Following are our first photographic impressions from DEFEXPO 2018 that was held south of Chennai, in South India this week. Follow-up reports will highlight specific areas including combat aircraft and weapons, unmanned systems, armor and artillery.

IWI displayed here the brand new Tavor 7, an assault rifle chambered to fire potent 7.62X51mm ammunition utilizing the Tavor bullpup configuration, that has a rear center of gravity that enables a rapid acquisition of the target and providing the ability to fire the weapon with only one hand. Photo: Tamir Eshel, Defense-Update
The Russian ShAK 12 heavy assault rifle silenced bullpup unveiled by KBP late last year follows a brand approach utilizing the 12.7mm ammunition for a compact, powerful weapon capable of defeating human targets wearing body armor, protected inside light armored vehicles. The 5.2 kg weapon uses a 10 or 20 cartridge magazine loaded with 12.7×55 sub- and supersonic rounds in automatic (500-750 rounds per minute) or semi-automatic modes, to an effective range is up to 300 meters Photo: Tamir Eshel, Defense-Update
VKS and OSV-96 are two heavy sniper rifles produced by KBP. Introduced in 1990, the OSV-96 seen on the right is an improved version of the Russian V-94 heavy sniper rifle. The 12.9 kg weapon It fires 12.7×108 mm cartridges to a maximum range of 1,800 meters. An equivalent to the Amerian Barret M82, OSV-96 is in use with the Russian government agencies and Indian naval special forces. VKS, shown on the left, is a silenced sniper rifle (uses an integral suppressor) that fires 12.7×55 rounds. The shorter ammunition and bullpup design offer a more compact size. Typical targets for the VKS are combatants in heavy body armor or behind cover. The weapon’s length, including the suppressor, is 1,120 mm and the total weight is 7 kg. Photo: Tamir Eshel, Defense-Update
WEM an Indian private company displayed at DEFEXPO 2018 the lightweight, man-portable AsiBal, a fire and forget anti-tank missile that has dual-mode day/night imaging infrared (I2R) seeker. Although it is still in early stage of development, AsiBal already won a significant success denying the Israeli Spike MR missile from winning a major contract to supply thousands of missiles to the Indian Army. (The Indian Army could eventually get the Spike as a near term replacement of the Milan, through a Government to Government sale, but this may not stop AsiBal from becoming the indigenous ATGM the Army would have to buy. AsiBal promises to be lighter and cheaper, compared to the Israeli design, but as a smaller missile, offers a shorter range (2,500m – same as Milan) although the Indian designer claims a 4,000 m variant is already in the making. The system comprises a disposable launcher and reusable fire control unit equipped with CCD, I2R and laser rangefinder, pointing the target to the missile’s seeker in a lock-on before launch (LOBL) mode. The system is designed to engage both stationary and moving targets in direct and top-attack modes, with a tandem warhead that can penetrate 750-850 mm of armor. The entire system with control unit weighs 18.5 kg. Photo: Tamir Eshel, Defense-Update
Techmash displayed several types of shoulder-fired, unguided anti-tank weapons, including the 105mm RMG multi-purpose disposable rocket launcher (second from top) carrying a tandem warhead with a thermobaric warhead. The effect of this warhead is breaching a 0.5 square meter hall in a 500 mm thick brick wall, or 0.4 square meter hall in a 300 mm thick reinforced concrete wall. The thermobaric effect defeats 700mm sandbag protected targets or 50mm of homogenous steel. Third from top is the RPG-30, an anti-tank rocket configured with a two launchers – a ‘stimulator’, 42mm rocket fired before the main charge and designed to trigger the active protection system, rather than penetrate the target. The RPG-30’s main rocket fires in quick succession, timed to reach the target before the APS recharges. thus defeating the 600 mm of homogenous steel target using its tandem HEAT warhead. Photo: Tamir Eshel, Defense-Update
MBDA displayed at DEFEXPO 2018 the Marte ER, a modernized variant of the Marte anti-ship missile designed for carriage by helicopters and surface ships. Powered by a turbojet engine, the ER has a range of 100 km. Photo: Tamir Eshel, defense-Update
Israel’s RAFAEL and Kalyani Defense group have established the Kalyani Rafael Advanced Systems (KRAS) joint venture that already has manufacturing facilities in Hyderabad Hardware Park designed to produce the Spike MR missiles RAFAEL was selected to produce for the Indian Amry. The JP plans to expand to another site in Hyderabad, where various mechanical, electronic, and electro-optical subsystems will be produced, for Spike, as well as for other precision-guided weapons such as the aerial Spice 1000 and 250. Photo: Tamir Eshel, Defense-Update
A 120kg class smart aerial weapon developed by DRDO, SAAW is released from the aircraft at high altitude, enabling the glide weapon to hit targets at distances of 100km. Designed to hit fixed hardened targets and area targets SAAW can be used for airfield denial and attack missions targeting runways, hangars, and aircraft parked at protected shelters. Photo: Tamir Eshel, Defense-Update
MBDA displayed the SmartGlider, an unpowered, unitary, guided glide weapon designed for current fighter jets such as rafale and Typhoon. With six weapons carried on each smart rail (three of four could be carried on Rafale and Typhoon), each jet fighter will be able to carry a load of 18-24 weapons, each pre-programmed to hit a specific target and receive updates and retargeting throughout its free flight. Photo: Tamir Eshel, Defense-Update.
