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DEFEXPO 2018: Seen & Heard

Reports from Thiruvidanthai, Chennai, India

Admiral Sunil Lanba, Chief of Indian Naval Staff, today launched the 3D Air Surveillance Radar of Navratna Defence PSU Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) at its booth at DEFEXPO 2018 in the presence of M V Gowtama, Chairman & Managing Director, BEL, and other senior officers.
The 3D C/D Band Air Surveillance Radar is a multi-function active phased array radar with solid state transceiver for land and naval applications. The radar provides three dimensional target data along with Doppler data. The radar employs multi-beam in elevation, mono pulse in azimuth, digital pulse compression, pulse doppler and many advanced and contemporary technologies, with very elegant and modular architecture. These technologies enable detection of very low RCS targets from complex land and sea clutter and jamming environment.

The 3D Air Surveillance Radar’s antenna is compact and can be accommodated on wheeled vehicles and small ships. 


Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and Mahindra Defence Systems Limited commit to a long-term partnership through an MoU to jointly take on the emerging opportunities in the domestic defence market under the policy initiatives of the Government of India, like “Make in India” and the Export Promotion Policy of the Indian Ministry of Defence to target the export market.

BEL a Defence Public Sector Unit has the expertise in design, development, engineering, manufacture of radar & weapon systems, NCS and communications systems, electronics warfare & avionics, naval systems, electro-optics products, tank electronics & gun systems, SATCOM systems, strategic components and select products for the civil market.  

Mahindra Defence has the expertise in manufacture, maintenance of defence equipment, light military vehicle, armoured vehicles, aerospace / aviation platforms, simulators, electronics, airborne equipment, naval equipment and materials for the defence sector.

Mr. S P Shukla, Group President, Aerospace & Defence Sector, Mahindra Group and Chairman, Mahindra Defence, said: “Both BEL and Mahindra Defence are world-class engineering companies.  To give one example, together we have capabilities in mobility, survivability, lethality, electronics and communications, making us ideal partners for new development as well as for upgrade of in-service combat vehicles.  This partnership can be grown not only to meet the requirements of the Indian Armed Forces but also to target exports to other friendly countries.”

Mr. Gowtama, CMD, BEL, continued: “We are keen to bring to the table our in-house expertise as well as technical know-how to the current and future design of new generation defence systems and products  We are confident that the two of us will work together to contribute to indigenous defence production.”

The partnership is poised to take on the vast opportunities to meet the requirements of the Indian defence forces.


An innovative “Drone Guard System” is on display at DefExpo 2018. Proliferation of drones has become a serious challenge for the internal security agencies in recent times. These sub-conventional threats pose a serious challenge, there are numerous instances of drones flying near the airfields and high security zones putting the security apparatus on alert. There is hardly any practical way to regulate the drones flying that would also curtail the otherwise quite useful, cheap and effective employment of drones. Drones pose a threats to military establishments and strategic civilian locations. Drones are easily launched by adversaries for spying and causing damage to these establishments. Countering such drones is essential for security agencies. 
The indigenously developed Drone Guard is to support the security agencies and the defence forces.

Bharat Electronics Limited’s (BEL) Drone Guard System (DGS) has been configured to detect, track and neutralise the intruding drones. The system utilises RF spectrum to detect the drone and EO-IR sensor to track the drone continuously. The neutraliser is initiated to scan and identify the target’s communication frequencies and generate RF jamming signal to neutralise the target. The system is capable of bringing down the drone by hampering its communication link as well as blinding its GPS source. The system can be operated in semi-automatic / manual mode through user friendly GUIs. This portable and agile system can also be configured to be vehicle mounted for quick deployment or as part of the Quick Reaction Teams.


Yesterday, Boeing announced its partnership with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) at DEFEXPO 2018. As reported earlier, Boeing is looking to  pitch for F/A 18 Super HORNET for the requirement of 110 fighter aircraft for the Indian Air Force.

What makes this partnership extremely interesting is HAL is one of the largest aircraft manufacturer in India and also one of the largest Defence Public Sector Units. The partnership has bigger significance as Boeing already has a major presence in the Indian defence market having supplied GLOBEMASTER III and P-8 aircraft. It is shortly going to deliver the AH 64 APACHE attack helicopters and CHINOOK heavy lift helicopters to the Indian Air Force. Boeing also has a MRO setup at Nagpur.

It is interesting to note that only recently Dassault Aviation had declined to partner with HAL on grounds of technical adequacies. Boeing’s partnership with HAL has a strategic significance beyond just the large manufacturing base of the HAL across the country. HAL has in recent years been struggling to shore up the production rate of TEJAS aircraft for the Indian Air Force. 

