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Five day 11th edition of the Biennial Mega Defence Exhibition “DefExpo 2020” held in Lucknow, UP from Feb 5 – 9, 2020

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The 11th edition of DefExpo-2020, organized by Department of Defence Production, Ministry of Defence with a support of Government of Uttar Pradesh (UP) was held in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh (UP) for the first time from 5th to 9th Feb 2020. It’s main theme was “India: The Emerging Defence Manufacturing Hub” with focus on “Digital Transformation of Defence”. This expo is also termed as “Mahakumbh of defence manufacturing companies”. The last two days of the expo was opened for public.

  • It was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and attended by Union Defence Minister and Local MP Rajnath Singh, Minister of State for Defence Shripad Yesho Naik, UP Governor Anandi Ben Patel, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and many ministers of state government.
  • The DefExpo is a flagship biennial event of the Ministry of Defence, Government of India. To make it a perfect affair, DefExpo App was released by Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh on December 27, 2019. The main features of the app were to inform, engage and feedback.

Aim: To bring new technologies, technological solutions, and to provide single platform for Defence manufacturing companies from India and abroad to showcase their products and services.

Target: To achieve five billion dollar (Rs 35,000 crore) worth of defence exports by 2024. In 2018-19, defence export was Rs 10,745 crore, which was seven times the export in 2016-17.

Participants: The number of companies registered for participating in the DefExpo 2020 was 1,028 which led to the biggest ever DefExpo held in India. The number of participating foreign companies has also increased to 172 from the previous figure of 160. Ministers from 15 African countries participated in the conclave. Defence ministers of 40 countries and over 3,000 delegates from 70 nations attended the event. Apart from them, there was also a 39-member ministerial delegation from Russia, England, and Seychelles, among other countries.

Meeting & Conclaves
The DefExpo 2020 saw the series of meetings which are listed as below:

1st India-Africa Defence Ministers Conclave 2020 held in Lucknow, UP
As a part of DEFEXPO INDIA, 1st ever India Africa Defence Ministers Conclave (IADMC) 2020 was held in Lucknow, UP on February 06, 2020. It was a run-up to India Africa Forum Summit (IAFS) IV. A Joint Declaration – “Lucknow Declaration”, was adopted as an outcome document of the Conclave. Over 154 delegates from Africa including Defence Ministers from 14 African countries participated in this Conclave.

  • It should be noted that “Silence the Guns; Creating Conducive Conditions for African Development” is the African Union’s (AU) theme of the year.
  • They encouraged enhanced cooperation on the evolving concept of Indo-Pacific and welcomed the AU vision for peace and security in Africa that coincides with India’s vision of SAGAR (Security And Growth for All in the Region).

Important Static Points:

i.First India-Africa Forum Summit was held in New Delhi (8-9 April 2008); India-Africa Forum Summit-II held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (24-25 May 2011) and the Third India-Africa Forum Summit (26-30 October 2015) was hosted New Delhi.

ii.In March 2019, Africa India Field Training Exercises was initiated namely AFINDEX to further strengthen cooperation in defence preparedness and security.

What is Lucknow declaration?

The Lucknow Declaration is signed by the defence ministers and representatives of 50 African countries with Indian defence minister Rajnath Singh to recognise common security challenges such as terrorism, extremism, piracy and trafficking.

Under this agreement, India will provide Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs), Fast Interceptor Boats, body and vehicle armour, Night Vision Goggles (NVGs), Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), Dornier aircraft, and arms and ammunition to African counterparts.

India Holds Talks with Madagascar on Maritime Security Tie-Up in Lucknow, UP
On Feb 6, 2020, To boost defence presence in western Indian Ocean, India and Madagascar discussed maritime security. Union defence minister Rajnath Singh held dialogue with with Lt Gen Rokotonirina Richard, his counterpart in Madagascar. India stressed on enhancing ties in maritime security cooperation in the region.

Important Static Points:

i.Under ”Operation Vanilla” Indian Navy provided assistance to the affected population of Madagascar post devastation caused by Cyclone Diane.

ii.The defence minister of Madagascar invited Rajnath Singh to the country’s  independence day celebrations on June 26, 2020.

5th India-Russia Military Industrial Conference (IRMIC) in Lucknow; 14 MoUs signed
On Feb 6 2020, the 5th India-Russia Military Industrial Conference (IRMIC) was held on the sidelines of the ongoing Def Expo 2020 in Lucknow. The conference was co-chaired by Dr. Ajay Kumar, Defence Secretary from the Indian Side and Mr. Oleg Ryazantsev, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade of Russian Federation. During the conference, 14 memorandum of understanding (MoU) were signed between Indian and Russian companies under the Make in India initiative.

