Defence expo website launched



ABU DHABI // Organisers of the ninth International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX-2009) have launched a website to allow visitors to draw up shopping lists before next year's event. Twelve halls covering 55,000 sq m will house military hardware produced by 900 top companies from 50 countries. Equipment on sale includes high-precision weaponry systems, guided missiles for air defence, electronic warfare systems (C4I) and ballistic missile systems. Other technologies include ground-to-air defence systems, naval vessels and submarines to undersea defence technology, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and maritime UAVs.

Officials said the show - which runs from Feb 22 to 26 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre - was expected to be the largest since its launch in 1993. Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoon, chairman of Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company, said: "Since its inception in 1993, IDEX has grown steadily to emerge as one of the largest and most important events for the global defence industry." The exhibition, co-organised by the Armed Forces, attracts visitors from around the globe, the majority of whom are from militaries and governments. At least 100 delegations are expected to take part.

The Gulf Defence Conference will coincide with the exhibition, giving military leaders, including defence ministers and chiefs of staff, a chance to meet. Locally produced military hardware will also feature, such as the Gulf's largest warship, the Baynunah class corvette, being built for the Navy by Abu Dhabi Ship Building. At least 30 sections of the exhibition are dedicated to UAE defence services or products.

Last year, some 862 companies took part in the show, with 143 delegations from more than 50 countries. Defence systems sales amounted to more than Dh2 billion (US$545m). The UAE's Armed Forces bought the lion's share worth nearly Dh1.4 billion. mhabboush@thenational.ae

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