Mehmood Ul Hassan Khan
The 11th International Defence Exhibition (IDEX) 2013 was held in UAE, Abu Dhabi during February 17-21, 2012. More than 1,112 companies from some 59 countries participated in the strategically most important tri-service exhibition for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).
It was held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates. It was organised by the Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company (ADNEC) in coordination with the UAE Armed Forces GHQ. Tawazun was the main sponsor. IDEX 2013 provided an ideal business environment for international defence companies and top decision makers in the land, air and sea sectors
First held in 1993, is the largest joint defence exhibition in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. IDEX takes place biennially under the patronage of HH Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, and is organised by ADNEC (Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company) in association with the UAE Armed Forces GHQ. It was a unique platform to establish and strengthen relationships with government departments, businesses and armed forces.
United Arab Emirates has been put on the armaments industry map again by the successful holding of successive IDEX. In War Theater it is said “self defence is the best defence”. Weakness has always been one of the key factors of foreign aggression and infiltration which ended up to subjugation, socio-economic embargos and above all political isolation. Strong Deterrence’s Model has become the symbol of national sovereignty and pride. It depends on domestic armaments industry which always guarantees safety of the national strategic assets. It protects the desired goals of foreign policy and commercial diplomacy.
It has been the policy of the UAE to promote its own local military/defence production industry for the best solutions of its protection from any kind of aggression since its inception. The International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX) have now counted amongst the most established and prestigious international defence shows/exhibitions which provide an excellent opportunity for the manufactures to share expertise and technological achievements and enhance their global presence.
IDEX and Global Peace
The International Defence Exhibition and Conference 2013 now paved the way towards mutual understanding and cooperation between the nations jointly involved in serving the global cause of peace where UAE keeps playing its dominant role in the GCC and Middle East.
The grand opening ceremony of IDEX 2013 was attended by a high-profile officials, foreign delegations and ministers. Large numbers of senior civilian and military officials along with defence ministers, chiefs of staff, top commanders as well as VIP guests, dignitaries, diplomats and leaders of the world defence industry attended the opening ceremony today.
An international conference named “The Gulf Defence” was also held. It was organised by the Institute for Near East & Gulf Military Analysis (INEGMA), the conference provided an excellent prelude to the formal opening of the IDEX exhibition. It provided an important forum to address developments in the defence industry as leaders and decision makers from around the world gather for IDEX. This year’s technology focus reflected the increasingly significant role of advanced systems, such as unmanned systems and network-centric architecture, in reinforcing regional security.
It was the ultimate biennial event for participants to establish and strengthen ongoing relationships with governments, businesses and armed forces across the region. Exhibitors showcased the latest technology and products; demonstrated capabilities of live equipment, and host guests and clients at private presentations and networking events.
Highlights of IDEX 2013
A focused Unmanned Systems Area was introduced for the first time, together with a one-day technology workshop, under the principal sponsorship of Abu Dhabi Autonomous Systems Investments (ADASI) and with the support of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUSVI).
Helicopter Pavilion It was located outside at the ADNEC Marina, this area will provide outside display space for rotary-wing aircraft to be displayed and viewed.
Live Demonstrations IDEX continued to offer exhibiting companies the prime opportunity to demonstrate equipment and crafts. Daily choreographed displays were took place daily on the water and on the purpose-built demonstration track.
Leaders Perceptions about IDEX 2013
Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, highlighted the strategic importance of IDEX. They agreed that it has grown to be counted among the world’s most important defence shows in terms of the increasing number of participating countries and exhibitors, the quality and types of showcased products, and the number of visitors it draws from many countries from near and far.
Both leaders also stressed that under the stewardship of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE works to achieve humanitarian stability and security, not only within the country, but also globally, and has ensured excellent relations with all states, due to its balanced policy. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum explained that IDEX is not an arms market, but an information gathering platform for updating such information through viewing the latest innovations and modifications to air, land and sea weapons and to reconnaissance, observation and communication equipment and logistic tools.
“We continue to have the ambition to live up to the global and international competition, so we have harnessed all capabilities to achieve our strategy. We have spared no effort to invest in the national human capital to qualify it with science and knowledge and to polish its experience with training Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan added.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan praised the regular holding of IDEX by saying “Among the essential and significant aspects of organising these high-quality military exhibitions is to give national companies and establishments an opportunity to promote their status as specialised manufacturers and producers adopting the highest international quality standards and competing with global corporations, and, ultimately, to be able to provide advanced products, technologies and solutions.
