2016 DefExpo to feature live demonstrations, 430 companies confirm participation.
India's first ever defence exhibition that will feature live demonstrations of armoured vehicles and military systems besides operations by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) has got big ticket bookings, with more than 430 top companies already confirmed and the number expected to go well over 700. Military manufacturers around the world are showing keen interest in the 2016 DefExpo that is set to take place in Goa in March, moving out of Delhi for the first time, officials aware of the development said.
They have told ET that 54 nations have already confirmed their participation at the event, making it the biggest edition of DefExpo series. Almost all top global defence manufacturers, besides Indian players are taking part in the event. As part of the event, a Make in India summit is also planned for which all chief ministers and police chiefs from across the country have been invited.
Unlike the past, when the focus was on defence equipment, homeland security will be a major feature at at this year's exhibition, sources said. While moving the expo from Delhi to Goa caused some anxiety over logistics and arrangements, the defence ministry has already sold out 18,000 square meters of space and has planned a special area where tanks, armoured vehicles and specialist equipment can carry out a live presentations.
The event has been moved to Goa after the defence ministry was asked to vacate vacate the permanent exhibition space at Delhi's Pragati Maidan in 2012. After the eviction notice, the previous Congress-led government scouted for a new venue, finally choosing Goa over Udaipur and Lucknow in late 2012.
Contrary to reports, the 150-acre Goa venue for the exhibition will not be transferred to the defence ministry and will remain as an exhibit space for the state. It will, however, be designated as a permanent venue for the defence exhibition and Aero India that take place alternatively each year.
In the future, the show will be expanded with the acquisition of more land by the state government that will give access to the sea, opening up the marine version of India's premier defence exhibition. A temporary runway is planned to be constructed at the venue to help it host Aero India in the future.
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