New Delhi. 24 September 2022. Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar comprehensively reviewed the preparations of the forthcoming DefExpo 2022 during the Apex Committee meeting at New Delhi on September 24, 2022. Chief Secretary, Government of Gujarat Pankaj Kumar and other senior officers of the state government as well as Ministry of Defence attended the meeting.

The 12th edition of DefExpo is scheduled to be held in Gandhinagar, Gujarat between October 18-22, 2022 in a first ever four-venue format which promises to engage the public and inspire them to join the Aerospace and Defence manufacturing sector; for ‘Aatmanirbharta’ in Defence. During the meeting, the Defence Secretary was briefed of the arrangements by the multiple stakeholders that are being made for the biennial event. Dr Ajay Kumar urged the officials to strive towards making DefExpo22 a grand success with focus on business and export promotion of indigenous defence platforms and products.

The DefExpo 2022 was earlier scheduled from March 10-14, 2022 and was postponed due to logistical challenges being faced by participants at that stage. The new dates (October 18-22, 2022) were announced on August 08, 2022. The forthcoming edition is the first-ever edition exclusively for Indian companies. For DefExpo 2022, Indian companies, Indian subsidiaries of Foreign OEMs, Division of company registered in India, Exhibitor having Joint Venture with an Indian company will be considered as Indian participants.

The theme of DefExpo 2022 is ‘Path to Pride’ and in semblance with Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s vision to transform India into a strong and self-reliant nation by supporting, showcasing and forging partnerships for the Indian Aerospace and Defence manufacturing sectors with Indian as well as global customers. The aim is to showcase the might of the domestic defence industry which is now powering ‘Make in India, Make for the World’ resolve of the Government and the nation at large.

Keeping with ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ celebrations, DefExpo 2022 promises to better its previous edition as it is being planned in the largest ever total area of 1+ Lakh sqm (previous edition being 76,000 sqm). The inaugural ceremony and seminars will be held at Mahatma Mandir Convention and Exhibition Centre (MMCEC), Exhibition at Helipad Exhibition Centre (HEC), Live Demonstrations on all five days at Sabarmati River Front (SRF) and ship visits for public by Indian Coast Guard at Porbandar. The biggest drone show by the indigenous IIT Delhi start-up M/s Botlabs (an iDEX winner) has also been organised, which will be another highlight of the mega-event. The sale of space had commenced from August 15, 2022 and, thus far, over 1,000+ exhibitors have registered and the numbers are anticipated to be the highest-ever recorded during the previous editions of DefExpo.

In the run-up to the event, a nation-wide reach out has been undertaken inviting the States to set-up pavilions and thereby partake in nation building through enhancing indigenous defence manufacturing. Many States have assured of participation as a State pavilion. The enhanced number of State Pavilions, which is presently eight, would also provide the opportunity for Chief Ministers, Industries Ministers, Chief Secretaries etc. to solicit investment and promote their respective States thus cultivating more centres for indigenous aerospace and defence manufacturing within the country. Also, towards greater participation by start-ups and MSMEs, 50 per cent discount on space charges is offered.

In addition, a National Defence MSME Conclave and Exhibition was successfully held for the first time at Kota, Rajasthan during on September 11-12, 2022 with Speaker of Lok Sabha  Om Birla as the Chief Guest and Raksha Rajya Mantri Shri Ajay Bhatt as the Guest of Honour. A static display by the Indian Army displaying indigenous platforms and drone show by Botlabs was well received by the public in Kota.

The India Pavilion – a marque pavilion of Department of Defence Production, Ministry of Defence – will showcase the maturity of indigenous defence products, start-ups, latest technology, including Artificial Intelligence in defence, and will present India’s vision for 2047. It has been named ‘Path to Pride’.

DefExpo 2022 will also mark the celebration of one year of the formation of the seven new defence companies, carved out of the erstwhile Ordnance Factories. All these companies will be participating for the first time at DefExpo.

The exhibition will also host the 2nd edition of the India-Africa Defence Dialogue (IADD), with invites extended to 53 African countries. A separate Indian Ocean Region plus (IOR+) conclave with participation of approximately 40 countries is also on the anvil. Intensive interactions and ideation at seminars, planned at the DefExpo 2022 with eminent panellists from Government, Industry, Industry associations, States, Academia, Think-tanks etc., will also provide important learnings/take-aways/action points for further growth of this sector.