IDEX 2013 and Notable Foreigners/Diplomats
The IDEX also attracted foreign officials. High ups from France rigorously participated in IDEX and showed great interest in the development of the UAE military assets and local industry. Yemeni Defense Minister Mohammed Nasser Ahmed also attended the IDEX 2013. Italian Undersecretary of State for Defense, Filippo Milone, on behalf of the Defense Minister Giampaolo Di Paola, participated as well. The US Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State at the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs Thomas Kelly; the British Minister for Defense Equipment, Support and Technology Philip Dunne; the Delegate to the Minister of National Defense of Algeria Abdelmalek Guenaïzia and the Minister of Defense of Bosnia and Herzegovina Zekerijah Osmic also visited the IDEX 2013.
IDEX 2012 and Local Expertise
It is hoped that with successful execution of IDEX 2012, it would give a big boost to Abu Dhabi’s defence productions capabilities. According to the official figures over 1,112 exhibitors from 59 countries showcased their latest technologies and weapons. More than 80,000 visitors showed their keen interest in the displayed items. Six defence ministers, 12 chiefs of staff and 15 military leaders also attended the IDEX 2013.
During the IDEX 2013, the UAE Armed Forces signed 55 contracts worth Dh14 billion, to procure arms and ammunition and service agreements with local companies. General Shaikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces appreciated the support given by the UAE leadership to the initiatives aimed boosting industrial sector and increasing productivity in a way that would contribute to the economic diversification and enhance competitiveness of the UAE made products. He also praised the capabilities and skills of the Emirati youth who proved themselves in advanced and specialised industries.
“Our youth have great potentials and we are confident that they can take precision and advanced manufacturing capabilities to new levels. We are proud of our national industry making its presence strongly felt under one roof with the leading industrial houses,” he said. General Sheikh Mohammed said the UAE had developed a clear plan for developing advanced industries “which is bearing fruit today.” He also expressed appreciation to international companies which entered partnerships with the national companies, leading to the transfer of technology and know-how.
The UAE was hosted the largest country pavilion at IDEX 2013. More than 147 UAE-based companies exhibited, spanning over 12,500 square metres (sqm) of exhibition space. The UAE succeeded to achieve a global reputation for staging and organising security and defence exhibitions. Its soft image has been enhanced.
Abu Dhabi’s Tawazun Holding displayed its might to the overseas visitors. Forty-companies showcased guns, missiles, ammunition, rocket launchers, heavy military vehicles and other sophisticated weapons. It was a proud moment for the leadership, which built the capability in less than five years, and has already made the nation self-reliant in several areas of defence productions and creating several business opportunities.
The spokesman for the UAE Armed Forces Staff Major General Obaid Al Ketbi, said: “The UAE is proud to host IDEX, the largest land, air and sea defence exhibition in in the MENA region and one of the most strategically significant defence exhibitions on the world stage.”
Following is given the detail of UAE companies which rigorously participated in the IDEX 2013.
Abu Dhabi Aviation Continental Aviation Services
Abu Dhabi Mar Cummins Middle East FZE
Abu Dhabi Ship Building Dry Docks World
Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority Eagle Tugs
Action Target; Action Target Earth
ADASI Elcome International LLC
ADCOM Systems Emiraje
ADM Kiel Emirates Advanced Investments
AGP FZE Emirates Classification (TASNEEF)
Al Fahad Smart Systems Emirates Defence Technology
Al Fattan Ship Industry Emirates Inflatable Boats Libra Est.
Al Jaber Land Systems Emirates Shooting Equipment Co.
Al Jundi Journal Euro Holography LLC
Al Masaood Bergum WLL Exalto Emirates
Al Masaood Travel Excel – Altec
Al Naboodah Protection LLC Excel Industry Co. LLC
Al Seer Marine Supplies of Equipment Co. Ltd Fighter Gifts
Al Shaheen Flir
Al Taif GAL
Al Tuff International Hard Shell FZE
Al Wasl Trading Group Hawker Pacific Airservices Ltd
Alhallami Group High Impact Technology
Alhamra Group Higher Colleges of Technology
Ali & Sons (Audi Abu Dhabi) Honeywell
Ares Security Vehicles LLC Hotzone Solutions Middle East Consultants & Trainings
ASIS Boats LLC Hydra Trading
Austal Ships INEGMA
Babcock International Group plc Injazat Data Systems
Beltechexport FZE Integrated Logistic Solutions
Bin Hilal Enterprises Intelligent Safety Glass LLC
Burkan International Armored Group
C4AS International Golden Group
Isherwoods Joint Aviation Command
Khalifa University of Science, Technology and Research KP
Leader healthcare FZCO LOC8 Equipment Trading LLC
Logistik Unicorp FZE Lowa
Maelstrom Footwear Mahindra Emirates Vehicle Armouring FZ LLC;
Marlow Masder United Arab Emirates
Massif MDC General Services Holding Company LLC
Microsoft; Motorola Solutions, Inc.
