Idex Image Credit: Abdul Rahman/Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, yesterday launched an amphibious army tanker dubbed “The Monster” at Idex.

Showcased for the first time at Idex, the armored tanker was manufactured by Calidus, and is a model for a promising national industry developed by 100 per cent Emirati cadres.

Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid and Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed expressed their satisfaction with this auspicious industry, stressing that the UAE will be among the top nations in defence and military industries thanks to its cadres’ efforts and creative ideas.

The also hailed Calidus’ efforts and those behind it, working to develop UAE competitive military industries. They were briefed by Faris Mohammad Al Mazrouei, Advisor at the Ministry of Presidential Affairs, about the tanker’s tasks, capacity, which is the most armored tanker in the world. He pointed out that Calidus has begun manufacturing a new type of training aircraft for fight against terrorism.


Opening ceremony

Abu Dhabi: International Defence Exhibition, Idex 2019 got under way in Abu Dhabi with hundreds of companies displaying their latest defence equipment as security challenges grow in the region and across the world.

More than 1,310 defence firms are participating in the five-day event that is being held at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center. That number is up 6 per cent compared to the previous edition of Idex in 2017.

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

Organisers are expecting total deals to equal or surpass the previous edition of Idex. In 2017, the value of the deals announced was Dh19.7 billion.

The event takes place as defence spending goes up in the region. A report released by Jane’s by IHS Markit forecasts defence spending in the Gulf region to hit $103 billion in 2019 and continue upwards to $110 billion in 2023, up from $82 billion in 2013.

His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces attended the opening ceremony.

Bangladesh prime minister Shaikh Hasina was also present.

The opening ceremony was marked by a mock military operation as well as performances by the UAE military band, Abu Dhabi police band and Armenian military orchestra.

Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Russia’s Rostec are among the big international defence companies that are taking part in the event.

The Idex opening featured performances by the UAE military band Image Credit: Abdul Rahman/Gulf News

From the UAE, Emirates Defence Industries Company (Edic), Tawazun, among others are participating.