Military and Strategic Journal
Issued by the Directorate of Morale Guidance at the General Command of the Armed Forces
United Arab Emirates
Founded in August 1971

2022-01-01

Successful Expodefensa 2021, a Colombian Feat

With the successful completion of Expodefensa 2021 international exhibition, dubbed the leading hub for Defence and Security in Latin America and the Caribbean, Colombia has ratified its leadership in technological advances in the Security and Defence sector.
 
Held from November 29 to December 1 at the headquarters of Corferias in Bogotá, with 220 exhibitors, 62 official delegations from 24 countries, including 28 Colombian official delegations, and more than 11,000 participants, the eighth edition concluded with an academic programme and a world-class commercial showcase.
 
The exhibitors came up with a wide range of innovative products, including specialised drones for security work, boats and ships designed for the defence medical corps and also the latest in weapons development technology.
 
For the first time during the exhibition, the Orion Defence Ministers’ Summit was organised, with over 40 countries taking part.
 
It brought together representatives of high-level positions specialised in Security and Defence. At this meeting, extremely important issues were discussed regarding the actions that could be carried out specifically to combat the transnational threat – sdrug trafficking.
 
The exhibition was earlier inaugurated by the President of the Republic of Colombia, Iván Duque, who highlighted the national industry’s developments such as unmanned aircraft, vision capacity with Halcón helicopters and real-time micro-data processing to fight crime.
 
National organisations such as CODALTEC, COTECMAR, INDUMIL and CIAC along with several international companies were the protagonists of the latest edition of the fair.
 
Charles Beaudouin, CEO of COGES Events, explained: “Although the pandemic led to a 30 per cent drop in attendance at other world’s leading exhibitions, Expodefensa 2021 matched the 2019 edition and exceeded the goals set for it. The exhibition highlighted a strong presence of the continent’s industry. Colombia is an example of it through its investment in its defence industrial and technological base and its governmental leadership of the Social and Business Group for Defence (GSED).”
 
Andrés López Valderrama, executive president of Corferias, highlighted the qualities of the exhibition in terms of innovation and technological advances. “Expodefensa has become the hub through which the government can present advances in science, technology and innovation adapted to the context of the pandemic.” 
 
Here are the various highlights of the mega event:
 
Cordova 9mm Pistol
Colombian State Defence Company Indumil introduced the new Subcompact Cordova 9mm pistol at the exhibition. 
The Cordova is a semi-automatic pistol developed by the Indumil Colombian Military Industry which was introduced in 2013. It is a modern, service-type pistol available in three versions including Tactical with a longer barrel, Standard, Compact, and Subcompact.
The Indumil Cordova pistol is a 9mm polymer frame semi-automatic pistol. It uses the traditional Browning short recoil action with a tilting barrel. It has a double-action trigger and exposed hammer with ambidextrous slide-mounted safety-decocker levers.
The Subcompact version of the 9mm Cordova uses the same design and specifications but in a very small size. The pistol uses a 9 rounds magazine and has a 3.5-inch short barrel.
 
MBDA Weapon Station
MBDA presented the MPCV/MMP (Multi-Purpose Combat Vehicle), a new anti-tank weapon system that can be mounted on light tracked or wheeled vehicles using the MMP, Medium-Range anti-tank guided missile.
The MPCV turret design is focused on modularity and provides the ideal platform for MMP anti-tank guided missile which itself has been designed to be multi-purpose. Housing four MMP missiles (in a 2x2 configuration), this motorised turret is suitable for a wide range of light and medium armoured vehicles (eg. 4x4, 6x6, and 8x8 all-terrain) as well as larger tracked platforms. 
The gyrostabilised day/night thermal optical sensor and firing control units are all integrated within the turret. A 12.7 mm (.50 calibre) machine gun completes the system’s overall firepower.
The MPCV/MMP anti-tank weapon station is operable from within the vehicle, or remotely through a fully mobile workstation which can be installed in a building, a bunker, or any protected place if static operations are called for.
 