About MoUs:

i.The MoUs were related to production of different defence equipment such as parts of T-72, T-90, radar systems, ASW Rocket launchers and 3D modeling.

ii.The MoUs were signed under a framework of an inter-governmental agreement (IGA) sealed between India and Russia in September 2019.

iii.The first ‘Request for Proposal’ for manufacturing of parts in India under the provisions of IGA was also handed over by the Indian Navy to the “identified Indian industry

iv.Major companies which are part of these MoUs includes BHEL, Bharat Dynamics Limited and Vista control from Indian side and INVERSIA, UVZ and BEML Ltd. from the Russian side.

What is IGA?
Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) on Joint manufacturing of spares in India has been signed at Vladivostok, Russia on 4th September, 2019. The IGA provides framework for partnership of Russian OEMs with Indian industry for manufacturing of spare parts of Russian origin equipment in use by the Indian Defence Forces.

UK-India Defence Industry Forum held in Lucknow, UP
On Feb 7, 2020, during the UK-India Defence Industry Forum, the UK India Business Council (UKIBC) and the Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers (SIDM) signed a MoU to forge closer defence ties between the two countries. The MoU was signed on sidelines of the ongoing DefExpo 2020 by the Vice Chair of UKIBC Richard McCallum and Rear Admiral A K Verma IN (Retd.), Principal Adviser, SIDM.

  • It was also announced that that Commodore Bunty Sethi (Retd.), will work with UKIBC’s Aerospace and Defence Industry Group in a strategic advisory role. The MoU was signed to build partnership between Aerospace and Defence sector of the countries.

Bandhan, DefExpo 2020: The MoU signing ceremony
Bandhan, a ceremony for signing of MoUs, launch of products and major announcements, was presided by Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh. This expo saw the signing of largest number (over 200) of Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs), Transfer of Technology (ToTs), and product launches. There were 124 MoUs between DPSUs (Defence Public Sector Undertakings), private and global defence manufacturing companies. Here is the list of important ones:

DRDO handed over 15 licenses for ToT (LATOT) to 17 industries
DRDO handed over 15 licenses for ToT (LATOT) to 17 industries on DRDO developed technologies. This would enhance cooperation and synergy between industry and Government organisations. The technologies transferred are from the area of electronics, laser technology, armaments, life sciences, materials science, combat vehicles, naval systems, aeronautics, sensors, etc.

UPEIDA inked MoU with DRDO for knowledge partnership
In a big push to the Uttar Pradesh defence corridor, Uttar Pradesh Expressways Industrial Development Authority (UPEIDA) signed a MoU for knowledge partnership with Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO). The MoU was exchanged between Dr G Satheesh Reddy Secretary DD(R&D) and Chairman DRDO and Shri Awanish Kumar Awasthi, CEO, UPEIDA.

HEMRL, Pune signed technology development contract with Rosoboronexport, Russia
HEMRL, Pune signed technology development contract with Rosoboronexport, Russia for development of Advanced Pyrotechnic Ignition Systems. High Energy Materials Research Laboratory (HEMRL) is the DRDO laboratory working in the development of spectrum of high energy materials required for missiles, rockets and guns. This MoU will enable advancement in the field of energetic materials and pyrotechnic technology leading to the development of advanced ignition systems.

  • Director of HEMRL is KPS Murthy.

23 MoU inked through Uttar Pradesh Expressways Industrial Development Authority (UPIEDA)
During this event, twenty-three MoUs have been inked with the UP government through UPIEDA and have received proposals for investment worth 50,000 crore ((US$ 7.15 billion) which would generate employment opportunities for over three lakh youths in the state. As a part of MoUs, HAL would soon supply Dornier 19-seater civilian aircraft to U.P.

HAL signs MoU with Elbit Systems for digital head-up displays for fighter planes
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) signed MoU with Israel-based defense electronics company Elbit Systems for promoting and marketing the Digital Head Up Displays (HUD) units. A HUD is a transparent display that gives a pilot a seamless view of critical information.

HAL gets Initial Operational Clearance (IOC) for light helicopter to replace aging Cheetah & Chetak choppers
The Hindustan Aeronautics Limited has received the Initial Operational Clearance IOC)for production of the Light Utility Helicopter (LUH), which is set to replace the ageing fleet of Cheetah and Chetak helicopters of the Indian armed forces. R Madhavan, CMD, HAL, received the Initial Operational Clearance (IOC) document from G Sateesh Reddy, Secretary, Department of Defence R & D, and Chairman, DRDO

  • LUH is a single-engine, lightweight and highly agile three-ton utility helicopter, indigenously designed and developed to meet the operational requirements of the Army and the Indian Air Force.

