Just did a quick scan of the wares on display at DefExpo this year. Here's my quick round-up 8 things that are worth your time at the show this year, in no particular order. The show starts tomorrow, and there's likely to a whole lot more stuff that'll reveal itself as the humid hours peel on in sunny Goa. Expect more lists here on Livefist on the best stuff to see at the show this year. For those going, have a good show!
1. The Saab Carl-Gustaf M4, the latest version of a weapon system that's had a long legacy in Indian service, will be on display for the first time in country.
2. Straight off, and this isn't strictly DefExpo stuff, but here's your chance to have a look at DRDO's AEW&C
that will be at the show for the first time this year after a couple of appearances at AeroIndia shows and some successful shows abroad. I had a fantastic close-up tour of the jet last year
at AeroIndia and it's a real beauty. The jets join service soon, so it's likely most people's last chance to get anywhere close to these numbers before they're placed well out of reach.
3. The M777 ultra-light howitzer is a favourite for a reason. I've spent time with the gun every time it's made a show at DefExpo and it's always accompanied by a team with great stories from operational deployments. The gun is all set to be a 'Make in India' flagship soon too after a long meandering journey.
3. The DRDO Wheeled Armoured Platform (WHAP), an infantry vehicle developed with Tata that's been displayed before but likely to be an updated version.
4. The 9K720 Iskander short-range ballistic missile system will be on display for the first time at DefExpo. The system is currently being pitched by the Russians to countries that include China. Interesting times for Russian weapons in the region. The Russians have also being pushing a good bit of PR this time. Great time for a quick update if they're really talking.
5. The Russian Tor-M2KM SR-SAM mounted on a Tata truck chassis makes an interesting return to DefExpo this year and is worth your time. The weapon system competes for the Indian Army's short-range surface to air missile contract and doesn't make its way out of Russia often.
6. The Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet isn't on display at DefExpo as an aircraft proper and certainly isn't a newcomer to Indian shows, but there's massive buzz this time around Boeing's offer to build the jet in India as part of the 'Make in India' campaign. Typically, there could be more information put out on precisely what the contours of this pitch really are.
7. The Arjun Mk.1 and Mk.2 tanks together for a full demonstration.
8. The Indian Pinaka Mk.I and Mk.II launchers and rockets will be on display together for the first time. Fantastic time for a full up-close look at both systems and an update on progress in this highly successful rocket system programme.