The IDEX 2019 international defense exhibition and conference took place in Abu Dhabi between February 17th and 21st.
During the exhibition, Russia’s Rostec unveiled its naval version of the Pantsir-ME air defense missile and gun system.
The Pantsyr-ME is the shipborne version of the Pantsyr air defense missile/gun system. Its land-based version is called Pantsyr-S. The seaborne version can be outfitted with missiles from the land-based variant and also with the promising Germes-K missile, which can be guided by a drone. The Pantsyr-ME is set to replace the Kortik system.
“The current trends in the development of the navies force the maritime powers to equip their ships with reliable assets to counteract air threats, i.e. cruise missiles, unmanned aerial systems, helicopters and planes. A sophisticated system of countering practically all the possible aerial kill assets has been developed in Russia, and it will be represented at one of the largest world defence exhibitions in Abu Dhabi. Pantsir-ME can be installed on most Russian warships and is very well fit for ships manufactured by other countries. I am confident that it has very good export prospects in the Arab countries, South-East Asia and Latin America,” said Rosoboronexport’s Director General Alexander Mikheev.
“Currently the Pantsir-ME air-defence missile and artillery system has no direct countertypes in the world market in the segment of shipborne air defence systems, and such will hardly pop up in the near future,” noted Sergey Abramov, the industrial director of the Armaments cluster in the Rostec State Corporation, “Demonstration of a full-scale specimen at the IDEX/NAVDEX exhibition is a perfect opportunity to present this new state-of-the-art Russian weapon to our partners from the Middle East and Northern Africa – the strategic region of Rostec’s presence.”
Notably, MBDA and Milrem Robotics showcased the world’s first anti- tank unmanned ground vehicle (UGV).
The joint project integrates the Milrem Robotics THeMIS unmanned ground vehicle with the MBDA IMPACT (Integrated MMP Precision Attack Combat Turret) system fitted with two MMP 5th generation battlefield engagement missiles and a self-defence machine gun. “This combination of two of the most modern technologies in their field is a very good example of how robotic warfare systems will bring disruption to the battlefield and make some traditional technologies obsolete,” said Kuldar Väärsi, CEO of Milrem Robotics. “Our unmanned land combat system under study together with MBDA will be very efficient in keeping our troops safe and significantly increasing the capability to fight main battle tanks as well as any other ground target.”
BAE Systems showcased several of its products, including M777 Lightweight Howitzer, the M109A6 Self-Propelled Howitzer, Digital Light Engine Head-Up Display (DLE HUD), and the APKWS Laser-Guided Rocket. Also on display was the Advanced Threat Infrared Countermeasures (ATIRCM) System and Common Missile Warning System (CMWS), both of which can be retrofitted to fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft.
In term of naval protection, BAE Systems presented several solutions, notably the 40 Mk4 Naval Gun System.
Chinese manufacturer Shenzhen Keweitai displayed its UAVs. It displayed the advantages its technology provides, including quick maneuvering reaction, best detection view, avoid casualities, low cost.
On its booth, Raytheon presented its AMRAAM-ER. According to the company it’s coming closer to production. It is a ground-launched weapon that will intercept targets at longer distance and higher altitudes. The missile gets its boost in range from a bigger rocket motor and smarter flight control algorithms.
Lockheed Martin revealed its new Falcon mobile air defence solution. Falcon is intended to address “a critical gap in short- and medium-range ground-based air defence” to defeat “current and emerging threats”, including weaponised unmanned aircraft systems (UASs), cruise missiles, and fixed- and rotary-wing platforms capable of delivering ordnance at extended ranges.
Presented was also a medium-range variant of the IRIS-T-SL short-range imaging IR-guided SAM – itself a derivative of the IRIS-T air-to-air missile – the IRIS-T-SLM interceptor is an all-weather, IR terminal homing effector.
Leonardo, for the first time in the region presented its Counter UAS (Unmanned Aerial Systems) capabilities based on an ‘open systems’ architecture.
It also presented its new M-345 – which will replace Italian Air Force MB-339s starting from 2020 –, to advanced and lead-in fighter training, with the M-346, which will be presented in its Fighter Attack version.
Furthermore, the company showcased its HITFACT® MkII lightweight, modular turret, which can be configured with either a 105/52 mm rifled gun or a 120/45 mm smoothbore low-recoil-force gun; also on display will be the Company’s guided ammunition offer, including the 76mm DART, used for engaging fast-moving targets, and the Vulcano family 76mm and 127mm naval guns, and 155mm land artillery systems, which can deliver an effect at extreme range with surgical precision.
Streit Group also presented its portfolio of new armored vehicles and boats.
Overall the tendencies appear to be focused on ground-based vehicles, as well as air defense systems. Significantly, most producers underline the importance of naval protection and strength, seeing as how most of the bigger manufacturers are presenting exactly systems focused at that. That is possibly motivated by the F-35 actually progressing in its development, as well as the numerous hypersonic arms that Russia is developing, as well as China.
Furthermore, there is a published IDEX Show Daily, which provides a more in-depth look into the entire expo: