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Friday, 14 Feb 2020
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DefExpo 2020 sees signing of 200 MOUs


The 11th edition of DefExpo, a biennial military exhibition, was held in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh from 5 to 9 February 2020. The event seeks to showcase the potential of India as a global defence manufacturing hub. The defence exhibition was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.  

The DefExpo was organised to introduce new technologies and solutions on a single platform for defence manufacturing firms from India and abroad. The main theme of the expo was 'India: The Emerging Defence Manufacturing Hub' and the focus was on 'Digital Transformation of Defence'.

The Centre has set its sights on to achieve defence exports target of USD five billion in the next five years.

A total of 1,000 companies had registered for participation in the mega defence exhibition. In the DefExpo 2018 held at Chennai in Tamil Nadu, a total of 702 companies had participated. The number of participating foreign companies also increased to 165 from the previous figure of 160.

At the Lucknow event over 70 countries participated. It was attended by more than 3,000 foreign delegates, 10,000 Indian delegates and 12 lakh visitors.

The exhibition space booked by exhibitors for DefExpo 2020 went up by 60 percent to over 42,800 sq mtr compared to around 26,774 sq mtr during the 2018 edition. The government of Uttar Pradesh highlighted its proposed Defence Corridor which is expected to entail an initial investment to the tune of Rs 20,000 crore across six nodes. Out of the six nodes, an entire land bank in Aligarh and Jhansi has already been booked. Lands are now available in the remaining four nodes - -Agra, Chitrakoot, Kanpur and Lucknow.

The DefExpo 2020 saw signing of a total of 71 memoranda of understanding (MoUs), 13 product launches, 18 transfer of technology and six major announcements, taking the total number of agreements signed to 200. Of these, 23 MoUs worth Rs 50,000 crore were inked with the Uttar Pradesh government alone through the Uttar Pradesh Expressways Industrial Development Authority (UPEIDA) which will provide employment to over three lakh people.

Some of the major MoUs that were signed during the event include-- Bharat Electronics (BEL), and software provider Tech Mahindra inked MoU to design and build digital solutions for aerospace and defense applications.

The companies will jointly develop solutions in the field of defence products and systems for the armed forces with the latest technologies in Aerospace and Defence (A&D) Engineering Services, 5G and cyber security.

The MoU will enable BEL and Tech Mahindra to make joint efforts to seize opportunities available in the domestic markets on back of the policy initiatives of the Indian government such as Make-in-India.

BEL also inked MoU with RailTel Corporation of India for co-operation in the fields of Cloud Services, IoT, eGovernance, Smart Cities, Networks for Defence projects and mission critical communication systems for domestic and international markets.

The company also signed an MoU with Newspace & Research Technologies (NRT). The MoU with NRT covers co-operation in design, development, manufacturing, integration, testing and supply of Unmanned Systems, Swarm technologies, stratospheric platforms and related payloads, and to provide lifetime support to Indian Defence forces and non-defence customers.

The MoU will enable BEL to make joint efforts with NRT to seize opportunities in the Unmanned Systems and related domains in both Indian as well as global markets.

During the Expo, the Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) handed over 15 licenses for Transfer of Technology (ToT) to 17 industries on DRDO developed technologies. This will enhance co-operation and synergy between industry and government organisations. The technologies transferred are from the areas of electronics, laser technology, armaments, life sciences, materials science, combat vehicles, naval systems, aeronautics, and sensors.

These products are Mine Field Marking Equipment MK-II (MFME MK-II), e-Nasika, DMS Fuel-I, Bi-Modular Charge System (BMCS), 500 kg General Purpose Bomb, 250 kg Pre-fragmented Bomb, Electronic Fuze for 81mm Mortar Bomb, among others. These high technology products will boost the defence manufacturing sector with self-reliance and enhance the operational capabilities of the Armed Forces.

In a big push to the Uttar Pradesh Defence Corridor, UPEIDA signed an MoU for knowledge partnership with DRDO. The partnership with DRDO is expected to provide impetus to the defence production corridor in Uttar Pradesh.

The DefExpo also witnessed a major announcement of issuing Initial Operational Clearance (IOC) certificate for Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) to Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL). LUH is designed and developed as a replacement for Cheetah and Chetak helicopters which are currently being operated by the Indian Armed forces. LUH is a new-generation helicopter in three tonne class incorporating the state-of-the-art technology features which will meet emerging needs in this class of helicopters in coming decades.

The Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) launched ‘Sharang’, the 155 mm artillery gun with 36 km range. OFB also launched JVPC Alpha gun with 100 mtr range, Light Machine Gun of 800 mtr range and UBGL under barrel Grenade launcher.

Apart from this, Bharat Dynamics (BDL) launched Amogha-3, the Anti-Tank Guided Missile. It is a man portable fire and forget missile. The company also launched Varunastra, the anti-submarine torpedo, manufactured under technological guidance of DRDO. DRDO inked a technology development contract with Rosoboronexport of Russia for development of high energy materials required in the production of missiles, rockets and guns.

The High Energy Materials Research Laboratory (HEMRL), Pune, signed technology development contract with Rosoboronexport for development of Advanced Pyrotechnic Ignition Systems.

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