With 82 deals worth AED 18.833 billion ($5.08 billion) announced at the International Defence Exhibition (IDEX) and Naval Defence Exhibition (NAVEX) 2017, it proved why the twinned events remain one of the go-to events for the defence industry. For four days from February 19-22, defence experts from all over the world headed towards the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) where the latest defence technologies across land, sea and air were on show. They offer a unique platform to establish and strengthen relationships with government departments, businesses and armed forces in the UAE. This year’s event, saw a similar number of exhibitors to IDEX 2015 which attracted over 1,200 national, regional and international exhibitors and attracted more than 101,000 visitors and generated deals exceeding AED18.3 billion (. With 12 halls, a centre plaza and docks where vessels from all over the world were in evidence including Kuwait, Pakistan, UAE and UK it was quite an extravaganza.

A one hour opening ceremony saw helicopters from the Joint Aviation Command putting in an impressive performance along with air and land assets, in a mock battle battle with militias in front of dignitaries from allies all over the globe. IDEX/NAVDEX highlighted why the UAE market is so important to the defence industry.

The 13 major military contracts that interested Tangent Link were:

Abu Dhabi Ship Building (ADSB) won a contract worth AED 100,401,795 ($27 million) for the supply and installation of electronic communications systems and exchange of information for the UAE Navy.

American company, Cubic Simulation Systems were awarded a contract worth AED 9,107,838 ($2.5 million) for the acquisition and subsequent installation of simulations for internal training. Usually this would be for air combat training systems.

SAAB AB won a AED865,726,100 (£234 million) deal for a third Bombardier Global 6000 Swing Role Surveillance System and provide additional supply of spare parts for ground hardware and perishable materials.  Saab announced a deal for an AEW&C aircraft on January 4 but did not disclose the customer as UAE. Given the price of the original two aircraft was $1.27 billion this looks likely to be a supplementary cost, for a green aircraft.

An AED611,664,690 ($165 million) deal with the American company, Raytheon, to purchase missiles.

Another contract with Raytheon worth AED 828,261,500, ($223 million) to supply the UAE Air Force and Air Defence Force, with air-defence system equipment and spare parts.

A contract with the UAE based company Maximus Air, worth AED 1,799,770,000 ($485 million) to buy air cargo planes for commercial use. This could be the undisclosed launch customer of the new civilian Lockheed Martin LM-100J Hercules.

A contract with Global Aerospace Logistics (GAL), a UAE-based company, for an additional AED 50,000,000 ($13.5 million) to provide technical and logistical support for all aircrafts

An AED 285,000,000 ($77 million) contract with UAE based company Etimad Holding for maintenance of border security systems and critical infrastructure.

Horizon Flight Academy were awarded a deal worth AED 30,000,000 ($8 million) to train pilots and develop their skills.

An AED 51,000,000 ($14 million) contract with French company Dassault Aviation to provide technical support for aircraft of the UAE Air Force and Air Defence Force.

A contract with the Italian company Agusta Westland Aviation Services, for AED 8,980,242 ($2.4 million) to modernise the interior cabin of VIPs’ aircrafts. Presumably some of the 15 AW139s operated by Abu Dhabi Aviation.

North Star Aviation has been contracted to provide technical and logistical support to the Bell 407 helicopters it has supplied, valued at AED 15 million ($4 million). Presumably for the 29 Bell 407MRHs supplied to Joint Aviation Command.

A contract with UAE based company Al Shammal Military Solutions valued at AED 143,300,000 ($38 million) to train pilots.