US showcases latest innovations in defence, security at Dimdex
March 12 2018 10:36 PM
US embassy charge de affairs Ryan Gliha inaugurating the US Pavilion at the Dimdex. PICTURE: Shaji K
US embassy charge de affairs Ryan Gliha inaugurating the US Pavilion at the Dimdex. PICTURE: Shaji Kayamkulam


The US Navy guided missile destroyer USS Sampson (DDG 102) and accompanying Mark VI patrol boats have arrived in Qatar for the Doha International Maritime Defence Exhibition and Conference (Dimdex).

Dimdex provides a forum for both the US and Qatar to discuss how the two countries are leveraging the latest in military technology to accomplish shared security objectives in the region, according to a statement from the US embassy in Qatar. 
While speaking at the US Pavilion at Dimdex on Monday US embassy chargé d’affaires Ryan Gliha said, “Qatar and the US enjoy a close partnership and shared responsibility in bolstering security in the region and beyond. Qatar is one of the US’ top customers for US defence procurement, with over $24bn in US foreign military sales purchases over the last four years, including the June 2017 sale of 36 F-15 fighters for $12.4bn. My team at the embassy looks forward to supporting our two countries’ deepening relationship in the areas of defence, commerce, and investment.” 
At the pavilion, the US exhibitors are showcasing the latest American innovations in defence and security platforms. 
“US participation in Dimdex comes just weeks after the US hosted the first US-Qatar Strategic Dialogue in Washington, DC, where the two governments issued a joint declaration on security co-operation, affirming the two countries’ joint commitment to promoting peace and stability and countering the scourge of terrorism. 

Some of the US ships which have come for Dimdex at the Hamad Port.

"This year marks a special turning point in our relationship with Qatar as we have elevated our bilateral relations with the launch of the first bilateral strategic dialogue in Washington, DC in January. This strategic dialogue was chaired by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defence James Mattis, and attended with our secretaries of Treasury, Energy and Commerce, all of whom engaged in face-to-face talks with their direct Qatari counterparts in the Qatari Council of Ministers," said Gilha.
Among the many strategic outcomes of the dialogue was the decision of both governments to issue a Joint Declaration on Security Co-operation, affirming our two countries’ joint commitment to promoting peace and stability in the region and countering the scourge of terrorism.
The US embassy is looking to build upon that momentum through events like Dimdex where we can continue forging mutually beneficial defence, commercial, and investment relationships between the US and Qatar. 
Qatar's foreign military sales have a potential to grow to $40bn based on projects currently under discussion.
"And now our focus evolves to how we can support the Qatari Armed Forces as their procurement strategy shifts to training and sustainment. We have heard a great deal from the Ministry of Defense on their vision for growing Qatar’s defense industry and will hear more over the next few days, including the multitude of joint-venture opportunities they will launch with companies from around the world, said the charge de affaires.
"Just as our bilateral political and military relations have advanced, our industries are uniquely poised to benefit from the next wave of Qatar’s defence procurement," he added.
Vice Admiral John Aquilino, Commander of US Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) and the Combined Maritime Forces, has arrived to speak at the Middle East Naval Commanders Conference (MENC), one of the key events organised at Dimdex 2018.
The MENC serves as a forum for prominent leaders to share their expertise and knowledge on the geo-political trends that affect the maritime sector on a strategic, operational and security level.
Guided-missile destroyers are warships that provide multi-mission offensive and defensive capabilities. Destroyers can operate independently or as part of carrier strike groups, surface action groups, expeditionary strike groups, and missile defense action groups.
The primary mission of Mark VI Patrol Boats is to provide force protection of friendly and coalition forces and critical infrastructure.

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