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MSME Defence Expo 2024 Concludes on a High Note, Showcasing the Future of India’s Defence Sector

The first MSME Defence Expo 2024, marking Maharashtra’s debut in hosting a defence expo, wrapped up after three power-packed days, unveiling India’s capabilities in indigenous defence production and forward-looking defence technologies.

A pivotal aspect of the expo was the Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) inked, notably between the Government of Maharashtra and Max Aerospace and Aviation Pvt Ltd, SBL Energy Ltd, and a collaboration between Nibe Ltd and Munitions India Limited. The event also featured insightful panel discussions, shedding light on the defence ecosystem’s current landscape, alongside the challenges and opportunities encountered on India’s path to self-sufficiency in defence manufacturing.

The expo, which witnessed over 2,00,000 visitors, showcased defence equipment from leading entities such as DRDO, L&T, Solar Industries, Bharat Forge, Nibe Ltd, Tata Advanced Systems, among others. Key players in the defense industry displayed an extensive range of products at the event, spanning from small arms weapon systems to diverse military vehicles and advanced air-defense and missile systems. Notable exhibits showcased Advanced Light Helicopter Dhruv, the Light Combat Helicopter Prachand, the powerful Dhanush artillery gun, the precision Field Howitzer 77 Bofors gun, T-90 Bhishma and Arjun Tanks, alongside the Infantry Carrying Vehicle BMP-II. Additionally, attendees had the opportunity to view the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) Make in India manufactured Samar II and the Akash surface-to-air weapon system.

Furthermore, the event was graced by discussions led by Vivek Ram Chaudhari PVSM AVSM VM ADC – Air Chief Marshal; Admiral R. Hari Kumar PVSM AVSM VSM ADC – Chief of Naval Staff and Gen. Manoj Pande PVSM AVSM VSM ADC – Chief of Army Staff. They engaged with students about challenges and opportunities prospects in the defence sector, addressing inquiries with passion and insight. Also, the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) of the Indian Armed Forces, Gen. Anil Chauhan PVSM UYSM AVSM SM VSM joined virtually.

Admiral R. Hari Kumar said, “As we march into Amrit Kaal where India aims to be a fully developed country by 2047, the Indian Navy is confident that ships, submarines, aircraft and any equipment that matters for the defence will be Made in India in alignment with our ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat’ mission. The MSME expo is a great platform to unite and create a dialogue between armed forces and the defence industry. Since INS Vikrant is already engaged with 500 MSME’s we understand the need to tackle funding challenges faced by smaller players and are working with SIDBI to address those. As we grow to become to third largest economy where more trade will be conducted through the sea, the Indian Navy is committed to creating a safe, stable and secure region. This entails embracing technological advancements, challenging status quo and building a focused approach towards indigenous products and technologies thus ensuring a successful transformation from being Navy buyers to Navy Builders.“

Gen. Manoj Pande said, “Pune stands as a beacon of innovation housing institutions, startups, research centers and manufacturing units that drive economic growth. It is a city renowned for pioneering innovative products, solutions, and services not just for India, but for the world. As we convene today, we delve into the foundation of our nation’s vision for progress. Our resolve to emerge as a developed nation is fueled by the perseverance, belief, hard work and sacrifices made by our youth. They are the driving force behind our nation’s growth. We are witnessing technological revolution, led by startups, innovation and research. I assure all the MSMEs and industry leaders that the Indian Army is committed to hand holding them in order to strengthen India’s indigenous defence capability.”

Dr. Samir V Kamat, Chairman of DRDO said, “Our Prime Minister’s vision for India’s future hinges on our advancements, particularly in defense. To lead globally by 2047, we must foster an ecosystem that unites academia, MSMEs and Startup industry. With recent developments and disruptive technologies, we aim not only to enhance our services but also to become the world’s best in the defence field. Together, we can surpass expectations and achieve our goals well before 2047.”

Mr. Ganesh Nibe, Chairman and MD, Nibe Ltd and also the expo’s knowledge partner, expressed his enthusiasm and said, “We are immensely proud to associate as Knowledge Partner with the MSME Defence Expo 2024, a landmark event that highlights the latest in India’s indigenous defence equipment and technologies that epitomizes the Prime Minister’s ‘Make in India’ initiative. This expo plays a crucial role in bolstering our nation’s commitment to self-sufficiency in producing critical defence assets, including ammunition, fighter jets and submarines.”

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