Egypt’s first international tri-services Egypt Defence Exhibition (Edex), is underway in New Cairo, where it has attracted some 300 exhibitors from 41 countries. The organisers aim to make Edex one of the biggest regional defence trade shows.
The exhibition was opened by Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi on 3 December at the International Exhibition Centre in New Cairo, where he cut the ribbon along with French Defence Minister Florence Parly. The opening ceremony was attended by the defence ministers of Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Sudan, France, Greece, Cyprus South Sudan, Cameroon, South Korea, and Somalia.
The organisers said that with over 1.3 million military personnel, as the largest military power in Africa and one of the leading forces worldwide, Egypt is the ideal setting for such a large event and brings together exhibitors from both Africa and the Middle East. “The inaugural Edex is fully supported by the Egyptian armed forces and presents a brand new opportunity for exhibitors to showcase the latest technology, equipment and systems across land, sea, and air.”
General Tarek Saad Zaghloul, head of the Armed Forces Arming Authority, said that due to Egypt’s strategic geographical position, Edex marks a paradigm shift for the region to showcase its latest weapons technologies.
Edex runs until 5 December and is expected to attract at least 10 000 trade visitors and 56 official delegations comprising defence, military production ministers and chiefs of staff. Some 20 national pavilions are present, including a South African pavilion. South African exhibitors include Milkor, Reutech, Truvelo and Zebra Armour.
Most of the big international defence companies from around the world have a presence at Edex, including Dassault’s Rafale International, France’s Naval Group (which is supplying vessels to the Egyptian Navy), Fincantieri, General Dynamics, Hensoldt, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, GIDS, International Golden Group, Irkut, Iveco, Leonardo, Lockheed Martin, Mack Defense, MBDA, Navantia, Nexter, Norinco, Northrop Grumman, Rheinmetall, Rostec, Rosoboronexport, Saab, Saudi Arabian Military Industries, Streit, Thales and TKMS to name but a few.
One country that is exhibiting in force is Russia, which has arms exporter Rosoboronexport, the Russian Helicopters holding company and Uralvagonzavod, which are part of the Rostec corporation, and Almaz-Antey, present at the exhibition. They are showcasing 300+ pieces of military hardware.
“Edex is the first large-scale defense exhibition in North Africa. Rosoboronexport sees enormous potential in the exhibition for cooperation. We will be exhibiting here most of new Russian-made export products that are now actively gaining positions in the global arms market. I am sure they will arouse a lot of interest among representatives of the armed forces of Egypt, North African and the Middle East countries, as well as guests from other regions of the world,” said Alexander Mikheev, Director General of Rosoboronexport.
Edex is hosted in cooperation with the UK’s Clarion Events, which organises defence and security exhibitions. The next edition will be held in 2020.