AFP

IDEX/NAVDEX and the Advancing Battlefield March 16, 2019

Organised biannually, the IDEX/NAVDEX Exhibition in February became the first meeting point of the world’s prominent defence companies in 2019. For its part, IDEX hosted over 1,300 companies as an outstanding event in the Middle East and Africa.  

It should be remembered that a large part of global defence expenditures is concentrated in this region on account of security threats and active conflicts. Many countries in the region, particularly the United Arab Emirates (UAE), are heavily investing in defence industry to curb foreign dependency. While the previous years mainly hosted systems by foreign companies, this year was different with respect to the variety of items of joint or local production.

Another striking element was that the 200 companies in the exhibition area were UAE-based and that export to this region stipulated partnership. Hence, during the event in Abu Dhabi, subjects like cooperation and technology transfer was at the top of the agenda. This novel approach, which reached a great momentum particularly in land vehicles, is also valid for munitions.

Cyber security is now an indispensable part of this kind of exhibitions. Assuming global proportions, cyber threats are in a way indicators of state deficiencies. In the category of high tech weapon systems, laser systems, which have reached maturity, come to the forefront. In this vein, Rheinmetall shared the news that its 100 kW laser weapon had successfully passed final tests in December and that it was ready to enter into service. Furthermore, many other countries like the United States, China, France and Turkey have also made great strides on this subject.

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