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India's sixth Land and Naval Systems exhibition begins

Defence Minister AK Antony during the inaugural ceremony of the Defexpo 2010.

NEW DELHI (BNS): Indian Defence Minister A K Antony on Monday inaugurated the sixth international Land and Naval Systems Exhibition at Pragati Maidan here.

The four-day exhibition, organised by the Defence Exhibition Organisation, Ministry of Defence, would witness 650 exhibitors showcasing their products, half of them from India.

At the inaugural ceremony Antony said, “India must achieve a high level of indigenisation in defence.” He also said that the country would spend 50 billion dollars on modernisation of the defence sector by 2015.

The exhibition would help in business-to-business contacts and for fruitful trade partnerships, apart from establishing links between foreign and Indian companies for fulfilling offset obligations for contracts over Rs 300 crore.

The United States, represented by 25 companies, will be the biggest exhibitor. Israel, which has emerged as a leading supplier of weaponry and equipment to the Indian defense forces since 1999, will occupy the largest exhibit space at 1,248 square meters.

"We look forward to facilitating these. This year, participation from both exhibitors and foreign delegations has gone up. Indian participation has nearly doubled," India permanent Defence Production Secretary Raj Kumar Singh said.

From the domestic participants, DRDO would have the largest presence in the Defexpo, with BEML occupying the largest open space for exhibiting its products.

The Defexpo would also provide opportunity for the CII to organise business seminars on defence offsets, joint ventures and tie-ups between Indian and foreign firms, futuristic army and naval systems and leveraging technology.

The Land and Naval Systems Exhibition which began in 1999 with 197 exhibitors have grown to one of the most internationally recognised defence exhibitions in the world.

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