HAL, IAI and DTL form strategic collaboration for UAVs
Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Dynamatic Technologies Ltd (DTL) announced the signing of MoU for manufacturing and marketing of IAI’s unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to Indian potential customers.
UAVs are playing a significant role in wars and other tactical missions.

  • IAI as the design authority, HAL as the principal contractor and DTL as the principle sub-contractor will complement each other to provide ‘Make-in-India’ UAVs to defence forces.

HAL signs pacts with Rosoboronexport, Coast Guard, IIT Kanpur and TAPL
HAL and TAPL: HAL signed a ‘Lease Agreement’ with Turbo Aviation Private Ltd. for operating two Do-228 aircraft under the UDAN scheme. TAPL would operate two Do-228 aircraft manufactured by HAL.

  • The agreement was signed by Mr Apurba Roy, General Manager of HAL’s TAD Kanpur and Mr V Umesh, MD, TAPL.
  • The two aircraft from HAL would be operating from the state capital Lucknow. The first aircraft will connect Lucknow from Shravasti, Aligarh, Azamgarh, Jhansi and Saharanpur. The second aircraft will operate from Lucknow to Hindon, Faizabad, Mirpur, Chitrakoot and Kushinagar.

HAL and Indian Coast Guard: HAL signed a contract with Indian Coast Guard (ICG) for midlife upgradation program on 17 CG Do-228 aircraft manufactured by HAL Kanpur.

  • The contract was signed between Mr Apurba Roy, General Manager of HAL’s TAD Kanpur and Mr Sanjai Singh, Joint Secretary (Air) & AM, MoD.
  • The contract aims to address the obsolescence and supportability issues and enhance the operational capability of ICG Do-228 fleet.

HAL and IIT Kanpur: HAL signed MoU with IIT Kanpur for providing Do-228 or HS 748 aircraft towards extending logistic support to the Institution’s projects in the field of ‘Cloud Seeding’.

  • The MoU was signed between Mr Apurba Roy, General Manager of HAL’s TAD Kanpur and Dr Manindra Agrawal, Deputy Director, IIT Kanpur.

HAL and JSC Rosoboronexport: HAL and Russia’s JSC Rosoboronexport signed MoU envisages export of spares and services to friendly countries for which license has been given to HAL. The scope will include Su-30 MKI, AL 31 FP engine, RD33 engines, accessories etc.

  • JSC Rosoboronexport is the only state organization in Russia for exporting the entire range of military, dual-use products and services and technologies.

BEL signs tripartite MoU with Elbit & GRSE for Unmanned Surface Vessels
Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL), a Bengaluru-based Defence PSU, has signed a tripartite MoU with Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Ltd (GRSE) and Elbit Systems, Israel at DefExpo 2020.

  • Anandi Ramalingam, Director (Marketing), BEL, Cmde S Nayyar (IN Retd), Director (Ship Building), GRSE, and Yaron Levi, Vice President (Naval Systems), Elbit Systems, signed the tripartite MoU on behalf of BEL, GRSE and Elbit.
  • The MoU aims at leveraging the individual strengths of BEL, Elbit and GRSE for the development and customisation of Elbit’s Unmanned Surface Vessels (USV) for the requirements of the Indian Navy.

BEL MoU with BHEL
A MoU was signed between Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) and Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) during DEFEXPO 2020 at Lucknow, UP. The MoU will also enable BHEL and BEL to make joint efforts to explore markets for products individually developed or jointly developed by both companies.

BEL MoU with OFB
Bharat Electronics Limited and Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) have signed MoU to continue their existing co-operation in the field of air defence and artillery Gun Systems, Armoured Fighting Vehicles, Arms & Ammunition and related Products, Systems and Accessories, leveraging complementary strengths, to meet the requirements of Indian Defence forces among others.

RailTel signs MoU with BEL for cooperation in cloud services, IoT , e-governance
RailTel Corporation of India Ltd has signed MoU with defence PSU Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) for cooperation in the field of cloud services, IoT , e-governance, smart cities, networks for defence projects, mission critical communication systems for domestic and international markets. The MoU was signed in the presence of BEL CMD (Chief Managing Director) M V Gowtama and Puneet Chawla CMD, RailTel.

Thales, MKU to co-develop ELFIE night vision device for armed forces in Kanpur
French defence firm Thales and Kanpur-based defence manufacturer MKU (M Kumar Udyog) will jointly develop ELFIE night vision devices (NVD) for the armed forces in India and across the world.

