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  • Writer's pictureIsrael Gulf Report

Israel's IAI to be at IDEX 2021 for first time showcasing its leading technology

Israel Aerospace Industries will be at IDEX in Abu Dhabi this year for the first time. It is an exciting moment in the Israeli defense industry with insiders describing it as a major milestone and potential gamechanger. The UAE is a strategic hub and IDEX is an important defense show, along with its naval component NAVDEX. The International Defense Exhibition usually sees a large attendance but Covid and travel changes may lead to changes this year. Nevertheless symbolically this is very important and paves the way for important future deals and joint ventures. The participation was first reported on January 11.


Israel's diplomatic envoy recently arrived in the UAE. This follows the 130,000 Israelis who have already gone and the billions in trade that are already beginning to happen. The UAE is playing a leading role in fighting Covid and along with Israel is a leader in vaccinations. Regional security concerns overshadow IDEX and events because there are Iran tensions, a recent Iranian missile test and also questions about the US pausing F-35 sales to the UAE. US CENTCOM, which is based in the Gulf, is now incorporating Israel into its area of responsibility and CENTCOM head Kenneth McKenzie was recently in Israel, showcasing the close Israel-US alliance.

IAI said on February 2 that "for the first time, slated to officially attend the IDEX exhibition in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, expected to take place from February 21 to February 25. IAI will have our own booth with visual and interactive displays at the exhibition."

Boaz Levy, IAI's President and CEO said that "Israel Aerospace Industries applauds the agreements signed by the two countries, agreements that open a window for extended cooperation, sharing of knowledge, promoting investment, development and localization of joint technology. IAI sees our activities in the region as an opportunity to promote cooperation within the regional eco-system and is open to promoting defense as well as civilian endeavors on a range of topics, such as space and satellites, air defense and rocketry, intelligence, robotics, UAVs, cyber etc. This exhibition is a harbinger of long-term activity in the UAE and in the region as a whole.”

IAI will exhibit a wide range of systems with an emphasis on aerospace systems, civil aviation, mission aircraft and more. IAI stresses comprehensive operational solutions – systems of systems, for a wide range of uses in the air, sea, land, space and in the cyber domain, it said. "Throughout the exhibition IAI will focus on promoting communication and local cooperation with local government agencies, defense forces, local industries and academic initiatives, in order to further expand the company’s activity in the region."

Context: Emerging threats

These days many people in the Gulf and the region are concerned about drone and other complex emerging threats. Israel is a leader in counter drone technology. Avnon group and ISDEF will have a large presence at IDEX. Israeli companies already have a huge global footprint. There are three major Israeli defense giants, in addition to IAI there is Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and Elbit Systems. In turn they also have interests or subsidiaries, such as Elta to IAI and Aeronautics or Controp to Rafael or IMI to Elbit.

In coming days Israel Gulf Report will publish further details on Israeli companies participating at IDEX. See our previous report on IMCO participating. Aeronautics will also be IDEX as well as Elbit Systems and Rafael and companies linked to the Avnon Group. UVision and SK Group will attend. Skylock, which does counter drone solutions, will be at the event.

IAI already has an agreement with Gulf Air in Bahrain and it has worked with Group 42 since July. In many ways it was paving the way for the Abraham Accords with the Group 42 agreement.

Photo (Courtesy IAI)

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