• Naval systems & Naval equipment to be displayed in full strength

New Delhi. 05 November 2018. The annual MAST (Maritime/Air Systems and Technology ) Conference and exhibition, the leading one of its kind in the world is being held for the first time in India at the state of the art Exposition Centre, located in Greater Noida within the National Capital Region.

The event is being organised by MAST Communications UK, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) which is India’s leading industry association and the Indian Maritime Foundation, the country’s premier maritime NGO with a wide and diverse range of maritime activities. It has  also been endorsed by the Ministry of Defence.

Speaking to ADU, the Conference Chairman Commodore Anil Jai Singh wh is also the Vice president of the Indian maritime Foundation and a member of the MAST Technical committee said “I am privileged to chair this important international conference being held in India which recognises India’s growing stature as a global maritime power.”

This will be the thirteenth year of the MAST event which has grown in size and stature since the first one was held in Nice(France) in 2006. Since then The MAST Conference and Exhibition is an annual event and has grown in prominence and stature since it was first held in Nice (France). Subsequent conferences have been held in Washington DC (twice), Genoa, Stockholm, Cadiz, Malmo, Rome, Istanbul , Gdansk, Amsterdam and twice in Tokyo.

Over the years MAST has built up a reputation for providing high quality technology content through presentation of papers at the Conference where the focus is more on technology than on products and at the exhibition where leading global OEMs display and demonstrate their latest innovations and technologies. Its growing reputation is testified by the support it gets from navies and other governmental organisation from across the world including NAVSEA USA, the UKTI DSO, DSTL Australia, ALTA Japan and many others. It therefore attracts a wide cross section of delegates including official military delegations, senior industry executives, leading figures from the defence scientific and R&D community and academia. The average attendance at the last three MAST Conferences was in excess of 2300 delegates at each event.

In 2015, the MAST Conference held in Yokohama Japan was  a great success and was heralded by the global media as the first major defence trade show held in Japan since World war 2. The success of that Conference has led to the event becoming a regular biennial feature in Japan. The 2017 conference held there was an equally big success. The next MAST Conference is being held in downtown Tokyo in the summer of 2019. Infact, in 2019 there is a second conference also being planned to be held in Copenhagen in the fall at the request of the Royal Danish Navy at the same time that a NATO naval exercise is planned in those waters.

The Indian Context

From an Indian perspective, this event is significant in many ways, primary among them being the opportunity for Indian industry to exhibit its prowess through equipment displays and presentation of papers. This is particularly relevant in a ‘Make in India’ context , defence indigenisation and self-reliance being one of the key sectors. Dependency on defence imports is a serious strategic vulnerability which India can ill afford. In the four years since its launch in 2014, various initiatives and policies have been promulgated by the MoD to realise this vision. The recent Defence Production Policy has also emphasised defence exports . India is perfectly poised to become an export hub for the global OEMs in a value conscious market in this region.

This conference provides a golden opportunity for the MSME sector to display its technological prowess as well as interact with senior technology experts from all over the world to gain value and explore the possibility of integrating themselves into the global supply chains of these OEMs and in India they can play a major role in indigenisation as well as participating in fulfilling huge offset obligations. Hence holding the MAST Conference in India could not have been planned at a better time as it offers great advantages and opportunities to all stakeholders from the government, industry and academia, both from India and abroad.

India has a vast R&D establishment which contributes significantly to India’s defence requirements. MAST provides a good platform for this vast reservoir of talented scientific manpower to interact and share their knowledge for mutual benefit of industry as well as the user- the Indian Armed Forces. The R&D establishment must be encouraged to present papers in their areas of technical expertise.

The users – the Indian Navy and the Indian Coast Guard stand to gain immensely from this close interaction, both from the technical as well as the warfighting perspective. Rarely does an IN officer get an opportunity to see cutting edge equipment on display and also listen to experts in the field highlighting the technological innovations in the offing. A user- industry interaction can be of great benefit for both to understand each other better and thereby optimise their effort, cost and exploitation of contemporary and futuristic equipment.

The event is spread over three days with a mixture of keynote, plenary and breakout sessions. The impressive credentials of the keynote speakers sets the bar very high for the proceedings that follow. The plenary sessions also include high level participation and will focus on identifying the requirements at a strategic level in a medium to long term perspective ; the panellists will discuss the opportunities and challenges and offer solutions or a course of action that industry can then focus their efforts on. The breakout sessions comprise three simultaneous sessions over all three days with technology being the focus of the presentations. This will also generate a very useful exchange of views between the speakers and the knowledgeable audience and lead to a better understanding of each other’s perspectives.

The hosting of the MAST Conference in India provides a great opportunity for officers of the Indian Navy and the Indian Coast Guard, scientists from DRDO, industry personnel, academics and scholars to share their knowledge at the Conference through formal interaction in the form of paper presentation and informal through discussions, Q&A at the conference etc.

Submission of Papers and Participation in the Exhibition

While the last date for submitting extracts has lapsed, papers from those willing to be heard and offering the wisdom of their knowledge on naval technologies in any aspect – surface, sub-surface, air, autonomous, disruptive, space, cyber are more than welcome to submit their papers for selection by the Technical Committee by 15 November 2018.

(Details on submission of papers is available on www.mastconfex.org or alternately please contact Commodore Anil jai Singh, Vice President Indian Maritime Foundation and the Conference Chairman on [email protected] or mobile no +919560155188.)