Idex 2021: UAE Armed Forces ink more deals on day five boosting total value of contracts to $5.7bn

The last day of the five-day defence exhibition saw the signing of 20 contracts worth $246m

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The UAE Armed Forces inked 20 more contracts on the last day of the International Defence Exhibition and Conference, the Middle East's largest event of its kind, boosting the total amount of deals agreed over five days to Dh20.95 billion ($5.7bn).

The contracts awarded on the last day of Idex were worth a total Dh904.26 million, with local companies winning the majority of deals for defence equipment. Local companies were awarded 15 contracts valued at Dh511m, said Staff Brig Gen Mohammed Al Hassani, official spokesman for Idex and the Naval Defence and Maritime Security Exhibition.

International companies won 5 contracts worth around Dh392m. The single largest contract was a Dh222.9m deal with the UAE based International Golden Group.

The total value of deals reached at the five day event is "very good" given the current global economic climate amid the pandemic and in comparison to the last Idex event, Brig Gen Al Hassani said at the daily press briefing. "This is an indication of success of this exhibition."

International companies securing deals on the final day included Atlas Elektronik landing a Dh170m deal, Raytheon Dh75.2m contract and Lockheed Martin Dh33.9m. Local armoured vehicle maker Nimr clinched a Dh37.2m contract.

The value of contracts awarded at the last edition of the biennial exhibition in 2019 was Dh20.56bn.

Major General Staff Pilot Faris Khalaf Al Mazrouei, chairman of the higher organising committee for Idex and Navdex, said in a separate briefing that the success of the event marks the “revival of the conferences and tourism sector in the country, in addition to supporting the defence industries”.

Idex 2021 attracted more than 62,000 visitors from different parts of the world, according to the show's organisers.

On Thursday, the Emirates Defence Companies Council (EDCC) and the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (Added) signed an agreement for a strategic partnership to support the defense and security sector and to align its goals with the industrial strategy of Abu Dhabi.

The agreement  outlines cooperation in the areas of research and development, the exchange of expertise and aligning industrial strategy with the defence and security industry’s role in building a  knowledge-based economy in Abu Dhabi.

Edge's unit Nimr said it will collaborate with ST Engineering – a global technology, defence, and engineering group – to build hybrid electric drive (HED) systems for its armoured vehicles.

The companies plan to study and design HED components for Nimr's vehicles, the UAE company said in a statement on Thursday.

"We are very excited to work side-by-side with ST Engineering to become the first manufacturer in the region to integrate hybrid electric drive systems into our armoured vehicles," Abri du Plessis, chief executive of Nimr, said. "The synergy reiterates Nimr's consistent efforts to bring to market the latest technologies and push the boundaries of military innovation to meet the evolving operational requirements of our customers.”

Besides offering improved range, acceleration and stealth capabilities, the HED systems also have lower emissions compared to a typical diesel engine system, Nimr said. HED systems are also much quieter than conventional engines, a crucial requirement for silent watch operations and covert maneuverability in combat operations, it said.

Tawazun Strategic Development Fund signed a collaborative agreement with Australia's Titomic to assess a joint venture for an advanced 3D printing manufacturing facility in the UAE.

The Tawazun Strategic Development Fund is the investment arm of Tawazun Economic Council. Victoria-based Titomic specialises in industrial scale additive manufacturing capability. It serves the global aerospace, defence, shipbuilding, energy, mining and automotive industries.

The potential joint venture between the two entities will provide industrial scale 3D printing services for the region, according to a statement by Tawazun on Thursday.