Suraksha-2013, Kerala’s maiden national defence expo featuring 26 DRDO laboratories besides the ISRO, Indian Navy, Keltron, and private industries, got under way at Marine Drive here on Friday.

Organised by the Swadeshi Science Movement in collaboration with the Naval Physical and Oceanographic Laboratory (NPOL), the only DRDO lab in the State, the expo presents scale models of aircraft, rockets and missiles, sonars and underwater sensors, live coastal and border surveillance equipment, electronic components, combat engineering exhibits, and life sciences products indigenously-developed for the forces.

Scientific Adviser to Defence Minister V.K. Saraswat, who inaugurated the expo, said there existed a window of opportunity for students, as the DRDO would be executing projects worth Rs.80,000 crore over the next 10 years.

The projects, ranging from missile technology, aeronautics, and armament to combat systems and life sciences, posed the challenge of finding the right manpower – employable engineers – in large numbers year-on-year. “For instance, 400 to 500 engineers are needed for our aeronautical programmes alone,” he said.

Panel discussions and competitions for students will also be held as part of the expo, which will draw to a close on Sunday. Entry to the expo is free.

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