USIBC Leads 15th Executive Defense Mission to DefExpo 2016 to Deepen U.S.-India Defense & Security Partnership

March 30, 2016, Goa, India— The U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC) led a senior delegation of over 20 executives from American companies to DefExpo 2016. This is the Council’s 15th Defense Executive Mission to India’s largest land, naval and internal homeland security systems exhibition. USIBC continues to strongly support and showcase its commitment to the Government of India’s Make in India campaign that will lead to development of a Defense Industrial and Technology Base.

The mission was led by General (Retd.) Paul J. Kern, Senior Counselor, Cohen Group and Pratyush Kumar, President, Boeing India. Swami Iyer, Vice President of Defense and Space, Honeywell serves as the Chairman of the Council’s Defense Executive Committee.

The show attracted more than 1,000 Indian and international defense companies, the largest representation being from the United States. Senior executives representing America’s top defense companies, including Orbital ATK, BAE Systems Inc., Bell Helicopter, Boeing, Honeywell, L-3 Communications, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Harris Corporation, Raytheon, Sikorsky, Textron Systems and Pratt & Whitney among others are part of USIBC’s delegation.

The delegation met with senior stakeholders from the Ministry of Defense as well as the armed forces.  USIBC also organized an interaction for its delegates with senior visiting principals from the U.S. Government, namely Ms. Ann Cataldo, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Defense Exports and Cooperation, General Dennis L. Via, Army Material Command. The delegation also held a closed door discussion with leading Indian companies in partnership with CII.

“Make in India – the flagship initiative of the government is about win-win partnerships. For the government it is finding those partners that can support and enable the investment and the development of manufacturing capability in India, and, for international aerospace and defense manufacturing companies it is about finding the right partners that offer them a competitive edge” said Pratyush Kumar President Boeing India. “Underscored by our strategic approach, Boeing’s partnership with India is poised for significant growth” added Kumar.

Mission co-lead, General Kern, Senior Counselor, Cohen Group said, "With more than 90 U.S. companies in attendance, this year’s DefExpo is symbolic of the enormous progress achieved in the U.S.-India strategic relationship.   We are excited to celebrate a new chapter in U.S.-India defense collaboration, with Indian and U.S. industry establishing sophisticated industrial partnerships, not only in support of India’s indigenization goals, but increasingly as a new, high-quality source of product for the global defense supply chain."    

“US - India Defense Trade is in a pivotal transition.  After a decade of steady progress the relationship needs to transition direct sales to collaborative defense development and production for mutual use and export,” said Swami Iyer, Vice President for Defense & Space at Honeywell Aerospace. “To do this we need to prioritize the evolution of the Indian Aerospace and Defense ecosystem as well as streamline fiscal and legal processes to enable two way trade between the industries and governments of both countries.”

“As a founding partner of defense manufacturing in India, BAE Systems is pleased to participate alongside the U.S.-India Business Council at DefExpo 2016,” said Dr. Joe Senftle, Vice President and General Manager of Weapon Systems for BAE Systems. “This is an excellent venue to further discussions in support of Prime Minister Modi’s call to Make in India. We are committed to sharing knowledge, skills and technology, today and in the future.”

“The policy as I see should enable military modernization in India, leverage opportunity for capital acquisitions and partnerships to develop the defense industry, foster development of internationally competitive enterprises to augment the capacity for research, design and development of defense products and services and, encourage development of synergetic sectors like civil aerospace and internal security. In effect, we look forward to greater and faster investment in technology, build capabilities and strengthen our ties within the region,” said Inderjit Sial, President and Managing Director of Textron India.

“We are committed to investment and co-development partnerships with Indian industry.  We will continue to develop meaningful partnerships with Indian companies to help solve the country’s most challenging problems, accelerating India as a hub for global design and manufacturing, and directly supporting PM Modi’s Make in India Initiative,” said Douglas Greenlaw, Regional Vice President Asia, Lockheed Martin International.

“USIBC applauds the release of the new Defense Procurement Procedure (DPP), but its success will depend on how it is implemented and how the Strategic Partners initiative is completed. US companies with their global reach and advanced technology are especially well suited to partner with India companies to grow India's defense industrial base," said Ben Schwartz, Director of Aerospace and Defense at the Council.

Contact: Vaibhav Malik |

Press Release