Abu Dhabi

Some of the big names in the defence industry including Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Boeing and Rostec, among others will take part in the International Defence Exhibition (Idex) 2019 that will kick start on Sunday.

The five-day event is expected to be the biggest yet with defence deals likely to match the value of previous edition, organisers said during a press conference.

The number of exhibitors for Idex as well as for Naval Defence (Navdex) will increase by 6 per cent to 1,310 compared to 1,235 companies that took part in the previous edition in 2017.

International companies participating will account for 85 per cent of the total number of companies, while the number of local firms will reach 170, representing 15 per cent of the exhibitors.

Even the total area dedicated for Idex and Navdex has grown by 26 per cent to 168,000 square meters compared to 133,000 square metres in 2017.

In 2017, the value of the deals announced was Dh19.7 billion.

“We are expecting deals that could surpass or equal the previous edition of Idex. There are a large number of companies that will be taking part in the five-day event,” said major general staff pilot Ishaq Saleh Al Balushi, deputy chairman of the higher organising committee of Idex and Navdex 2019.

UAE companies will be present in large numbers with 170 defence firms taking part in the event followed by firms from the United States, Germany, France, Italy and Saudi Arabia.

UAE based International Golden Group will occupy the largest space with more than 2,000 square meters.

Among the international companies Raytheon, Boeing, Oshkosh from the US, Thales from France and Rostec from Russia will showcase their latest defence equipment and technology.

Russia’s Rostec will demonstaret Pantsir-ME shipborne air-defence missile for the first time in a foreign exhibition, according to a statement from the company.

“Pantsir-ME can be installed on most Russian warships and is very well fit for ships manufactured by other countries. I am confident that it has very good export prospects in the Arab countries, South East Asia and Latin America,” said Rosoboronexport’s (part of Rostec) Director General Alexander Mikheev.

Boeing on the other hand, will showcase a diverse array of defence products including the AH-64 Apache, the CH-47F Chinook, and the KC-46A Pegasus.

The AH-64 Apache is the world’s most sophisticated multi-role combat helicopter where as the CH-47F Chinook is an advanced multi-mission helicopter with cargo-handling capabilities. And the KC-46 is a wide-body, multi-role tanker with the ability to refuel all US, allied and coalition military aircraft compatible with international aerial refuelling procedures.

“We have been involved in the Middle East for more than 70 years as exhibited by the large installed base of Boeing products supporting national security interests in the region. Thanks to the performance of our products, as well as their effectiveness and reliability, we expect to see that base continuing to grow,” said Bernard Dunn, President of Boeing Middle East, North Africa and Turkey.