Commitment to peace as strong as commitment to protect territory: Modi

DefExpo to kick off in Chennai tomorrow bonding US, allies in Indo-Pacific region

Stressing on his point about policy paralysis during the previous regimes, PM highlighted the issue of the delay in providing bullet proof jackets to army soldiers,"The issue of providingbullet-prooff jackets to Indian soldiers was kept hanging for years. It will set up defence innovation hubs throughout the country to provide necessary incubation and infrastructure support to the start-ups in the defence sector".

Noting that over 500 Indian companies and over 150 foreign companies are participating in the DefExpo 2018 and more than 40 countries have sent their official delegations, Mr. Modi said that it was for the first time that he was at the Defexpo.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today hit out at the previous UPA government for "policy paralysis" in the defense sector and told foreign companies that it will not take a decade to take a decision on procurement of a batch of 110 fighter jets.

On the two proposed defense corridors-one in Tamil Nadu and the other one in Uttar Pradesh-Modi said, "These would utilise defence manufacturing ecosystems in the regions and further build upon it. Not now, not anymore, never again", he said during the inauguration of DefExpo 2018 here on Thursday.

Yesterday while addressing the media, Defence Minister Sitharaman said her intention to hold such an exhibition is to promote India-made defence products elsewhere. The government, with this edition, wishes to position itself as a military manufacturer rather than just as an importer.

Modi also referred to the Indian Air Force's long-awaited request for information (RFI) issued last week to global vendors for the procurement of 110 single-engine and twin engine fighters under the Defence Procurement Procedure of 2016 to facilitate indigenous military hardware manufacturing. "For this we are ready to take all necessary measures to equip our armed forces, including through the establishment of a strategically independent defence industrial complex".




"We are living in an interconnected world, therefore the strategic imperative for Make in India and Make for India, is stronger than before", the Prime Minister added.

At the inaugural function, the Prime Minister also launched IDEX (Innovations for Defence Excellence), a portal for startups to deal with the defence production department.

The collective presence of major U.S. manufacturers, technology innovators, supply-chain leaders and even firearms producers exhibiting at the show would be a strong indication of how important India was to the US.

"New and emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and robotics are perhaps the most important determinants/of defensive and offensive capabilities for any defence force in the future".

On the defence front, he said his government has taken steps to strengthen and improve manufacturing licenses, exports clearances, Foreign Direct Investment and reforming procurement. According to him, NDA Government introduced the FDA which will bring fruitful results for the development of Indian defence industry in coming years. "In less than four years, we have issued 794 more export permissions, for a total value of over 1.3 billion dollars", he said.

India is reportedly looking to focus more on exporting military equipment, keeping in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "Make in India" initiative.

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