23 Feb 15. The International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX) and Naval Defence Exhibition (NAVDEX) and Unmanned Systems Exhibition (UMEX) hosted the official press conference at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center. Speaking to assembled journalists, Staff Major General Obaid Al Ketbi, Chairman of the IDEX 2015 Higher Committee, underlined the large support and participation of the international defence community that has boosted the status and role of IDEX as a commercial exhibition since its inauguration in 1993, as well as the growing role of Emirate companies at the show. “The defence industry is one of the core pillars of the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030. IDEX provides many opportunities to demonstrate the growing capacities of the defence and security industries sector,” said Staff Major General Obaid Al Ketbi. “The first day of commercial announcements at IDEX further demonstrates the significant platform of IDEX, allowing companies to build partnerships with leading international manufacturers and to knowledge share with industry peers. I am sure tomorrow will bring further strategic announcements from the world’s defence community. This year we anticipate an even greater result, supported by the IDEX’s parallel events, NAVDEX and UMEX.”
Today’s most valuable deals included:
* The United Arab Emirates Armed Forces and Al Taif company for technical services provided to vehicles operated by the ground forces of the UAE. The contract is valued at AED 2.4bn.
* The United Arab Emirates Armed Forces and Nimr Automotive has signed a contract to purchase 500 Nimr vehicles in addition to the development of 500 Nimr vehicles. The contract is valued at AED 1.2bn.
* Airbus Defence and Thales Alenia to buy two satellites with ground control stations. The contract is valued at AED 3.75bn.
* The United Arab Emirates Armed Forces has requested Abu Dhabi Autonomous Systems Investments Company for the purchase of unmanned-aircraft systems. The contract is valued at AED 490m.
* Abu Dhabi Shipbuilding Company will build two MV Leila ships. The contract is valued at AED 870m.
24 Feb 15. Unmanned technology was the central focus of the third day of IDEX as a flying demonstration by many of the world’s most sophisticated unmanned vehicles took to the skies in Tarif in the Western Region of Abu Dhabi as part of the 1st edition of the Unmanned Systems Exhibition (UMEX) 2015. Opened by H.H. Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, National Security Adviser and Vice Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, today’s flying demonstration on a purpose built airstrip at Tarif in the Western Region of Abu Dhabi, provided companies with the opportunity to demonstrate take-off and recovery procedure as well as displaying sensor imagery on screens to the assembled audiences. Also in attendance for the live performances were HE Major General Eissa Saif Mohammed Mazrui, Deputy Chief of Staff of the UAE Armed Forces, and a number of senior armed forces and international and regional delegations officers participating in IDEX 2015 exhibition.
Seven unmanned aircraft took part in the live show, including:
* ADASI S-100 Al Sabr – UAE – The Al Sabr system development was initiated in 2003 to answer a requirement of the UAE Armed Forces. The aerial vehicles are integrated with ground systems to provide real time information and communication, thus offering surveillance without risking the lives of military personnel. The platform for Al Sabr, the Schiebel Camcopter® S-100 was developed under a joint program between the UAE Government and Austria. The Al Sabr system is based on a fully autonomous vertical take-off and landing platform, providing a live video feed within a radius of 180km from the ground control station, as well as an ability to remain airborne for up to 10 hours. The footprint of the system is limited to 2 trucks (the Ground Control Station and a Transport Vehicle).
* Denel Seeker II – South Africa The battle-prove