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Asia's largest defence exhibition kicks off Thursday

Delhi,Business/Economy,Defence/Security, Wed, 28 Mar 2012 IANS

New Delhi, March 28 (IANS) Over 500 global defence firms from 32 countries will be displaying their land and naval warfare systems at Asia's largest military exhibition being hosted by India from Thursday to showcase its prowess as a weapons producer and emergence as an attractive investment destination in the sector.


"Some 567 global defence firms from 32 countries will display weapon systems for the army, navy and also for internal security," a defence ministry official said here Wednesday, ahead of the event that will be inaugurated by Defence Minister A.K. Antony.


The four-day event, organised by the Indian defence ministry, will be held at Delhi's Pragati Maidan, a known expo venue in the capital.


The department of defence production and industry body Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci) will be the event managers.


The exhibition will witness participation of defence firms from world's major defence exporting nations such as the US, Russia, France, Germany, Italy, and Israel. The event is expected to be attended by official delegations from 60 countries.


Israel is the biggest participating country in terms of indoor space occupied (1,293 sq m) while Russia is represented with the maximum number of 37 companies.


In the 2010, there were 412 exhibitors from 35 countries. The exhibition area has increased from 27,309 sq m in 2010 to 30,760 sq m this year.


Among the US majors to be present this year at the event will be Boeing, which is a major supplier of transport planes such as C-17s heavylift and P-8I maritime reconnaissance aircraft to Indian armed forces.


Rockwell Collins too will be present at the event, showcasing its communication equipment and systems, according to its managing director for India Ram Prasad.


At the French Pavilion, Thales, which had recently won an Indian contract for upgrading of Mirage-2000 combat planes, will be a major participant. It will demonstrate its capabilities in global air defence solutions, force protection, missile systems and rocket systems at the exhibition.


Britain will be there, with its major firm, BAE Systems, showcasing its land warfare systems, including its artillery weapons and all-terrain military vehicles.


Though Chinese companies have not been invited for the biennial exhibition, there will be an official delegation from Beijing.


The DefExpo was conceptualised in 1998 with an objective to promote defence exports from India and exhibit the capabilities of Indian defence research and development and production.


The first exhibition was held in 1999 and subsequently in 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2010.


While a modest 197 exhibitors participated in the first DefExpo, the event features 567 exhibitors in its seventh edition this year.


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