New Delhi: A total of 451 Memorandum of Understandings (MoU), Transfer of Technology (ToT) agreements and product launches took place during the Bandhan ceremony of 12th DefExpo in Gandhinagar, Gujarat on October 20, 2022. Of the 451, there were 345 MoUs, 42 major announcements, 46 product launches and 18 ToTs. The contribution of Gujarat was 28 MoUs and one Product Launch. It envisages investment worth Rs 1.5 lakh crore. Indian Air Force and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) concluded a contract for 70 HTT-40 indigenous trainer aircraft worth Rs 6,800 crore.
In his address at the ceremony, which culminated with three business days of DefExpo, the Defence Minister asserted that the 12th edition of the event has written a new chapter on the growth & prowess of the Indian defence sector. He termed it as the beginning of a new era of self-reliance, in which a strong and prosperous ‘New India’ is fully ready to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with major world powers. The grand success of the event is proof that India is well on course to become a global defence manufacturing hub in the times to come.
Rajnath Singh pointed out that India’s stature has grown on the world stage in the last few years due to the visionary leadership and policies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, exuding confidence that the vision of ‘Aatmanirbhar’ in defence and increased exports will soon become a reality.
The Defence Minister thanked the Defence Ministers & senior officials from many countries as well as a large number of business leaders from across the global making for making the 12th DefExpo a grand and successful event. He said that all the delegates were witness to the zeal and enthusiasm of a ‘New India’ which is fast emerging as a hub of manufacturing in the defence and aerospace sector. The successful conduct of DefExpo 2022, despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, reflects the vibrant energy and indomitable spirit of a ‘New India’.
Rajnath Singh emphasised that DefExpo 2022 served as a platform to enhance India’s defence cooperation with different countries and discuss issues of mutual interest. He shed light on his fruitful discussions with Defence Ministers of various countries, who actively participated in DefExpo, as also the successful conduct of the Indian Ocean Region plus (IOR+) conclave. He termed IOR as an area of strategic importance for India and reiterated the Prime Minister’s vision of Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR) to maintain peace, security and prosperity in IOR.
Defence Minister asserted that the resounding success of DefExpo 2022 is evident from the participation of high-level delegations from many countries and a large number of exhibitors, besides companies and nations which joined virtually. Rajnath Singh termed the large number of MoUs, Product Launches, Major Announcements, and Transfer of Technology Agreements of DRDO with business entities as a testimony to the emerging robust defence ecosystem in the country and be a big step towards strengthening the defence industrial base and achieving the goal of ‘Make in India, Made for World’.
Rajnath Singh said, India is progressing rapidly on path to complete self-reliance, with many sectors becoming ‘Aatmanirbhar’ and global suppliers. He added that the government is committed towards the growth of the public and private sector to fulfil the twin objectives of promoting self-reliance and increased defence exports. He expressed confidence that the country will achieve the defence export target of Rs 35,000 crore by 2025. He hoped that the enthusiasm of DefExpo 2022 will be carried forward in new areas through more collaborations, which will help in advancing India as a leading defence manufacturer and exporter and realising the Government’s vision of 2047.
The Defence Minister reiterated that the Government’s efforts to strengthen the defence sector are not aimed at establishing the country’s supremacy. “India has always considered the whole world as its family and has moved ahead with the spirit of welfare and world peace for all. We believe in safeguarding the individual as well the collective interests of the world together. Our self-reliance efforts are to ensure that the nation and its people remain protected from future threats,” he said.
Gujarat Governor Acharya Devvrat, MoS Ajay Bhatt, Chief of Defence Staff General Anil Chauhan, Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar, Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari, Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral R Hari Kumar and Chief of the Army Staff General Manoj Pande and OSD, Department of Defence Giridhar Aramane were among those who attended the ceremony.
(Defence Watch– India’s Defence News centre that places the spotlight on Defence Manufacturing, Defence Technology, Strategy and Military affairs is on Twitter. Follow us here and stay updated.)