KAI’s Jets and Copters
The Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) promoted its supersonic advanced jet trainers, KUH Multipurpose Utility Helicopter, the FA-50 Multi-Role Light Combat Aircraft, and the KF-21 new multirole fighter aircraft.
The FA-50 is the combat variant of the T-50 advanced jet trainer aircraft equipped with new radar and armed with missiles and machine gun. The combat aircraft is intended to meet the light fighter requirements of air forces around the world. 
 
The FA-50 aircraft can carry a weapons load of up to 4.5t.  It can be armed with AIM-9 Sidewinder short-range air-to-air missiles, AGM-65 Maverick air-to-ground tactical missiles (AGM), GBU-38/B Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM), CBU-105 Sensor Fused Weapon (SFW), Mk-82 Low Drag General Purpose (LDGP) bombs, and Cluster Bomb Units (CBUs).
The KAI KUH is a twin-engine, transport utility helicopter that can perform various roles, such as military transport, law enforcement, aerial observation, search and rescue, maritime support, aerial firefighting, and for civilian purposes.
 
Sniper Rifle from Slovenia
Slovenian Company IZOP-K unveiled the Akila, a new generation of tactical bolt action sniper rifle chambered in 308 Winchester calibre.
IZOP-K’s Akila rifle can be supplied with a fully adjustable buttstock (length of pull, cheek rest and recoil pad height) with an integrated monopod and folding hinge with configurable folding side or as a lightweight version without folding and monopod.
 
A variety of front-mounted accessories can be attached to the octagonal forefend. The sniper rifle is also fitted with a Picatinny rail mounted on the upper part of the weapon offering the possibility to mount a wide range of scopes and optical devices. 
 
Colombia’s Quimbaya UAV 
Colombian Air Forces in collaboration with the Colombian company CIAC (Colombian Aeronautical Industry Corporation) presented their jointly-developed Quimbaya, a locally-made UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) designed to perform reconnaissance and surveillance missions.
 
The Quimbaya is 4.11 m long, has a 5.4 m wingspan and a cruise speed of 100 km/h. A maximum altitude of around 3,600 m and endurance of up to eight hours can be attained. The drone is powered by a single-engine produced by the German company Hirth Engines.
Two people could easily assemble and knockdown the Quimbaya in the field. 
 
STM’s Drone Display
Turkish Company STM presented its full range of UAVs.
The attack and surveillance UAV systems developed by STM using its own engineering and technological capabilities are being used to full effect by the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) in the provision of border security, as well as in international operations. 
STM displayed three drones including the Togan, an autonomous multi-rotor reconnaissance UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle), the Kargu rotary-wing attack drone, and the Fixed-Wing Autonomous Tactical Attack UAV.
 
Hensoldt Unveils PrecISR
German Company Hensoldt promoted the PrecISR, a family of airborne multi-mission surveillance systems.
PrecISR, Hensoldt’s new family of Airborne Multi-Mission Surveillance Radars, offers high performance in a compact design. The superior performance of PrecISR enables airborne operators to accomplish large area surveillance in one flight pass. 
The radar has been designed for all types of airborne surveillance missions in 24/7 operation and in all weather conditions to ensure safety and security and to detect conventional and asymmetric threats on the ground, at sea and in the air.
 
SandCat & the StormRider
Israeli Company Plasan presented its new range of light tactical and armoured vehicles for Latin-American military and security markets.
At the exhibition, Plasan marketed the latest generation of SandCat 4x4 light tactical vehicles as well as its new StormRider 4x4 light armoured vehicle.
The Sandcat is a family of 4x4 light tactical protected vehicles that can be tailored according to mission requirements or to the customers’ needs. 
The Sandcat can be easily configured as APC (Armoured Personnel Carrier), ambulance, anti-tank vehicle, mortar carrier, and more.
The StormRider offers a high level of ballistic protection up to Level III against the firing of small arms 7.62×51mm AP (Armour Piercing) and Level 2a/2b for the mine protection, 6 kg of TNT explosion under the wheels and the body of the vehicle.
 
