DefExpo-2022 dates announcement sends a wave of relief

The biennial global exhibition, DefExpo- India's flagship Land, Naval, and Homeland Security systems exhibition will be held in Gandhinagar, Gujarat between October 18 and 22, 2022.

August 16, 2022 By Ayushee Chaudhary Photo(s): By PIB, Indian Navy, SP Guide Pubns
Representative images from Defexpo 2020: PRIME MINISTER NARENDRA MODI (Left) and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh (Right)

The 12th edition of DefExpo finally has dates to it. DefExpo- India's flagship Land, Naval, and Homeland Security systems exhibition will be held in Gandhinagar, Gujarat from October 18 to 22, 2022. The five-day event will witness three business days followed by two public days. Live demonstrations showcasing the equipment and skill set of the Armed Forces, DPSUs, and Industry will be held on all five days at Sabarmati River Front through active participation and synchronised efforts at all levels.

India's biennial global exhibition showcasing the defence prowess is returning with a promise to be larger than the previous one that was held in 2020 prior to the pandemic. DefExpo-2022 comes with a promise to be Asia's largest exhibition on land, naval, air, and homeland security systems. Previously scheduled to be held in March 2022 in Ahmedabad, DefExpo-2022 was rescheduled at the last moment by the ministry stating logistical reasons faced by the participants amid the rising Ukraine-Russia war at the time. The industry has been under anticipated anxieties awaiting the finalisation of dates for months. DefExpo has been a major platform for the Indian defence industry to come together, interact, inform, engage and exchange not only with the rest of the Indian industry but also with the global defence industry. The government is also continuously pushing the Indian defence industry as it aims for India to become a global defence manufacturing hub and not just 'Make in India' for India but also for the world.

The Indian government has set the defence production target at $25.00 billion by 2025.

According to India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF), the Indian government has set the defence production target at $25.00 billion by 2025 (including $5 billion from exports by 2025). IBEF also added that India's defence manufacturing sector recorded increased production to $11.85 billion in FY22 from $10.9 billion in FY21. Defence production by DPSUs stood at 55,066 crore ($7.09 billion) in FY 2021-22 registering a growth of 12.36 per cent YoY. The Indian defence manufacturing industry is a significant sector of the economy. India has successfully established itself as an emerging defence manufacturing hub with numerous international orders being bagged by Indian companies in recent years and now the target is to become self-sufficient. Going ahead, the industry is likely to accelerate with rising concerns about national security and the demand for defence equipment in India is likely to continue growing, especially given the current geo-political scenarios.

Representative images from Defexpo 2020

To modernise its armed forces and reduce external dependence for defence procurement, several initiatives have been taken by the government to encourage 'Make in India' activities via policy support initiatives. This makes DefExpo-2022 even more significant for the industry, and to further aid the participation, the Ministry is giving special discounts to the Indian exhibitors so that the maximum of Indian defence industry can be a part of this grand defence exhibition."A discount of 25 per cent will be offered on the earlier space and ticket rates for DefExpo-2022 to encourage the wider presence of Indian companies. The special focus will be to promote the Indian start-ups and MSMEs as also setting up State Pavilions to further their A&D policies," stated the official press release.

India's defence manufacturing sector recorded increased production to $11.85 billion in FY22 from $10.9 billion in FY21.

The exhibitor booking would be available for Indian companies, including Indian subsidiaries of Foreign OEMs, Joint Ventures between Indian and Foreign companies, Defence Public Sector Undertakings, State Pavilions, DRDO, and Indian companies. The website will be an enabler for exhibitors to register and book space online on a first-come-first-serve basis, make online payments, and book conference halls and venues for Business-to-Business (B2B) meetings.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has introduced numerous policy reforms in recent years such as simplifying the industrial licensing process; allowing 74 per cent Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) through an automatic route; releasing a positive list of items to be procured only from Indian manufacturers; launching of seven new defence companies; Innovation for Defence Excellence (iDEX); Defence Innovation Start-up Challenge (DISC); Defconnect; Artificial Intelligence in Defence (AiDef), etc. The reforms in defence manufacturing are attracting greater interest from Indian Defence manufacturers and it is therefore anticipated that DefExpo-2022 would attract active participation from Indian companies.

A discount of 25 per cent will be offered on the earlier space and ticket rates for DefExpo-2022 to encourage the wider presence of Indian companies.

The initial plan was for a four-day event, however, after Defence Minister Rajnath Singh reviewed the preparations in February, one more day was added to the event. The Defence Minister had highlighted that the extension of DefExpo-2022 by one day will benefit the local students as dedicated trips for them are being planned. DefExpo-2022 also aims to facilitate inclusiveness for young entrepreneurs and college/school millennial of the host state, Gujarat.

DefExpo-2022 will be held in a three-venue format across an area of 1+ lakh square metres at Helipad Exhibition Centre; inaugural event and seminars at Mahatma Mandir Convention and Exhibition Centre and a Live demo at Sabarmati River Front. The exhibition is being planned with events such as Bandhan for forging partnerships between companies; seminars and webinars showcasing start-ups/MSMEs, including cutting-edge technology solutions for future battlefield; Artificial Intelligence in defence; student visits and showcasing Gujarat as an investment destination for aerospace and defence sector, etc. DefExpo-2022 stays aligned with the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to achieve self-reliance in defence and achieve export of $5 billion by 2025. The Prime Minister is expected to inaugurate the event and stay in the city for a couple of days to interact with defence CEOs and start-ups.

As India celebrates its 'Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav', DefExpo-2022 gains further significance with its theme 'Path to Pride' invoking nationalistic pride and encouraging citizens to partake in nation-building through establishing a capable indigenous Defence industry

As India celebrates its 'Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav', DefExpo-2022 gains further significance with its theme 'Path to Pride' invoking nationalistic pride and encouraging citizens to partake in nation-building through establishing a capable indigenous Defence industry. At DefExpo-2022, the participants will also have an opportunity to showcase their equipment and platforms as well as explore the strengths and capabilities of the expanse of the Indian Defence industry for forging Business partnerships. The event will help boost investment, expand manufacturing capacities and capabilities, and discover avenues for technology absorption.