Unveils HTT-40 indigenous trainer aircraft designed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited
Launches Mission DefSpace
Lays foundation stone of Deesa airfield
“This is the first defence expo where only Indian companies are participating and it features only Made in India equipment”
“Defense Expo is also a symbol of global trust towards India”
“Relationship between India and Africa is deepening and touching new dimensions”
“With operational base in Deesa, the expectation of our forces is being fulfilled today”
“Various challenges in space technology have been reviewed and identified by the three services”
“Space technology is shaping new definitions of India's generous space diplomacy”
“In the defence sector, new India is moving ahead with the mantra of Intent, Innovation and Implementation”
“We have set a target to reach 5 billion dollars i.e. 40 thousand crore rupees of defence exports in coming times”
“India sees defence sector as an infinite sky of opportunities”

Governor of Gujarat Acharya Devvrat ji, Defence Minister of the country Shri Rajnath Singh ji, Popular Chief Minister of Gujarat Shri Bhupendrabhai Patel ji, Minister in Gujarat Government Jagdish Bhai, all other senior members of the Council of Ministers, CDS General Anil Chauhan ji, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral R. Hari Kumar, Chief of Army Staff General Manoj Pande, all other dignitaries, all foreign dignitaries, ladies and gentlemen!

A warm welcome to all of you in this festival of a strong, capable and self-reliant India on the soil of Gujarat. While welcoming you as the Prime Minister of the country, I feel equally proud to welcome you all as the son of this soil. This event of DefExpo-2022 is painting a grand image of New India, the resolution for which we have taken in ‘Amritkaal’. This not only showcases the development of the nation but also the participation of the states. It also holds the power of the youth, their youthful dreams, determination, courage, and their strength. Moreover, it has hope for the world and a plethora of opportunities for cooperation with friendly countries.


Defence Expo used to take place in our country earlier too, but the Defence Expo this time is unprecedented! It signifies a new beginning. This is the first ever Defence Expo in the country where only Indian companies are participating with only 'Made in India' Defence equipment. For the first time in a Defence Expo, we are presenting to the world the various different products developed on the soil of India with the sweat and hard work of the people of India, the Indian companies, Indian scientists as well as the power of our youth today from the land of iron man Sardar Patel. It includes more than 1300 exhibitors comprising Indian industries, some joint ventures related to Indian industries, MSMEs and more than 100 startups. In a way, all of you here and the countrymen and the people of the world are getting a glimpse of both our potential and possibilities at once. To realize these possibilities, for the first time, more than 450 MoUs and agreements are being signed


We wanted to organize this event a long time back. The people of Gujarat know this very well. Due to certain circumstances we had to change the timings, due to which there was a slight delay. The guests who were to come from abroad were also inconvenienced, but the biggest ever Defence Expo of the country has marked the beginning of a strong new future. I know that this has caused inconvenience to some countries, but a large number of countries have supported us with a positive attitude.


I am glad that 53 friendly countries from Africa stand shoulder to shoulder with us as India is shaping up these future opportunities. The second India-Africa Defence Dialogue is also going to start on this occasion. This friendship or relationship between India and African countries rests on that old trust, which is getting stronger with time and is touching new dimensions. I want to inform my friends from Africa that the land of Gujarat where you have come today has a very old and close relationship with Africa. During the construction of the first train in Africa, the people from Kutch of Gujarat had gone to Africa, and under challenging circumstances our workers had worked diligently and had played a major role in laying the foundation for modern railways in Africa. Not only this, if you go to Africa today, the word 'dukan' that is originally a gujarati word is commonly used there. 'Roti', 'Bhaji' too are the words associated with African life now. Even for a global leader like Mahatma Gandhi, Gujarat was his birthplace while Africa was his first-ever work place. This love for Africa is still there in the heart of India's foreign policy. During the Corona period, when the whole world was worried about getting vaccines, India prioritised our friendly African countries and delivered the vaccines there. We have tried to stand shoulder to shoulder with Africa in every need, from medicines to peace missions. Now the cooperation and coordination between us in the Defence sector will take these relations to a new height.


