Lucknow braces up for the biggest DefExpo ever

Lucknow braces up for the biggest DefExpo ever
Image from DefExpo Chenna,i 2018. Photo: MoD

Bengaluru: The City of Nawabs – Lucknow - is all set to witness the 11th edition of DefExpo 2020 set to take-off on February 5. With the theme - India: The Emerging Defence Manufacturing Hub – the show is expected to open up new vistas for the government, private and startups segments.

The five-day exhibition, claimed as the biggest one so far by the Ministry of Defence, is expected to see the participation from over 1,000 Indian and around 165 foreign companies.

The last 3 editions of DefExpo has been held at 3 different cities with then Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar taking the show to Goa in 2016, Nirmala Sitharaman to Chennai in 2018 and current incumbent Rajnath Singh to Lucknow in 2020. Until 2016, the DefExpo had a permanent venue in Delhi.

MoD says the booked exhibition space by exhibitors for DefExpo 2020 has gone up by 60 per cent to over 42,800 square metres, compared to around 26,774 during the last edition. This time, defence ministers and service chiefs of 35 countries have confirmed their participation for the DefExpo. Participants from a total of 70 countries are expected to be at the show.

Lucknow braces up for the biggest DefExpo ever
Image from DefExpo Chennai, 2018. Photo: MoD

From the Indian side, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) will be exhibiting a whole range of indigenous systems developed for the armed forces.

DRDO is holding a live demonstration of Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS), Main Battle Tank (MBT) Arjun MK IA, Wheeled Armoured Platform (WhAP), Counter Mine Flail, 15m Advanced Composite Modular Bridging System (ACMBS) and modular bridge.

“We are exhibiting over 500 products from various technology clusters at the show. At the India Pavilion alone, we have 23 products that will showcase our strengths in defence R&D. The new variant of Tejas and AMCA update will be other highlights,” says an official.

Lucknow braces up for the biggest DefExpo ever
Image from DefExpo Chennai, 2018. Photo: MoD

Aviation major Airbus said it will exhibit scale models of its highly versatile C295 aircraft. The company has placed its bid to manufacture the C295s in India along with its partner Tata Advanced Systems. It is also exhibiting the A330 MRTT, an aerial refueller.

The AS565 MBe Panther, the H145M and the H225M helicopters will be on display. Airbus has offered to build the Panther or the H145M in India under the government’s Strategic Partnership (SP) model for the Naval Utility Helicopters (NUH) programme.

Boeing is lining up a range of advanced defense capabilities at DefExpo with the F/A-18 Super Hornet, KC-46 tanker, AH-64E Apache and the P-8I set to strut their stuff. Visitors will be treated with a virtual flying experience with the F/A-18 Super Hornet Block III simulator to understand a wide range of missions and carrier-based capabilities the aircraft can offer.

MKU, a defence and security solutions provider is displaying its range of Night Vision weapon sights, monocular and bi-oculars. These gadgets deploy Gen 3 sensor technology for excellent performance in very low light conditions.

Also at the MKU stall, the visitors could get a feel of the rugged thermal weapon sights for assault rifles, sniper rifles and LMGs that offer longer ranges and better performance even in zero visibility conditions.

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