Day 1 of the exhibition kicked off with India approving technical configuration of the 200 Kamov Ka-226T helicopters that it will buy from Russian Helicopters and the company will also offer the same for Naval Utility Helicopter (NUH), required by the Indian Navy, further cementing Indo-Russia relationship. The first 60 aircraft will be manufactured in Russia, while the remaining 140 will be assembled in India.
Russia's United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC) will demonstrate conventional submarines of various classes and water displacement while Rosoboronexport will feature over 230 items weapon systems and military hardware offered by the company for export including T-90 tanks and Project 11356 frigates.
Close on the heels of the successful Indo-Korean joint exercise 'SAHYOG-HYEOBLYEOG 2018' by the coast guards of both countries in Chennai, South Korean delegation also attended the DefExpo 2018. The joint commission with South Korea it's also one of the major international collaborations at the event.
Secretary for Defence Production, Ajay Kumar claims this year's Defexpo is different from earlier editions, in which foreign original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) attended to showcase their weaponry. This time, says Kumar, "the message we are sending out through Defexpo is that India is emerging as a major defence manufacturing hub."
While the ongoing DefExpo 2018 may be all about promoting 'Make in India', with many international players, official foreign delegations, ministerial delegations, countries with large delegations as well as business delegations attending the expo, business is in full swing. So much so that the alleged snub by China and Maldives to send a ministerial-level delegation to the expo has lost its sting.