New Delhi: The DefExpo 2008, the largest defence fair on the Indian sub-continent, has opened for public viewing with hundreds of global weapons firms putting their products on view. The Indian armed forces are on a massive modernization drive, which makes New Delhi a very attractive destination for the world's arms manufacturers and weapon systems suppliers.
About 450 weapons manufacturing companies from 30 countries are present at the four-day "DefExpo" in New Delhi. It is expected that a number of big-ticket announcements may be made over the course of the four-day fair.
"This is going to provide you a big platform to showcase your capabilities and to interact, share and collaborate with each other," AK Antony, Indian defence minister, said at the inauguration of the event.
India, which maintains the world's fourth largest military, is expected to purchase over $30 billion of weapons over the next four years.
Deals in the pipeline are for a second line of submarines for the Indian Navy, an artillery and a helicopter contract for the Indian Army and Air Force, as well as for unmanned aerial vehicles.
Tenders for a long pending deal for 126 medium range multi role combat aircraft (MMRCA) are due to be opened in March.
Global aviation and arms firms from the United States, Britain, France, Israel and Russia are present in large numbers.