IDEX 2021: 19 contracts inked as UAE Armed Forces sign deals worth $1.37bn on Day 1

The UAE Armed Forces awarded contracts worth US$1.37bn on the first day of the International Defence Exhibition (IDEX) and Conference at the ADNEC centre in Abu Dhabi.

The country’s Armed Forces signed 19 contracts, including seven deals worth $300m with international companies, Staff Brig Gen Mohammed Al Hassani, official spokesman for IDEX and the co-located naval exhibition NAVDEX, said 21 February.

The focus at this year's IDEX (21-25 February) is cyber security, autonomous weapons, advanced technology such as artificial intelligence in defence applications and the protection of supply chains amid the global health crisis.

US-based Insitu, a Boeing company, won a contract worth US$110.26m for the supply of unmanned vehicles and German defence company Rheinmetall and France’s Thales both clinched significant contracts.

"It is a good amount to start for a first day. There is a good mix of local and international companies in the contracts," said Brig Gen Al Hassani.

The biennial IDEX is the Middle East’s largest defence expo and the five-day exhibition is the first major defence tradeshow to take place since the coronavirus pandemic began a year ago.

Organisers are predicting the total value of deals signed this year to be similar to 2019 levels.