The International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX) of 2011 is a biannual show that has reached its 10th anniversary with this event. It is a mature show with well developed habits and procedures for the exhibitors and attendees. Having established itself as a benchmark show much like Eurosatory, Milipol, DSA or AUSA, IDEX attracts a rich diversity of attendees from around the world. The show itself is centered in Abu Dhabi, the capitol city of the United Arab Emirates. The UAE controls 9% of the world’s oil reserves, and 5% of the natural gas. As such, the UAE has a strong interest in their defense industry and tries very hard to stay modernized and up to the best technology in the region. Many Middle Eastern/South West Asian countries had their military in attendance, and the technology was highly evident.
This year’s show was full to the brim, and the “New Exhibitors” section in Hall 1 was also filled. More than 50,000 attendees filled the halls, and there were exhibitors from over 50 countries. This shows growth from the 2009 show, but in any event this is a massive defense show. Being paired with NAVDEX gives both events a boost as well.
One of the more interesting pieces of show talk was Jordan’s deal with ATK to rebuild two Jordanian CN235 military transport aircraft into the ATK light gunship package. The technology that makes this possible is the most modern series of sensors and controls, but the Hellfire missiles, 70mm rockets and 30mm M230LF chaingun make for a true “gunship.”