Otokar Rolls Out Vehicles 
Turkish company Otokar presented its full range of wheeled armoured vehicles at the show. 
Highlighting that Otokar is a registered NATO and United Nations supplier, General Manager Serdar Görgüç, said: “At Expodefensa, we were able to gain significant experience in responding to the needs and expectations of the region. We looked for opportunities to establish industrial cooperation to localise the support of Otokar vehicles in the region. We were also willing to evaluate transfer of technology and local manufacturing projects where Otokar has a well-established and proven track record.”
Otokar designs and manufactures a wide range of tactical armoured vehicles including 4x4 COBRA, COBRA II, COBRA II- MRAP, AKREP II, URAL, KAYA II, ISV, ARMA 6x6, and ARMA 8x8. 
 
Leonardo Shows its Might
Leonardo presented innovative products and technologies developed to support the needs of governmental, armed forces and private customers. 
A key exhibit at Leonardo’s stand was the M-346 Fighter Attack (FA) aircraft. The M-346 FA is designed to carry out a wide range of missions at lower cost than front-line fighters. With features including Leonardo’s integrated Grifo M-346 multi-mode fire control radar, the M-346FA can be employed as a tactical aircraft while maintaining its advanced trainer characteristics. 
Also on show was the C-27J Spartan multi-mission aircraft. The aircraft has been chosen by the air forces of Mexico and Peru, where it is performing strongly thanks to its ability to land on dirt and semi-prepared runways. 
Leonardo also exhibited the ATR-72MP (Maritime Patrol), which combines the reliability and low operating costs of the ATR 72-600 passenger aircraft with a state-of-the-art mission system. 
 
AeroVironment’s UAVs
The American company AeroVironment displayed its full range of UAVs and loitering missiles including the Quantix reconnaissance drone and the Switchblade 300 loitering missile.
Quantix Recon is a simple-to-use UAS that delivers rapid, automated reconnaissance and hands-free data collection. Mapping and scouting tasks are effortless with its fully-automated takeoff, flight and landing functions — even first-time users can successfully operate it. 
 
It delivers accurate, up-to-date maps within minutes for quick mission planning and verification. 
Supporting conventional or special operations forces in the field or from fixed defensive positions, the combat-proven Switchblade 300 with patented wave-off feature is the ideal loitering missile for use against beyond-line-of-sight targets. 
 
Spyder Strength 
Israeli company Rafael displayed a scale model of its Spyder. The Spyder is a family of mobile air defence missile systems incorporating Rafael’s advanced Python-5 and I-Derby missiles to provide short, medium, and long-range protection.
 
The Spyder-SR and Spyder-ER 360° slant launching missile systems provide quick reaction, lock-on-before-launch (LOBL) and lock-on-after launch (LOAL) capabilities, while extending the range of defence to up to a 40 km radius.
 
The Python-5 is a fifth generation of air-to-air missile that can be launched from very short to beyond-visual ranges with greater kill probability, excellent resistance to countermeasures, irrespective of evasive target manoeuvres or deployment of countermeasures. 
 
Thales’ Solutions 
Thales Group presented its portfolio of products and multi-dimensional solutions capable of meeting the operational and capacity challenges of customers in Colombia and other countries.
The presentations by the company, included solutions designed to enhance the capabilities of perception, communication, and intervention, with enhanced operational equipment, optronics (Nellie binocular), next-generation assault rifles, as well as tactical radios and solutions. 
 
In relation to Digital Transformation, Thales offered secure biometric solutions (such as facial recognition), secure identity documents and access control. It also showcased encryption and data protection technologies. 
 
Fruitful Activities
In the words of Colombian Minister of Defence, Diego Molano: “The successful version of Expodefensa 2021 demonstrates once again that the Colombian Security and Defence sector is a world leader. We carried out a rich academic programme, organised the Orion summit to reinforce multilateral strategies against micro-trafficking and held valuable bilateral working meetings with the invited countries to keep contributing to the security of the region.”
 
With the next edition of Expodefensa slated for November 27 to 29, 2023, the organisers say they expect it too to be as well received by the attending participants.
 

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