New Delhi, Feb.7: Foreign vendors are showcasing their latest technology at the DEFEXPO 2014in New Delhi, with a view on securing higher sales prospects with the Indian armed forces.
Despite the grey areas regarding foreign direct investment (FDI) in defence production, foreign vendors appeared excited about future avenues in India as the country hosts the eighth edition of the four-day International Land and Naval Defence Systems Exhibition, reckoned as Asias largest event of its kind.
The response had been overwhelming as evident from the number ofvisitors, both professional and others with inquisitive minds.
Several companies from over 30 countries displayed their latest weapon systems for the Army and Navy in this biennial Defence Exposition organised by Indias DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation).
Defence Minister A.K.Antony inaugurated the four-day event amidst several controversies surrounding his ministry.
Addressing participants at the fair,Antony said that India is only likely to complete a USD 15 billion deal with France’s Dassault Aviation to buy 126 fighter jets in the next fiscal year.
In January, the French defence ministry said that the government was committing to a further phase of the Rafale fighter jet project and that about one billion euros was being earmarked.
The jet is made primarily by French group Dassault, but also involves groups such as Thales and Safran, the ministry said.
Dassault Aviation’s chief executive Eric Trappier said in December that he was optimistic about finalising the fighter jet deal within a few months, though he was unsure whether it would be sealed before or after the national elections in India, which must completed by May.
Antony also said that major procurement could only be possible in the next financial year.
As of February 1, Antony said, the country has already spent 92 percent of its defence capital budget for the current fiscal year that ends in March.
Meanwhile, Indian Head, Polaris, Pankay Dubey, said the exhibition is a good platform to let out information about their new innovations and models that could be useful in Indian application or for other countries.
“I think it is a perfect place for us to share with the defence forces the capabilities of “Polaris” vehicles. I think during this time we can have all the interaction with them and then follow it up with the demonstrations,”said Dubey.
The expo had showcased India as an attractive destination for investment and also provided a platform for allied tie-ups and joint ventures in defence industry.
At the event the DRDO showcased its latest range of products that could be useful, particularly for surveillance.
Furthermore, President, Sunghan Corporation Limited, Y.K. Kim, said nano-technology is the new idea which is attracting the DRDO.
“According to several staffs of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), they are very much interested in nano technology because it is a new concept. It has a lot of advantages. We also accpeted their condition like localisation of 30 percent and we are under some talk.”
Touted as among the largest defence expositions in Asia, the event offered an opportunity to the international defence industry to showcase and promote their products and services.
Major participants in the expo were from Russia, France and Israel besides Australia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Germany, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Serbia, Singapore, Slovak Republic, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, South Africa, Turkey, UAE, Ukraine, UK and USA.
The first edition of this exhibition was held in 1999 in which amodest 197 exhibitors participated.
Reportedly, the country’s defence forces are planning to procure weapons worth USD 100 billion in the next 10 years.