Defence minister AK Antony on Thursday said peace cannot come at the cost of India's security concerns and emphasised that all steps are being taken to modernise armed forces so that they are equipped with best weapon system and technologies.
Inaugurating the four-day Defexpo-2014, in which 624 domestic and international companies are taking part, Antony underlined India's thrust on indigenisation of defence industry which, he said, offers new opportunities to the private sector.
"India always believes in peace....However peace cannot come at the cost of our security concerns. We are ever-prepared to meet any challenge posed to our territorial integrity and sovereignty," he said.
Noting that India has been carrying out regular reviews of defence procure procedure to give a fillip to private sector, he said it needed to balance the competing requirement of expediting procurement, developing a robust base for indigenous defence sector and maintaining highest standards of transparency, probity and public accountability.
India is, he said, making efforts to accelerate the pace of indigenisation to achieve self-reliance in defence sector.
"We are seeing growing public-private sector participation and we are also giving more opportunities to the private sector to make more meaningful and substantive contribution to the defence sector," he said.
More flexibility has also been given to foreign OEM (original equipment manufacturer) to encourage them, Antony said.
He expressed hope that the Defexpo would signal the start of a new chapter in the process of collaboration and business partnership.
A record number of 12 countries has set up their country pavilion in this eighth Defexpo and 178 delegates from 43 countries are participating, organisers said.