The Indian renewed interest in long-range strike brought SAAB and Boeing to devote parts of their display to this German-Swedish Taurus KEPD-350. While the F/A-18E/F proposed to India is not cleared to use the weapon, the C/D variant do carry it and, according to Boeing, there are no expected obstacles to equip the Super Hornet with the missile. Grippen is also designed to carry the Taurus. Photo: Tamir Eshel, Defense-Update
The French Marine Group (formerly DCNS) was one of few domestic and foreign companies that displayed here anti-torpedo countermeasures, indicating the growing interest in such systems among the Indian Navy, that is equipped with several types of attack submarines. Photo: Tamir Eshel, defense-Update
The Czech ANTOS mortar developed by the VOP company is an extremely light weapon (4.5 kg) designed for use by paratroops and special forces. The lightweight is achieved by using mostly parts made of aluminum alloys and plastics. The handgrip with trigger allows easy carrying and firing in oval and flat trajectories, using a trigger type mechanism with a fixed striker. The mortar is set by using a liquid level against a scale that shows the range the bomb would reach at the set elevation. Phooto: Tamir Eshel,defense-Update
The Antos mortar uses modular charges. The minimal (basic) charge embedded in the tail would reach 80 meters at a minimum, and, with a full charge would reach 1,200 m. Augmenting charges placed between fin pairs can double the range. The mortar can fire enhanced blast (high explosive), illumination, and smoke bombs. Photo: Tamir Eshel, Defense-Update.
Kalyani has launched another JV with IAI, for the production of guided rocket and artillery systems, based on IAI’s Topgun – a low cost, add-on fuze that screws on to standard 155mm rounds and transforms it into a precision-guided weapon, at a fraction of the cost of missiles or loitering weapons. The TopGun fuze performs two-dimensional correction of the ballistic trajectory to reduce dispersion in both range and deflection, enabling fire mission to be accomplished at a shorter time and lower cost. Photo: Tamir Eshel, Defense Update
Cruise missiles have become an important part of the armament of modern vessels. To support those weapons on existing or newly constructed ships the Ship General Purpose Firing System (SGPFS) was developed by the Russian Agat Concern. The system comprises a fire control system, universal vertical under-deck launchers and missile loading set. Each unit holds two separate, airtight magazines equipped with fire extinguishing ventilation and water drain systems that simplify the installation compared of previous VLS systems. Each magazine contains four or eight missiles, weighing 7500 or 15000 kg. Missile types supported are 3M-54T, 3M-54TE1, and Brahmos PJ-10 antiship missiles, 3M-14TE and Brahmos PJ-10 land attack cruise missiles and 91RTE2 torpedo missile for standoff anti-submarine engagement. The use of containerized systems eliminates the need to construct special magazines on board. Photo: Tamir Eshel, Defense-Update
The Indian indigenous Nirbhay long-range (1000 km) cruise missile The missile that weighs 1000 kg carries a warhead that weighs 300 kg. It is launched from aircraft or from vertical launchers, such as this three-rail launcher. After clearing the launch rail Nirbhay uses a thrust controlled boost to convert to horizontal flight, cruising at a subsonic (0.7 Mach) speed and low altitude, to evade radar, using precise waypoint navigation to hit targets accurately. Photo: Tamir Eshel, Defense-Update