MP3 International Mystery Ranch
NAS Nation Shield – GHQ of UAE Armed Forces
National Bank of Abu Dhabi Naval Advanced Solutions
Nimr United Arab Emirates NIMR Automotive
Promostar Publishing & Advertising; Rabdan
Ras Al Khalimah Free Trade Zone Authority Remaya
Revision Sakthi Aerospace Products Design Services
SecuTronic FZE Sofia Trading
Solas Marine Services Group Solite Electro Technology
Spectec Middle East Specturm
Steelforce Middle East FZCO Stratign FZCO
Streit Group FZE Sultan RoyalBlue
Superhouse Middle East Swarovski Optics
Tactical Solutions Middle East Trading Agencies LLC TADS
Tawazun Dynamics Tawazun Training Center
TechWise Global JLT Telecommunications Regulatory Authority
The Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research The International Security & National Resilience Exhibition and Conference 2014
The Security Review Thuraya Telecommunications Company
Transworld Aviation FZE TSSDMC
UAE University Ultra Electronics
Vision Technologies Systems Yahsat
Zone Group UAE
Source: IDEX 2012
It is seemed that over the past two decades, IDEX has helped participants and exhibitors alike establish valuable strategic partnerships while facilitating knowledge-transfer amongst the world’s leading defence companies, the UAE, and our friends and allies.
With the conclusion of Idex-2013, the second Naval Defence Exhibition, (NAVDEX) which doubled in size since its inception with over 80 exhibitors, was also concluded. Reflecting the strategic significance of the exhibition, exhibitors from 2013 have already booked more than 50 per cent of the exhibition area for IDEX and Navdex 2015.
UAE Strong Presence at IDEX 2013
The strong presence of 147 UAE-based companies, occupying the largest of 38 country pavilions, reflected the emerging prominence of its national defence industry. It was another giant step towards economic diversification as desired by Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030. It highlighted UAE advancements in the fields of aerospace and defence. Local companies of the UAE especially Abu Dhabi achieved significant progress in these areas, establishing the foundations of an industry that would support economic development for decades to come.
UAE and Naval Defence Exhibition (NAVDEX)
Abu Dhabi Ship Building (ADSB) is the main sponsor for the concurrent Naval Defence Exhibition (NAVDEX) 2013, which featured a revamped maritime security zone designed to address emerging trends in the region’s naval defence market. “NAVDEX presents a unique opportunity for ADSB to showcase our industry-leading offerings to government and private sector decision-makers.
Amongst those with the largest space reserved include Tawazun, headline sponsors of the exhibition, with 2,918sqm reserved, and Mubadala Development Company, the Abu Dhabi based investment and development company, with 1,870sqm reserved.
UAE Prominent Participants
Abu Dhabi Autonomous Systems Investments Advanced line-up of unmanned, remotely controlled vehicles across air, land and sea
Caracal Range of leading edge hand guns and rifles
NIMR Multi-purpose vehicles specifically designed for tactical missions in harsh environments such as arid deserts, modern urban warfare, deep infiltration missions, reconnaissance, border surveillance and support logistics
Al Taif Technical Services Services exhibited its systems engineering and integration capabilities for defense systems, as well as a range of their prototyping and small lot production of critical components in support of its MRO activities
Bayanat Showcased their fully integrated end-to-end geospatial services that include aerial, hydrographic and field surveying and geodesy, spatial data management, various types of maps (topographic, hydrographic and aeronautical) and 2D and 3D data models production in addition to related advisory services.
In addition to the above given table Masdar, the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, Advanced Integrated Systems, Bin Hilal Enterprises, Emirates Defence Technology, International Armored Group, Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority and Al Fattan Ship Industry. Universities participating in the pavilion include the Higher Colleges of Technology, UAE University and Khalifa University of Science and Technology were remained the star performer during the 5 days international event i.e. IDEX 2013.
Strategic Significance of IDEX 2013
The IDEX 2013 has a long history of growth. It has already influenced the armaments decisions of countries situated in the Middle East, Africa and the Asia. It gathered attention from the world’s defence and homeland security industry during the 5 days international event.