  • With this, both companies have further solidified a MoU signed in 2018 for strategic co-operation on developing optronic devices. This co-operation involves co-development of these devices at MKU’s facility in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh

JJV and BDL sign MoU to explore co-production of Javelin anti-tank missile system
Javelin Joint Venture (JJV), a partnership of two US-based defence majors Raytheon and Lockheed Martin, has signed MoU with Indian PSU Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) to explore co-production of Javelin anti-tank guided missile system. Javelin is an anti-tank guided missile system that can be carried and launched by a single person.

  • Javelin is currently in service in 18 allied countries. The JJV has produced more than 45,000 rounds for both US and foreign militaries.

L&T, ideaForge sign pact for high-tech drone manufacturing
Infrastructure giant Larsen & Toubro (L&T) has entered into a pact with ideaForge, domestic unmanned aerial vehicles manufacturer, to offer hi-tech drones and allied systems for defence use. They will also offer anti-drone solutions to counter the threat of malicious or unintended usage of drones.

Russian Helicopters signs a road map with Indo-Russian Helicopters Limited for localisation of production in India
Russian Helicopters Holding Company (part of Rostec State Corporation) has signed a roadmap at the Defexpo 2020 exhibition with the Russian-Indian company Indo-Russian Helicopters Limited (IRHL) for localization of Ka-226T helicopter production in India.

  • Indo-Russian Helicopters Limited is a joint venture of Russian Helicopters, Rosoboronexport and the Indian corporation HAL.
  • The light utility helicopter Ka-226T has a coaxial twin-rotor system, its maximum takeoff weight is 3.6 t, and it is able to transport up to 1 t of payload.

Other Important Highlights:

  • Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) launched “Sharang” the 155mm artillery gun with 36 km range and handed over a model to Chief of Army Staff (CoAS) Gen Manoj Mukund Naravane. OFB won bid to revamp 130mm weapons. The contract, worth 200 crore, was signed in October 2018.
  • OFB also launched JVPC Alpha gun with 100 mt range, Light Machine Gun of 800 mt range and UBGL – Under barrel Grenade launcher.
  • Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) launched Amogha-3 the anti-Tank Guided Missile. It is a man portable fire and forget missile. It also launched Varunastra, the anti-submarine torpedo, manufactured under the technological guidance of DRDO.
  • Initiation of ‘Pranash’: DRDO has started developing a 200-km strike range tactical ballistic missile ‘Pranash’, which would be armed with conventional warheads. The missile is an advanced version of the 150-km strike range Prahar missile which was being developed for tactical missions. The surface-to-surface ballistic missile will be of use for the Air Force and Army.
  • Launch of Khagantak: Indian firm JSR Dynamics came up with its indigenous 180 km strike range air to ground missile Khagantak. The Khagantak missile is a guide weapon which has got artificial intelligence to recognise targets.The missile is an air-launch weapon with a range of 180 km when released from a height of 12 km.
  • Army gets upgraded 155mm artillery gun at Defexpo: It handed over Sharang, the first 130mm M-46 artillery gun upgraded to 155mm to the Indian Army. It was formally handed over by OFB Chairman Hari Mohan to Army Chief Gen. Manoj Naravane at the ongoing Defexpo.
  • The first batch of Kamov military helicopters, to be manufactured in India under an Indo-Russia joint venture, is expected to be rolled out by 2025, at Tumkur in Karnataka. In October 2016, India and Russia finalised a broad agreement for the joint venture between HAL and two Russian defence majors for production of the helicopters in India. These will replace ageing Cheetah and Chetak helicopters.
  • Business seminars were organised by both international and Indian Industry chambers viz. Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI), PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), SYNERGIA, Directorate of Standardisation (DOS)/Department of Defence Production (DDP), US-India Business Council (USIBC), US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF), etc.
  • There was Instagram photo competition during the business days of the exposition. The best selected photographs by a jury shall fetch the participants cash prizes of Rs one lakh. The second and third prize will be Rs 75,000 and Rs 50,000 respectively.

How DefExpo2020 is game changer for Uttar Pradesh?
This DefExpo has projected the new identity of Uttar Pradesh in defence sector which already has a strong defence industrial infrastructure. It has four units of Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) at Lucknow, Kanpur, Korwa and Naini (Prayagraj), nine ordnance factory units, including Kanpur, Korwa, Shahjahanpur, Firozabad and one unit of Bharat Electronics LimitedNSE 0.35 % at Ghaziabad. One of the two Defence Industrial Corridors (DICs) of India is also planned in Uttar Pradesh. The Corridor will encourage Defence Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), including Indian defence industry. Uttar Pradesh will now become a “new hub” of defence production.

About Uttar Pradesh
Capital– Lucknow
State Animal– Barasingha
State Flower– Sacred Tree
State Bird– Sarus crane
State Tree– Ashoka tree