This strategic partnership would bring substantial gains for the HAL in form of expertise, technology and manufacturing practices of Boeing. Boeing on the other hand well have access to vast manufacturing facilities and assembly lines spread across the subcontinent. Such a strategic partnership will surely impact the balance of scale when deciding upon fighter aircraft for the Indian Air Force.

Boeings announcement for the strategic partnership with HAL is the clarion call for the mega defence deal. Like we reported earlier, this mega deal would bring a pitched battle between the competitors and an epic story of Mahabharat kind amongst the Global giants would be rewritten from the venue of DEFEXPO 2018.


Eight new products of Defence Public Sector Unit, Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), were launched at DEFEXPO 2018 by the Chief of Army Staff, Gen Bipin Rawat, in the presence of senior officers of BEL. These are some of the products that the Army desires to acquire in order to upgrade its tactical needs.

The 100 Mbps Radio Relay Equipment provides reliable and secure tele-communication link in a hostile Electronic Warfare (EW) environment. It is full duplex communication equipment, designed to operate as a multi-channel radio through line-of-sight radio path, for military use. Various kinds of data interface is provided. The equipment is modular in construction for ease of maintenance and repair.

Secure Military Wireless LAN (SMWLAN) provides secure Wi-Fi end connectivity to clients in Tactical environment. SMWLAN is designed with customized technology aimed to operate at customized frequency within military band, with hardware based gradable secrecy. It can support Data, Voice and Video communication in Infrastructure, Ad hoc and Repeater modes. It is designed to meet highest SAG grading.

Multi-Function Hand Held Thermal Imager is a cooled TI based fully integrated day/night sight with in-built eye safe Laser Range Finder, Digital Magnetic Compass, Colour CCD and GPS. This equipment is used for long range target location and surveillance and is capable of giving range, azimuth & elevation and also coordinates of the target. This is very useful for Army and Navy for effective engagement of targets.

Long Range Surveillance System is a state-of-the-art Long RangeReconnaissance, Observation & Surveillance System jointly developed by IRDE and Bharat Electronics Ltd. The system is capable of day and night operation and in adverse battle field conditions. The system will be extremely useful for Border surveillance and intruder detection. The system is capable of long range detection and identification of targets, their co-ordinates can be passed onto Battery for firing. The system consists of advanced 3rd generation high performance cooled Long Range Thermal imager with 22X Continuous Optical Zoom, high resolution Colour CCD Day Camera with 36X continuous Optical Zoom, Eye Safe LRF, High sensitivity Black and White Spotter Scope camera with Laser See Spot Capability, Advanced Pan and Tilt System with Panoramic Azimuth Pan capability and Ruggedized Control Unit. The Observation System, Network Interface Module and the Control Unit are connected by a cable and video is monitored from the control unit.

CAM is a rugged handheld Chemical Agent Monitor (CAM) used mainly to detect, monitor and identify Chemical Warfare Agents in the battlefield and provide audio and visual alarm of a chemical attack. It is capable of detecting all Chemical Warfare Agents (Nerve, Blister, Blood and Choking agents), Toxic Industrials Chemical (TICs) and Toxic Industrial Materials (TIMs), simultaneously. The main features of the product includes Quick response time, detects CW agents, TIC & TIMS, latest SAW based technology, OLED Display & Threshold alarm, External Power, Hand Held Application and meets Military requirements.

Multi-Purpose Reflex Weapon Sight is an indigenously designed reflex sight which is a parallax free, compact, light-weight and rugged weapon sight for instant target acquisition. A highly precise reticule, superimposed on the target scene, acts as an aim point for accurate firing. Firer has the advantage of keeping both eyes open during firing with Multi-Purpose Reflex Weapon Sight. To further enhance the capabilities of soldier and weapon during CQB / Night / Low light conditions, Multi-Purpose Reflex Weapon Sight is equipped with in-built Visible (Red) and Invisible (IR) Laser Spot Designators which make Multi-Purpose Reflex Weapon Sight an all-in-one versatile sight for all possible combat operational scenarios.

BEL Composite Shelter is designed and manufactured using advanced composite technologies having the lowest tare weight in its class with equally good payload carrying capability. The shelter is suitable for use as light-weight system carrier for various defence applications, especially for mountainous and high altitude deployment.

Mine Field Recording System (MFRS) is employed for mine laying and demining activities. The system plots and records the co-ordinates of any desired point on ground at which the equipment is taken. It has the capability of backing up the data and to record the details like Location both in terms of Latitude-Longitude, details of Mines including type, Self neutralization period/ self-destruction period, memo and notes, etc.

Gp Capt. (Ret.) Sundeep Mehta


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