The Defence Ministers' Conclave of 'Indian Ocean Region Plus' (IOR+) is an important dimension of this event. 46 of our friendly nations are participating in this event. Today, from international security to global trade, maritime security has emerged as a global priority. In 2015, I had also put forward the vision of Security and Growth for All in the Region i.e. 'SAGAR' in Mauritius. As I said in the Shangri La Dialogue in Singapore, India's engagement in the Indo-Pacific region, from the African coasts to the America, is inclusive. Today the role of the merchant navy has also expanded in the era of globalization. The world's expectations from India have increased manifold, and I want to assure the world that India will continue to make every effort to meet your expectations. We will never stop. Therefore, this Defence Expo is also a symbol of global trust in India. With the presence of so many countries, a huge potential of the world has gathered on the soil of Gujarat. I heartily welcome all the friendly nations of India and their representatives to this event. I congratulate the people of Gujarat, especially Chief Minister Bhupendrabhai Patel and his entire team for this grand event. Today's Defence Expo is giving a new height to the identity of Gujarat in terms of its development and industrial capability in the country and around the world. I am sure that in the coming times, Gujarat will also become a major centre of the Defence industry, which will also contribute a lot to the security and strategic capability of India.


I was looking at the screen and the people of Deesa seemed full of enthusiasm. There was excitement and vigour. The construction of Deesa Airfield is also a significant achievement for the security of the country and the development of the region. Deesa is only 130 km from the International Border. If our forces, especially our air force, are based in Deesa, we will be able to respond better to any misadventure on the western border. Brothers and sisters of Deesa, my best wishes to you from Gandhinagar! Now the future of Deesa, Banaskantha and Patan districts is shining bright! This land was given to Deesa on behalf of Gujarat for this airfield in the year 2000 itself. When I was the Chief Minister here, I constantly tried to start its construction work. I was repeatedly explaining its importance to the then central government. I had also given a lot of land for this purpose but nothing happened for 14 years. So many question marks were put on files that it took time to put things into the right perspective even after I went there (at the Centre). After we formed the government, we decided to make an operational base in Deesa and the expectations of our forces are being met today. My friends from the defence, the Chief of Defence and everyone used to always remind me of this and today this project has been accomplished under the leadership of Chaudhari ji. My heartiest congratulations to Deesa as well as to the Air Force! This area will now become an effective centre of defence and security for the country. Just as Banaskantha and Patan had emerged as the centre of 'Suryashakti' or solar energy in Gujarat, the same Banaskantha and Patan will now also become the centre of 'Vayushakti' for the country.


Space technology is a great example to ensure the future security of any strong nation. I am told that various challenges in this area have been reviewed and identified by the three Services. We have to work fast to solve them. 'Mission Defence Space' will also give an opportunity to the private sector of the country to exhibit its potential. Looking at the future possibilities in space, India will have to ramp up its preparation further. Our Defence Forces will have to find new Innovative Solutions. India's power in space should not be limited, and its benefits should not be limited only to the people of India. This is also our mission and vision. Space technology is shaping up India's liberal-minded space diplomacy, giving birth to new possibilities. Many African countries and smaller countries are benefiting from the same. There are more than 60 developing countries with whom India is sharing its space science. The South Asia satellite is an effective example of the same. By next year, the ten ASEAN countries will also get real-time access to India's satellite data. Even developed countries like Europe and America are using our satellite data. Besides, this field has an immense potential for maritime trade. Through this, we are getting real time information for better income and better security of our fishermen. We know that keeping the time limit and quality in mind, these space-related possibilities will be realized by the youth of my country who have infinite dreams. The youth building the future will take space technology to newer heights. Therefore, these subjects are the priority of the Defence Expo. The inspiration and glory of a scientist like Dr. Vikram Sarabhai are also attached to this land of Gujarat. That inspiration will give a fresh boost to our resolutions.

And friends,

Today, when it comes to the Defence sector and the future warfare, its reins are in a way in the hands of the youth. The role of innovation and research by the youth of India is huge in it. Therefore, this Defence Expo is like a window to the future for the youth of India.


In the Defence sector, India is moving ahead with the mantra of intent, innovation and implementation. Till 8 years ago, India was recognized as the world's largest Defence importer. We used to buy defence equipment from all over the world and pay the money. But New India showed intent and willpower. Now 'Make in India' is becoming the success story of the defence sector today. Our Defence exports have grown 8 times in the past 5 years. We are exporting Defence equipment to more than 75 countries of the world. In 2021-22, India's Defence export has reached $ 1.59 billion i.e. about 13 thousand crore rupees and in the coming time we have set a target to take it to 5 billion dollars i.e. 40 thousand crore rupees. These exports are not limited to certain equipment and certain countries only. Indian Defence companies today are becoming an important part of the global supply chain. We are supplying 'State of the Art' Equipment of Global Standard. Today, on one hand many countries are showing interest in modern fighter jets like Tejas of India, while on the other hand our companies are also supplying parts of Defence equipment to countries like America, Israel and Italy.


Every Indian takes pride when he hears that the BrahMos missile 'Made in India' is considered the deadliest and the most advanced in its category. For many countries, the BrahMos missile has emerged as their preferred choice.


