A four-day International Land and Naval Defence Systems Exhibition was inaugurated by Union Defence Minister A. K. Antony at Pragati Maidan here on Monday.

“Def Expo India-2010” showcases the country’s capabilities in land and naval systems as well as its emergence as an attractive destination for investment in defence sector. It demonstrates the Union Defence Ministry’s ability to design, develop and deliver a wide range of military and civil products and services.

Mr. Antony said since 1999 the event has grown from strength to strength. “This year, the participation of companies has increased by around 40 per cent in comparison to the last one. Thirty eight official delegations, including 14 ministerial delegations are attending the event.”

Pointing out that the biggest challenge facing the world today is the security threats arising out of rapidly advancing technology, the Minister said: “This has added a new dimension to the overall security environment. India has always been recognised as a mature, responsible power and a stabilising influence at a politico-security level. Though we are traditionally known to be a peace-loving nation, at the same time we are ready to meet any challenge to our territorial integrity and sovereignty. Our Government is committed to the rapid modernisation of our Armed Forces as we want our forces to be equipped with state-of-the-art technology and equipment to help them defend our sovereignty.”

The Minister announced that the Government will soon publish the ‘Technology Perspective and Capability Roadmap’, covering a period of 15 years, to share the future needs of our Armed Forces.

Another event “India International Security Expo” covering disaster management, aviation security, surveillance devices and explosive detection and disposal will concurrently run to “Def Expo-2010” at the sprawling exhibition ground.

Inaugurating the expo, Ministry of Home Affairs Secretary G. K. Pillai exhorted the Indian security industry to monitor and upgrade technologies, equipment and forces to meet contemporary challenges.

“The security industry was one of the fastest growing industries in India. Integrated security solutions including software, CCTV surveillance systems and wake-up digital video technologies are the need of the hour for detection and analysis of information for immediate and effective action.”

India Trade Promotion Organisation Chairman and Managing Director Subas Pani said over 50 leading Indian companies and a large business delegation from the United States, United Arab Emirates and Bhutan were participating this year.

ITPO senior general manager Safdar Khan proposed the vote of thanks at the event that is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for business visitors and from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. for general visitors.

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