The Defence Expo 2016 will take place this year in Goa. The Defence Expo and the Aero India show have been major events which have grown a lot over the years. The earlier venue of the Expo was Pragati Maidan in Delhi and Bengaluru respectively. Due to renovations at Pragati Maidan and certain other issues related to holding such big events due to congestion around the venues and difficulty in accessing the event, both the cities have become unviable. So, a committee was set up by the Ministry, which decided on Goa being the next venue.
Goa having a long coastline about 150 acres of land that could easily accommodate a 10,000 feet runway was asked for conducting the Expo and the Aero India show by the Defence Minister , Manohar Parrikar in a letter to Chief Minister of Goa Laxmikant Parsekar. Goa being a tourist attraction was also considered to be an added advantage. Even though certain sections of the society are against Quittol (Betul) being a permanent venue for the shows; a letter by IDC Managing Director S.V. Naik to the Department of Defence Procurement of the Defence Ministry revealed that the land is being permanently offered.
More than 977 companies and 46 countries are supposed to be a part of the Defence Expo this year which is the ninth in the series of biennial Land, Naval and Internal Homeland Security Systems Exhibition. Countries like USA, Russia, Sweden, Republic of Korea, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates and Portugal amongst others have confirmed their participation.
According to our Defence Minister, China and Pakistan have not been invited to be a part of the Expo. A delegation from China will be arriving but will not be allowed to participate whereas Pakistan has not been allowed to participate or even witness the Expo.
On the other hand, India’s old ally Russia is sending a 500 member delegation. Russia is exhibiting 800 defence related products at the four-day event including Kamov helicopters to latest Kalashnikov rifles. Rostec State Corporation, an umbrella organisation of about 700 organisations intends to discuss the creation of joint production of ammunition with Defence Ministry. Sergie Chemezov, CEO of Rostec State Corporation will be heading the Russian delegation. United Engine Corporation (UEC) will present models of aircraft and marine engine. Russian Helicopters will showcase Mi-38 and Ka-226 T during the event. The delegation will have talks with State-run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and Pawan Hans Limited, which operate helicopters Mi-172 and other aircraft. Russian helicopters also plan to organise the presentation of Mi-38 and Mi-171A2 for Pawan Hans Limited.
The first day, March 28, hosts of seminars including that on “State of Art Technology in Shipbuilding Initiative and Requirements of Indian Defence Shipyards” would be held. There will also be a session on “International Cooperation in Futuristic Maritime Research and development” and “Advanced Technologies in Submarine Construction.”
Next day, March 29, the industrial body Associated Chamber of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) will hold day-long Global Investors’ Summit on Defence sector.
Likewise, there will be a seminar on private sector participation in Defence development programme which will be chaired by Smita Nagaraj, Director General (Acquisitions), Union Minister of Defence. There will also be a discussion on “Defence collaboration and joint ventures with global partners” to be chaired by K Nagaraj Naidu, Director, Investment and Technology Promotion Division of Union Defence Ministry. The Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) has also planned a seminar on “Defence Offset: Challenges and Opportunities” during the event. Another industrial body Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) will host “India Korea Defence Cooperation Seminar and business meet” and also modernisation of Indian Army.
The event will start on March 28, 2016, and end on March 31, 2016. The last day is open to general public from 10am to 5pm.