South African companies have a big presence at the Middle East’s largest defence show, IDEX, which opened on Sunday in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates. There are about 30 South African companies at the show, with about 25 on the South African stand – Paramount, Milkor, Etion Create, and S-Plane have their own stands.
Milkor, which has previously sold into the Gulf market, says it is negotiating a $100 million deal with a country that it cannot disclose.
The show serves a large and growing market of considerable importance to South Africa. Defence spending in Gulf Cooperation Council member states – United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, and Bahrain, grew at about 6 percent last year. Qatar has had a diplomatic fall out with Saudi Arabia and other members of the council.
There are a number of forces that guide, govern and in some cases limit the application of UAS technology. Adding to this, the classification of UAVs is confusing as there is no universal way to describe the differences between military and civil classifications of aircraft size, performance and maximum take-off mass. We’ve written a short guide on navigating this decision making process.