Due to IDEX UAE has become the forefront of defence and military industries in the region which would reduce the country’s dependence on oil and on imports from foreign countries of such weapons. Its military industries had established international reputation with capabilities ranging from air to land to maritime and manufacturing. Its military Industries have pursued more sophisticated, high tech capabilities, benefitting from joint ventures with major international companies that has led to technology transfer and helped increase Emirati experience and skills.
One of the main objectives of the UAE was to become self-sufficient in the defence industry. UAE is doing its best to be self-sufficient through joint ventures that provide its national cadres with sufficient knowhow and knowledge to invent equipment and devices that meet our future needs. During IDEX 2013, the UAE Armed Forces inked deals worth Dh14.1 billion to purchase weapons and equipment. More than 70 per cent of the amount has been awarded to local companies.
The UAE defence industries cover the production of a wide range of products including portable arms, ammunition, naval vessels (construction and repair) and inflatable boats, aircraft systems (unmanned, structural parts, spare parts, engine maintenance and repair, ground support equipment), vehicles and vehicle superstructures. The IDEX 2013 would be great boost for its local defence industry in the days to come. IDEX 2013 helped to create partnerships without running into too many bureaucratic hurdles. Sellers and buyers meet directly and they finalised the deals on spot.
Different Fields Description
Domestic Defence Industry It would be better for the domestic defence production industry to compete and match with regional or any international companies. It provided a ideal platform to UAE local defence industry.
Defence Exports The country’s defence exports may be increased in the GCC because a larger number of the UAE local defence manufactures.
Boost to Service Sector It would further boost the service sector. Facilitations process with regard of fairly economical cost as compare to individual company trips in the exhibitions may also be speeded up.
Manufacturers & Suppliers It facilitated manufacturers and suppliers of defence and security technology in securing contacts and contracts within the Middle East and surrounding regions.
Transfer of Technology The chance of transfer of technology would become higher afterwards.
Decision Making Process The decision makers easily selected the state-of-the-art weaponry systems in the IDEX 2013.
Soft Image Projection It promoted the UAE and its institutions and allowed foreigners the opportunity to learn more about the country’s achievements, cultural aspects and Arabic and Islamic traditions
Promotion of State-of-the-Art Infrastructure It would further enhance UAE’s pursuits to build state-of-the-art infrastructure, providing government facilities and competent nationals, experienced in organising and hosting international exhibitions.
FDIs & Joint Ventures High hopes of attracting FDIs and joint ventures
Ready Reference to Instructors and researchers Firsthand knowledge about the latest machineries, equipment and arms production in the region and around the globe. Facilitation for the instructors and researchers etc
IDEX: A Historic Perspective
Since its inception in 1993, IDEX has grown tremendously to become a globally recognised tri-service defence exhibition and the largest event in the Middle East and Africa. The International Defense Exhibition & Conference, or IDEX, is a biennial arms and defense technology sales exhibition. According to many prestigious regional and international defence journals IDEX is the largest arms exhibition in the Middle East. The business conducted at the 2005 IDEX totaled 2 billion US dollars.
Every time IDEX has always been attracted a growing attention of international decision-makers and key military and government representatives. The strong representation of individuals/private sector from the GCC and MENA countries make IDEX a primary mechanism to reach these influential audiences/manufactures.
I Originally it was launched on February 14th 1993, with the active participation of more than 350 companies, representing 34 countries.
II It was conducted in March 1995. It saw the participation of more than 600 companies from 55 countries, with more than 45,000 visitors during the 5 day event.
III It was honoured by the visit of H.H. President Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan the late President of the UAE and Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces who toured the entire exhibition in 1997.
IV It saw further growth, with 848 companies from 41 countries receiving 70 military delegations. It was held in 1999.
V It attracted 865 companies from 43 countries and numerous delegations led by Heads of State, Ministers of Defence, Chiefs of Staff and Heads of Military Procurement. It was held in 2001. It further enhaced UAE status as the host nation.
VI It maintained the show’s reputation as an important platform for the announcement of military contracts and as a reflection of the strategic importance of the region. It was executed in 2003.
VII It was planned in 2005. It had grand success.
Source: IDEX Home Page
Afterwards, the IDEX series continued to see growth across the show with substantial visitor numbers, exhibitors and delegations participated at the event.
According to Major General Obaid Al Ketbi, Chairman of the organising committee for the International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX 2013) a total of DHS5.2 billion of defence contracts was awarded by the UAE with 17 international and national contractors. The US Wisconsin-based defence contractor Oshkosh Corporation won the biggest deal of Dhs1.4 billion to provide the UAE Armed Forces with 750 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected All-Terrain Vehicles (M-ATV).
