IDEX opens with spectacular show
Abu Dhabi, February 20, 2011
The International Defence Exhibition and Conference 2011 (Idex) opened this morning in Abu Dhabi with a spectacular show, marking the inauguration of the region’s largest tri-service defence event.
Idex 2011 was inaugurated in the presence of 66 defence ministers, 64 chiefs of staff, top commanders, VIP guests, dignitaries, diplomats and leaders from the world defence industry.
The day started with the solemn and dignified playing of the UAE National Anthem accompanied by the fly-past of the UAE flag and Idex flag by two Chinook helicopters, escorted by two Apache and two Blackhawk helicopters. Air force displays including 5 Mirage delta-winged fighter aircrafts and 5 F-16s filled the skies in an exciting display capping off the national anthem.
The tone of the displays shifted to watch a few minutes of video footage featuring the UAE’s land, navy and air force capabilities before moving up again to observe the Presidential guard undertake a live on-water hostage rescue scenario involving Boeing’s CH-47 Chinook helicopter, Sikorsky’s UH 60 Black Hawk helicopter, two of Eurocopter’s AS 550 Fennec helicopters, and two RHIB fast craft. The Presidential guard also presented a CT storming of a single storey building – supported by one Blackhawk and an array of fast assault vehicles.
Following the rescue scenarios, an impressive parade of armoured vehicles, tanks and artillery equipment made its way through the mobility track, demonstrating off-road capability and driver precision through the slopes and waters of the track.
A spectacular air and land demonstration followed as 10 professional winged skydiving experts geared up in UAE-flag themed wingsuits flew from 8,000 feet overhead while stunt bikers performed acrobatic stunts on the mobility track below.
An assortment of military bands including the Royal Australian Navy band, the New Zealand Army Band, and the UAE's Military Band played stirring anthems representative of each country’s culture and defence heritage.
Finally, as the UAE military lined up with the flags of all participating nations, and armored vehicles returned to the track, a culminating pyrotechnic display and the performance of the UAE’s Al Fursan Aerobatic Team marked the end of the ceremony.
“The remarkable display we have seen here today sets the tone for the 10th edition of Idex and the inaugural Navdex, which we expect to be hugely successful in the coming days both for the exhibitors and visitors to the event, but also for the Abu Dhabi and UAE community as a whole,” stated Major General Obaid Al Ketbi, head of Committees and spokesman for Idex 2011.
Final numbers for Idex 2011 confirm 1,060 exhibitors from 53 nations occupying 108,000 sqm of space and 32 country pavilions.
More than 50,000 visitors including 150 official delegations will attend the event throughout the week, for what is now the largest Idex that's been held to date since the show's inception in 1993.-TradeArabia News Service