It’s that time of the year when the all too brief Indian spring starts ceding the day to the onslaught of summer. This is also the time when the bi-annual defence industry jamboree takes place in some part of the country. This year DefExpo is taking place in Gandhinagar, Gujarat and the FORCE team will temporarily shift office in the second week of March. No prizes for guessing that the issue in your hands is a special on DefExpo 2022.
Like all trade shows, the primary objective of DefExpo is facilitation of business. Given that the pinnacle of defence business is exports, the cover story focusses on exports—the challenges and the opportunities for the Indian defence industry. The government of India’s protectionist attitude towards the defence public sector has not only stymied its growth as a professional industry with accountability but has also compromised its ability to attract foreign direct investment. The consequence of this has been that short on resources as well as technology, Indian defence exports remain meagre, both in terms of volume and quality.
However, with BrahMos Aerospace managing a foot inside the door by bagging the first export order to the Philippines, perhaps there is a model that can be emulated by other defence companies. The FORCE cover story looks at the BrahMos model to see what lessons it holds and what have been the earlier misses. The most obvious one is forming a joint venture company with a foreign technology partner. But there is more to it than that. Read the cover story to see what the experts say.
Since the March issue is focussed on DefExpo 2022, the bulk of it pertains to modernisation of the Indian military and the paramilitary forces. The running argument is that modernisation cannot be seen through the prism of new equipment alone. Procurement has to proceed in tandem with training and doctrine.
FORCE will be bringing out three daily specials from the DefExpo on March 10, 11 and 12. These will be print editions, which will be uploaded on the FORCE website. In fact, the FORCE team will be doing frequent updates from the show. Hopefully, there will be plenty of positive news from the show. Do check out.