The UAE also signed a Dhs 722 million contract with the UAE’s International Golden Group (IGG) to purchase Predator-EPs and integrated technical support, Al-Ketbi said in a press conference at the venue of IDEX 2013. Another contract worth 472.7 million was signed by the Armed forces with Russia’s KBP to buy different types of ammunition.
The third largest deal worth Dhs 720 million was won by Tawazun Holding; the UAE’s strategic investment holding company focused on defense and specialized manufacturing, to supply CIRIT laser guided missiles. CIRIT, manufactured by Rokestan, is the first Turkish-made laser-guided missile.
The other deals announced included a contract worth Dhs 215 million with global consulting firm Booz & Company which will provide consultation and support, a contract worth Dhs 350 million with UAE’s IGG, Germany’s SAP and USA’s IBM to provide IT support for the Forces’ supply system.
Italy’s Fincantieri won a deal worth DHS140 million to provide technical support to Abu Dhabi’s anti-marine ship. The Armed Forces also sealed a deal worth Dhs 375.4 million with ADSB to install Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) systems on its vessels, Al-Ketbi added.
The other deals, according to Al-Ketbi, include a contract worth Dhs 345 million with the UAE’s Knowledge to provide strategic consultation for the Land Forces, a Dhs 56 million deal with South Korea’s Hanwha Corporation to provide the Armed Forces with ammunition and explosives, a DHS30 million deal with the UAE’s Naval Advanced Solutions to provide technical support for the Armed Forces’ vessels, a Dhs 11.7 million contract with the UAE’s Al Jisr Company to provide the Armed Forces with chemical equipment, a Dhs 46.3 million deal with France’s CEFA to provide spare parts, a Dhs 27.2 million contract with the UAE’s Telecommunications to provide telecom equipment and spare parts and a Dhs 157 million with the UAE’s Advanced Military Maintenance Repair and Overhaul Centre (AMMROC) to provide upgraded avionics for the UAE’s C130 Hercules transport aircraft.
Some of the most substantial local deals made by the UAE Armed Forces included the purchase of Dh829.8million of small arms ammunition and Dh720m of laser-guided rockets from Abu Dhabi based Tawazun, the principal sponsor of Idex.
The UAE oil firm, Adnoc, concluded a mammoth contract worth Dh1.1bn to manage operating facilities and provide fuel for aircrafts and vehicles. There were also significant deals done with the United States for unmanned Predator drones in the shape of a Dh722m contract. But by far the biggest single deal was for 750 mine-resistant, ambush-protected all-terrain vehicles worth Dh1.4bn, also built in the US.
IDEX and Pakistan’s Defence Industry
Pakistan’s defence production industry has made significant progress in developing indigenous capabilities for production of sophisticated weapon systems and has the capacity to export its products from small arms to jet fighters. 24 high-profile and auxiliary defence production companies from Pakistan participated in the exhibition. Visitors and experts from different parts of the world showed keen interest in Pakistani products.
Pakistan Ordnance Factories, Heavy Industries Taxila and Global Industries & Defence Solutions, especially the Al Khalid tank were the star performer during the 5 days event. Experts appreciated the quality and efficiency of the tanks the best in the world, like targeting the enemy at night and auto-tracking of enemy tanks were the star performer. Pakistan participated the IDEX 2013 with three vessels including a submarine, a multi-purpose auxiliary craft called Jurrat, which has been built in Pakistan with full integration of weaponry; and Shah Jahan, modified as per the requirements of our own armed forces. All the three vessels are equipped with the indigenously produced weapon systems.”
IDEX and NAVDEX have given the chance to create strategic partnerships in accordance with Abu Dhabi’s vision for 2030 to diversify the local economy. IDEX 2013 provides excellent opportunity to develop better understanding and friendship, networking of the defence industry for trade and joint ventures and, more importantly, seeking affordable solutions to prevent war through conventional balance. IDEX has become a meeting place for defence exhibitors and delegations, analysts and trade visitors seeking affordable solutions to meet challenges faced by the defence industry.
UAE defence firms received the lion’s share of the contracts with 35 deals signed with the Armed Forces. Navdex, the naval and maritime security section of Idex, also grew in size from 60 companies two years ago to 80 in 2013. Daily live demonstrations featured a host of attractions for visitors, including aerial acrobatics and choreographed marine displays from a range of participating countries.
Preparations are already under way for IDEX and NAVDEX 2015, with plans to expand the area’s promenade and dredge a deeper canal that can allow for a greater number of larger ships to moor at the site. More than 50 percent of the exhibition space has already been booked for IDEX 2015. Undoubtedly, IDEX 2013 was a great success.