The five-day DefExpo 2022 will begin today in Gandhinagar, India .
The defense industry expo was originally scheduled to be held in early March, but was delayed due to “logistics problems,” although the Russian invasion of Ukraine was more likely to blame. India has long been reliant upon Russian weaponry to supports its military, and hosting a military weapons convention immediately following the invasion would have been diplomatically contentious.
The invasion has forced the Indian defense establishment to reimagine its supply chain and wean itself from Russia weaponry. Not only is India seeking to establish homegrown production capabilities, such as domestic aircraft manufacturing, but it is also using its defense industrial base as a mechanism to assert its role as a major power in the Indian Ocean region.
This defense expo will also continue to highlight the role of defense manufacturers outside of Europe, the US and Russia. For example, Turkey has increased its foothold in African and Middle Eastern defense markets. While major announcements, such as any decisions regarding the Indian Navy’s purchase of American F-18 or French Rafale M jets, are unlikely, the defense exposition will almost certainly highlight key players for future purchases.
Grant is an Analyst with Foreign Brief and he is an EA-18G Growler pilot in the US Naval Reserve. He holds a master's degree with distinction from the University of London SOAS and focuses on security issues in the Asia Pacific.