 The world is relying on India's technology today, because India's armed forces have proved their capabilities. The Indian Navy has inducted state-of-the-art aircraft carriers like INS-Vikrant in its fleet. This engineering giant and colossal masterpiece has been manufactured by Cochin Shipyard Limited using indigenous technology. The Indian Air Force has inducted the powerful Light Combat Helicopters manufactured under 'Make in India' programme. Similarly, our Army is also buying indigenous weapons and combat guns from Indian companies today. Modern artillery being built here in Hazira, Gujarat, is enhancing the security of the country's border today.


Our policies, reforms and ease of doing business played a major role in bringing the country to this point. India has earmarked 68 percent of its Defence procurement budget for Indian companies. That is, we have set aside 68% of the defence budget for domestic goods. This is a very crucial decision, and this decision has been possible due to the progressive leadership and the courage of India's armed forces. It is not propelled by political motives. This decision has been taken by the will of the military. Today I am proud of the fact that I have such soldiers and officers in my army who are taking such important decisions forward. Apart from this, we have opened the Defence sector to startups, industry and academia for research and innovation. We have taken a bold decision to hand over 25 percent of the research budget to the new generation in the private academic sector and I trust my country's younger generation. If the Government of India gives them Rs 100, I am sure they will give back Rs 10,000 to the country. This is the strength of the young generation of my country.

I am glad that along with the efforts of the government, our forces have also come forward and have decided that more and more equipment will be bought within the country for its Defence. The armed forces together have also come up with two lists of the various equipment. One list consists of only those equipment that will be purchased from the Indian companies while the other will include some equipment that we can purchase from other countries if needed. I am glad to say that today they have added 101 more things to the first type of list or the 'Made in India only' list. These decisions also show the potential of self-reliant India, and are also a symbol of the increasing confidence of the soldiers of the country in their country's military equipment. Now there will be 411 such equipment and products of the Defence sector, which India will buy only under 'Make in India'. Just imagine the way it will strengthen the foundation of Indian companies, boost our research and innovation and take our Defence manufacturing sector to a great height! This is going to bring a huge benefit to the young generation of my country.


In the midst of this discussion, I would like to mention one more thing. We have a lot of life experience. Let's take one example. In a train's berth, if four people are sitting on that seat, these four wouldn't allow any fifth person to sit there. The same situation has been observed with the defence manufacturing companies of the world. There used to be a monopoly of a few companies in the field of Defence supply in the world. They did not allow any new company to enter. But India has made its place with courage. Today, this skill of the youth of India is emerging as an option for the world, friends. The potential of the youth of India in the Defence sector is coming to the fore-front and it is for the welfare of the world. So, it is providing new opportunities and options to the world. I am sure that due to the efforts of the youth, the defence sector of the country will be strengthened in the coming days. But at the same time the strength of the country and the capabilities of the youth of the country will also increase manifold. I am able to see global good in the things we are exhibiting today in the Defence Expo. This will be of great benefit to the small countries of the world that are usually left behind in terms of defence and security due to lack of resources.


India sees the defence sector as an infinite sky of opportunities and positive possibilities. Today we have two Defence Corridors, one each in UP and Tamil Nadu that are moving ahead in the direction of development at a rapid pace. Several big companies around the world are coming to invest in India. A large network of supply chains is developing behind this investment. These big companies, our MSMEs and small industries are getting a boost due to this. Our MSMEs will cooperate; and I am sure that capital is going to reach these small industries as well. Lakhs of crores of investment in this sector is going to create huge employment opportunities for the youth in those areas. So, there is a possibility of achieving a new height of growth. I would also like to call upon all the companies present in the Gujarat Defence Expo to mould these opportunities keeping the India of the future in mind. Don't miss your chance! Innovate, take a pledge to be the best in the world, and give shape to the dreams of a strong developed India. I assure the youth, researchers and innovators that I am with you. For your bright futures, I am ready to work tremendously hard today.


The country is changing rapidly. I believe that you too can feel it. There was a time when this country used to release pigeons; but today we are releasing cheetahs. With this power the incidents may seem small but the message is strong. Words may be simple, but the power is unmatched. Today India's youth power, India's power is becoming a center of hope for the world. And today's Defence Expo is showcased in front of you in a similar form. I congratulate our Defence Minister Rajnath ji from the bottom of my heart for the hard work and effort he has put in. He speaks less, but his actions are solid. I congratulate him and his entire team. Wishing you all the very best and a very Happy Diwali! Happy New Gujarati Year to the people of Gujarat.

Thank you.


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