Visitors look at the latest field ranger of Rheinmetall Defence of Germany at their pavilion during the last day of Idex 2017 at ADNEC on Thursday. Image Credit: Abdul Rahman/Gulf News

ABU DHABI: The 13th edition of International Defence Exhibition and Conference (Idex 2017) and fourth edition of the Naval Defence Exhibition (Navdex 2017) ended on a high note on Thursday with deals through the week totalling Dh19.17 billion announced during the five days of the show, which saw local and international companies displaying their latest defence products and technology in Abu Dhabi.

On the final day of the event on Thursday, organisers announced eight deals worth Dh344 million with Belarussian Beltech export winning the biggest deal of the day — a Dh110 million contract to provide technical support to the UAE Armed Forces.

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. Other local companies like International Golden Group, Sony Solutions, Mohammad Abdulrahman Al Bahar and Emirates Centre for Al Imdad also won contracts.

Overall, 90 contracts were signed during Idex 2017 this year with local companies winning 57 deals while 33 international firms bagged the remaining, Radhid Al Shamsi, spokesman for Idex, told reporters on Thursday.

“This exhibition provides a platform for local and international companies to display their latest products and technology that will help in refining the future of arms and weapons. The number of companies taking part in the event has been growing every year,” he said.

Despite economic factors, he said the value of transactions this year has gone up when compared to the previous edition of Dh18.3 billion in 2015.

The organisers announced various deals during the five days of Idex. Day one witnessed 21 deals worth more than Dh4.416 billion, day two had 10 new deals worth more than Dh6.919 billion, on day three there were 31 new deals worth more than Dh4.075 billion, on day four the value of transactions was more than Dh3.42b involving twenty companies. On the final day, the UAE Armed Forces signed deals worth more than Dh344 million with eight companies.

Raytheon won some of the biggest deals during Idex including a Dh1.3 billion contract to supply ammunition for the UAE Air Force and a contract worth Dh828 million to supply spare parts for air defence.

Among the other big deals, a contract with the Russian company, Rosoboronexport to buy Dh2.6 billion worth of anti-armoured missiles for the UAE Armed Forces and a contract with the UAE based company Maximus Air to buy air cargo planes for commercial use for Dh1.8 billion.

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. It also said the UAE government has signed an agreement to buy Sukhoi-35 fighter aircraft. The company did not provide further details.

Local companies including International Golden Group, Nimr Automotive, Caracal, Abu Dhabi Autonomous Systems Investments Company bagged a number of deals that could boost the local defence industry in the coming years and creating jobs.

More than 1,200 companies took part in the event including Lockheed Martin, Paramount Group, Dassault Aviation, Rostec, Textron Systems, Boeing, Thales Group among others.

Increase in deals

The UAE’s Armed Forces have increased their volume of defence purchases at Idex (International Defence Exhibition) by 35.4 per cent since 2013, according to figures released on Thursday, which put the total amount of commitments made at Dh19.2 billion for 2017. This figure represented a 4.2 per cent increase on the last edition of the defence show in 2015, which saw Dh18.3 billion in deals, signalling a clear increase in the purchase of defence supplies over the last few years. The value of the contracts signed by UAE Armed Forces at Idex 2013 stood at Dh14.1 billion through 55 deals.