ISDEF 2017, Tel Aviv, Israel
Innovations Draw Thousands to Bi-annual Show
“Our goal at ISDEF is to continue to operate at the highest and most professional standards, without compromise, in order to position the Israeli defense industry in the centrum of the international market. This year’s delegates included ministers, the deputy defense minister, heads of staff and director generals, Knesset members and delegations from various security organizations: IDF, police, firefighters, Shin Bet, Mossad, etc. The exhibition also hosted delegations from various government ministries and organizations from the defense and security sectors.” –ISDEF
6-8 June 2017—Tel Aviv is an excellent location for a military trade show—the weather is nice, the city is intriguing, and the buyers/end users are there as well because of the necessary atmosphere of constant vigilance. ISDEF is a regional show concentrating on the needs of the Israeli Defense Forces; however, it draws from all over the world due to the innovations regularly shown at this event.
Originally a yearly event, it is now biennial, and happening every two years suits the show very well. Sponsored by Israeli defence contractor Tar Ideal Concepts, Ltd, ISDEF was originally a gathering for their business partners and customers, but it has evolved into a must-do event for all interested parties.
This was the 8th edition of ISDEF, and the attendance has grown exponentially—there were almost 300 exhibitors from 24 countries and an amazing 14,400 qualified attendees from international and Israeli military, LE and related groups. Of all the statistics available regarding attendance, two of the most striking are that 27% of the attendees were in Procurement/R&D, and a full 35% were actual End Users. This means that the companies displaying at ISDEF were talking directly to the buyers and those who influence the buyers’ decisions. You can’t ask for much more than that as an exhibitor.
Attending ISDEF allows both the attendee and the exhibitor an opportunity to interface with regional suppliers of defence and LE material, as well as see the latest in hi-tech rescue equipment. The Israeli military and police are under constant stress due to the regional conflicts they’ve been involved in since the start of their country, and the training expertise is on display at ISDEF along with the hardware. While some of the larger international contract groups were present, the home-grown Israeli variety was predominant. The electronics area is a place where there are almost daily leaps of technological and doctrinal advance, and soldier communications were a major feature at the show.
Like many military trade shows, every ISDEF has featured a different country connection—this year’s event celebrated 25 years of diplomatic relations between Israel and India. India had a 400-square-meter national pavilion at the show, which had almost 50 exhibitors and delegates, including visits from the Indian Ambassador. India currently has many RFQs out on small arms, so this was evidenced by the manufacturers discussing the bid possibilities alongside the Indian companies seeking outside business opportunities.
The USA pavilion had 28 exhibiting companies, including economic development partnerships with the states of Virginia, North Carolina and Illinois. The Czech Republic pavilion had 8 exhibitors, including CZ.
Of primary interest to readers of SADJ, were the innovations in small arms and related soldier equipment. The management of ISDEF understands the integrated soldier and police officer, and there was an excellent blend of interacting displays; lots of training groups, many electronic innovations and the state of the art in small arms. Counterterrorism is a focus for all involved, and there were several companies in attendance that specialize in information and tactics, including Counter IED Report and Controlled F.O.R.C.E.