The emphasis on Atmanirbharta in the Indian Defence sector will be displayed throughout as the event showcases the country's progress in Defence Manufacturing
"When the country moves forward with new thinking, new approach, then its systems also start changing according to the new thinking", said the Prime Minister while inaugurating the 14th edition of the biennial airshow, Aero India 2023. He highlighted the event to be a reflection of the changing approach of New India. He stated that Aero India is no longer 'just a show' and a window to 'sell to India', rather today, Aero India is India's strength that showcases the scope of the defence industry and the self-confidence of India.
"The new India of the 21st century will neither miss any opportunity nor will it lack any effort", the Prime Minister said as he noted the revolution brought in various sectors with the help of reforms.
Underlining the ambitions of India's self reliant defence hub, he underlined that the nation which used to be the largest defence exporter for decades has now started exporting defence equipment to 75 countries in the world.
Referring to the transformation of the defence sector in the last 8-9 years, the Prime Minister said that the aim is to take defence exports from 1.5 billion to 5 billion by 2024-25. "From here India will take rapid strides to be included among the largest defence manufacturing countries and our private sector and investors will play a big role in that", the Prime Minister said.
Defence Minister, Rajnath Singh asserted that India has become a promising manufacturing destination due to its business-friendly environment and cost-competitiveness. "India has become the fifth largest economy in the world due to the vision and is well on course to become the third largest economy in the next 4-5 years. India's G-20 presidency this year is also a reflection of India's growing stature on the international platforms," he said.
The Defence Minister also shed light on the growth story of the Indian defence sector, saying that it has come a long way in the last few years and is marching ahead on the path of empowering the nation with full zeal and dedication. He termed Aero India as one of the pillars which has strengthened the defence sector and has given it a new identity.
"Aero India's deafening roar echoes India's message of Reform, Perform and Transform", the Prime Minister remarked. He mentioned that the entire world is taking note of the reforms made for 'Ease of Doing Business' in India and touched upon the various steps taken to create an environment that favours global investments as well as Indian innovation. He also mentioned the reforms made in Foreign Direct Investments in defence and other sectors and the simplification of processes for issuing licenses to industries while also increasing their validity. The Prime Minister said that in this year's Budget, tax benefits for manufacturing units have been enhanced.
"Where there is demand, expertise as well as experience, industry growth is natural." He assured the gathering that efforts to strengthen the sector will keep going forward even stronger.
In line with the Prime Minister's vision of 'Make in India, Make for the World', the Aero India is focusing on displaying indigenous equipment/technologies and forging partnerships with foreign companies. The emphasis on Atmanirbharta in the Indian Defence sector will be displayed throughout as the event will showcase the country's progress in design leadership, growth in UAVs Sector, Defence Space and futuristic technologies. Further, the event will promote the export of indigenous air platforms like Light Combat Aircraft (LCA)-Tejas, HTT-40, Dornier Light Utility Helicopter (LUH), Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) and Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH). The event will also help in integrating domestic MSMEs and startups in the global supply chain and attract foreign investments including partnerships for co-development and co-production.
Referring to the Defence Minister's Conclave and CEO Roundtable that is being organised along with the show, Prime Minister Modi said that active participation in the sector will enhance the potential of Aero India.
The inaugural also included a fly past and a flying display. From Sarang to Surya Kirans, LCH Prachand to LUH, Sukhoi to Rafale and MiG-29, ALH Rudra to LCA Tejas caught the attention and set the spirits high through various maneuvers and formations including the Tiranga formation by the Surya Kirans, Varuna, Arjun, Netra, Trishul and Gurukul formations.
The Prime Minister also inaugurated the India Pavilion and went through the displays showcasing India's indigenous defence prowess and interacted with the CEOs present at the pavilion. The India Pavilion has a new DefSpace section as well this year that showcases how the space industry can align with the defence industry in India and bring about a further boost to India Inc.'s strengthening self-reliance defence capabilities.
The 'India Pavilion', based on the 'Fixed Wing Platform' theme, is showcasing. India's growth in the area, including the future prospects. There will be a total of 115 companies, displaying 227 products. It will further showcase the growth of India in developing an ecosystem for Fixed Wing platform which includes the demonstration of various structural modules, simulators, systems (LRUs) etc of LCA-Tejas aircraft being produced by Private Partners. There will also be a section for Defence space, New Technologies and a UAV section which will give an insight about the growth of India in each sector.
He called upon the private sector to invest in the defence sector which will create new opportunities for them in India and in many other countries.
"The India of today thinks fast, thinks far and takes quick decisions", Prime Minister Modi said as he drew the analogy of India in Amrit Kaal to a fighter jet pilot. The Prime Minister said that India is a nation which is not afraid but excited to soar to new heights. India is always rooted however high it flies howsoever is its speed, the Prime Minister stressed.