a deal with the Navy for supplying four air frames of Sea Harriers from our naval surplus,” Hugh Thomas, a top British Defence Ministry official, told newsmen at the Defence expo here.
He said India and UK were in advanced stage of negotiations for supplying Submarine Rescue Vehicles for the Indian Navy. India has for the past four years been striving to acquire them to mount rescue of its submarines in distress.
British official said Whitehall had also offered to locate a harrier post design service station to overhaul and maintain the navy’s Sea Harrier fighters for the purpose.
The British offer could not have been more timely as a spate of recent crashes have badly depleted Indian Sea Harrier squadrons, with flying having to be restricted because of falling numbers.
US defence companies want ‘level playing field’ in India
Looking at the lucrative Indian defence market, US companies today sought a “level” playing field and “fair evaluation” in the weapons bidding process.
Showcasing their weapon systems at the Defence Expo here, top executives of two US companies said the military ties between the two countries were set to grow and the fate of civil nuclear deal will have no impact on this.
Former US sefence secretary William Cohen, who heads the Cohen group of companies, indicated that American companies were keenly watching the upcoming visit of cefence secretary Robert Gates to India for generating business.
Noting that Gates’ two-day visit from February 26 was significant, Cohen told reporters, “we have stressed upon Gates to ensure that US companies get a level playing field and fair evaluation in bidding for Indian contracts.”
Cohen and Raytheon Asia Chief William P Doran said US companies had on offer the most advanced technologies not available anywhere in the world.
“We look forward to being a reliable supplier and trusted partner of the Indian military for a long term,” said Cohen and Doran, who are part of a large US Business delegation.
They noted that the arms deals had paved the way for “collaborations and joint ventures” between US and India firms and visualised a big jump in the defence ties.
Communication and IT companies
The show for the first time has also attracted communication and IT companies. Indian exhibitors at the Expo are led by Defence PSU’s like HAL, BEML, BEL, Ordnance factories and upcoming defence private players like TATA Sons, Larsen and Tubro, Mahindra, Ashok Leyland and others.
On show at the fair are Air Defence systems, missile components, helicopters, infantry equipment, Naval attack systems and bigger weapons like armoured vehicles and tanks.
Indian represenation: BAE to showcase its ultralight 155MM gun
Weeks after the Army floated global tenders to acquire 325 artillery guns, British Aerospace systems today announced that they will put the world’s lightest 155MM Howitzer on display at the upcoming Defence Expo which started on 16February.
Weighing less than 4218 kg, the M777 light weight 155MM Howitzers are now in service with the US Marine Corps and the US army as their next generation medium force weapon.
The M777 is a .39 calibre gun and the Army is seeking to buy such lightweight towed artillery systems to replace its ageing 105mm mountain guns.
“The guns are made with innovative use of titanium and aluminium alloy and can be deployed rapidly,” BAE officials said.
The Army has floated new global tenders to acquire much-needed 325 artillery guns comprising upgraded 155MM heavy and ultralight Howitzers in a deal that could run upto Rs5,500 crore.
In an apparent last-minute dash to stave off surrendering huge unutilised funds, Army has floated two new Request For Proposals to purchase 145 ultralight Howitzers at an estimated price of Rs 2,500 crore and 180 self-propelled and wheeled artillery guns of .52 calibre at a cost of Rs 3,000 crore.
The tenders were issued separately in the last week of January and first week of February, official sources said here.(
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First Published: Sun, Feb 17 2008. 03 19 PM IST
More Topics: DefExpo | CII | tanks | artillery | missiles |