Big-ticket defence deals are likely to be unveiled at Asia’s biggest arms fair this week which has drawn some of the world’s largest weapons manufacturing firms to India, officials said Tuesday.
Some 475 companies, including 278 global firms, and six defence ministers will participate in the four-day "DefExpo" which opens Saturday in New Delhi, the officials said.
"Since its launch in 1999 when we had 197 participants, DefExpo today has become a major global event for the arms industry," announced Indian defence production secretary Pramod Kumar.
The United States has overtaken Moscow, India’s primary weapons supplier, by sending 46 firms to DefExpo compared to 24 Russian defence production units, Kumar said. "Business transactions are going on and several announcements may be made at DefExpo," he told reporters.
India is likely to make a formal announcement on the awarding of a one-billion dollar contract to Lockheed Martin for six Hercules transport planes in the biggest military aircraft deal with the US in five decades, defence officials said.