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IDEX? Big deal (s)
Kipp brings you some of the biggest deals coming out of the tenth Installment of the International Defense Exhibition (IDEX). Or ASTBUTAKTALCEX, as we call it.
February 22, 2011 1:53 by Eva Fernandes
This year’s IDEX 2011 (the tenth installment of the annual International Defense Exhibition) set out from the start to be a bit of a big deal round here, with more than 1,000 companies participating, 32 country pavilions and expectations of playing host to 50,000-plus visitors. And, just as in previous years, the exhibition was surrounded by speculation of exactly what major deals would be struck and announced.
After all, military and defense spending in the UAE is no longer the basic market that it was. As Gianluca Trezza, the UAE resident manager of Elettronica, an Italian electronic warfare specialist, told The National “There is a real will to set up the aerospace and defence industry here.”
He’s not wrong. Some of the major state-backed UAE companies that are engaged in military-related manufacturing and training include Mubadala Development, Tawazun Holding and Emirates Advanced Investments. There has been a definite drive from the government to boost the UAE’s aerospace and defense sector and if you need proof just look at the 169 UAE exhibitors present at this year’s IDEX occupying an area of nothing less than 12,200 square metres.
In that environment, what have been the major deals to come out of the exhibition thus far? Kipp’s read through a whole lot of defense-speak so you don’t have to to bring you the following explosive summary:
Raytheon is partnering up with the Emirates Advanced Investments (EAI) to jointly develop a laser-guided rocket system in the UAE. The Talon Laser-Guided Rocket system, which sounds very cool, will be fitted on existing legacy rockets to ensure greater accuracy against land and air targets. It is likely to go into production by the end of the year. The Talon system, which has been tested on UAE Apache helicopters (presumably attached to them, not fired at them), can be used on UAE’s Blackhawks and other such combat helicopters.
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