His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, opened defence exhibition at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre running through 19 to 23 February. The 13th edition of the Middle East’s leading arms and defence technology sales exhibition; International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX 2017) goes alongside the 4th edition of the Naval Exhibition and Defence Conference (NAVDEX 2017), the naval defence and maritime security section of IDEX.
The exhibition ended on a high note totaling deals to the tune of 19.17 Billion Dhs with local and international companies displaying their latest defence products and technology. A total of 1235 defence companies from different countries are taking part in the exhibition, including 125 local companies. Staff Major-General Pilot Faris Al Mazrouei, Chairman of the Higher Committee organizing, said that there was an increase of 17 percent participation by the local companies, where a joint venture between Mubadala Development and Tawazun Holding named as Emirates Defence Industries Company (EDIC) was the largest exhibitor. Only NAVDEX is hosting 99 naval defence companies from 27 countries and the organizers expect 100,000 visitors from across the globe.
Main features of the five day event are that big names in the global defence industry, including Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Boeing, Embraer, Northrop Grumman as well as local companies such as Tawazun Holding, Emirates Defence Industries Company (EDIC), International Golden Group, NIMR Automotive, Caracal, Abu Dhabi Autonomous Systems Investments Company etc. etc. are taking part. Participation of local companies is a promise towards boosting the local defence industry and creating jobs. Boeing Defence, Space & Security will showcase the Apache Attack Helicopter, services and sustainment capabilities, as well as a diverse array of defence and security products.
The largest deal signed with the USA was for almost Dh1.3 billion with Raytheon, besides contract worth Dh828 million to supply spare parts for air defence, whereas the one close with Russia stands around Dh2.6 billion in anti-armor missiles. Rostec Corporation of Russia, one of the biggest arms manufacturers in the world, announced its partnership with the UAE government to build a light combat aircraft in the next seven to eight years. The same company intends to provide UAE government with Sukhoi-35 fighter aircrafts for which agreement has already been signed.
Other mega deals include technical support to be provided to the UAE forces worth Dh 110 million by Beltech Export FZE, a Belarusian company. UAE Armed Forces also penned a contract valued over Dhs 55 million with the Turkish company, FNSS Savunma Sistemleri A.S., to provide technical support. A Dhs30 million contract was signed with International Golden Group (IGG), a UAE based company to supply metal sheets in order to repair airport runways.
Sony Solutions sealed a deal worth over Dhs25.8 million to equip the new media centre with technical and engineering works. A contract worth Dhs 10 million was concluded with UAE based company Mohamed Abdulrahman Al-Bahar for maintenance and repair works for Caterpillar machinery.
In other deals, Turkish company FNSS Savunma won a contract worth about Dh55 million, the UAE based company Tasneef was awarded a Dh45 million contract to provide technical support to the UAE Armed Forces. NIMR will deliver 1,500 JAIS 4×4 and 6×6 infantry fighting vehicles, as well as more than 150 HAFEET 630A artillery support vehicles in both Observation and Command and Control configurations and 115 AJBAN 440A vehicles equipped with anti-tank guided missile systems to the UAE Armed Forces from 2018.
IDEX and NAVDEX demonstrate the latest defence technologies across land, sea and air. Both offer a unique platform to establish and strengthen relationships with government departments, businesses and armed forces. Top reasons your company must participate at IDEX are to position your company as a leader in defence technologies and solutions, gain access to global leaders, policy and decision makers, profile your technologies and projects and meet global defence contractors, reach thousands of prime contractors, OEMs and international delegations, align your brand to a high profile regional and international event marketing campaign, benefit from global media coverage. Al Mazrouei also thanked the Rulers, Crown Princes, Sheikhs, all dignitaries, international delegations and participants, military personal for attending IDEX and NAVDEX 2017. Moreover, he recognized and lauded all the civil and military government agencies that participated in organizing the successful five day event.