French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian (third right) visits the France stand at the 4th International Maritime Defence Exhibition and Conference (Dimdex) at the Qatar National Convention Centre in Doha yesterday.
By Salman Siddiqui /Staff Reporter
The fourth Doha International Maritime Defence Exhibition and Conference (Dimdex 2014) concluded yesterday with the announcement of defence contracts worth QR87bn ($23bn) between the Qatar Armed Forces and around 20 international companies.
Qatar Armed Forces Chief of General Staff Major-General Ghanem bin Shaheen al-Ghanem witnessed the signing ceremonies that included contracts for state-of-the-art anti-aircraft missile systems, helicopters, tanks, patrol boats and modern radar platforms.
Some of the biggest contracts were won by American companies, including those for the Patriot air and missile defence system worth QR27.5bn; and a contract with Boeing to buy 24 Apache helicopters for QR8.9bn.
Another Boeing contract for three early warning aircraft worth QR6bn was also announced.
The American firm Lockheed Martin was also awarded a contract for QR1.5bn for “training at air force academy”. The US Ordinance was awarded the weapons contract for QR7mn.
As announced at Dimdex 2014, the French Defence Ministry too issued a separate statement to announce that Qatar had agreed to buy 22 NH90 military helicopters from a unit of European aerospace group Airbus worth 2bn euros ($2.76bn) and two Airbus-made refuelling tankers.
NH Industries, which builds the NH90, is 62.5% owned by Airbus helicopter unit Eurocopter, 32% t by Italian defence group Finmeccanica’s AgustaWestland unit and 5.5 % by Stork Fokker.
Other agreements signed at Dimdex included one with the Finmeccanica company Selex ES for electronic and information solutions worth QR1.7bn.
The German company KMW signed contracts worth QR940mn for tanks and artillery. Although it was not specified exactly what pieces of equipment were bought, the company is known for its Leopard series of battle tanks and was seen showcasing its new Armoured Multi-Purpose Vehicle Type2A at its Dimdex stand.
French aviation company Dassault was awarded a contract worth QR300mn; WKK Ltd for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles worth QR155mn; Nakilat Damien for construction of six boats worth QR3bn; and French company MBDA Missile Systems was awarded a contract worth QR100mn for unspecified “Special Projects”.
Previously, on the second day of Dimdex 2014, Turkish company Ares had signed an agreement to deliver 17 fast patrol boats within the next 56 months for the Qatar Coast Guard Services.
Brig Dr (Eng) Thani A al-Kuwari, Assistant Minister of State for Defence Affairs for Financial Affairs and Chairman of Dimdex 2014, said that this year’s defence exhibition held under the patronage of HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani was the best edition to date. “This week has been about building on our existing relationships as well as building new relationships, broadening our knowledge in the advancement of new technologies and establishing partnerships with world’s leading experts in order to better the position of the State of Qatar. We look forward to Dimdex 2016 and expanding on our successes of this year,” he said.
Dimdex 2014 included more than 175 exhibitors and over 80 delegations from 53 countries. A highlight of the exhibition included the warship display at the Doha Commercial Port where 21 visiting warships from around the world, including the HMAS Darwin, Commonwealth of Australia, FNS Jean Bart, French Republic and the USS Mesa Verde and USS Roosevelt, from the Unites States of America were on display. This also included a Kilo Class submarine of the Pakistani Navy . Page 2
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