Military and Strategic Journal
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United Arab Emirates
Founded in August 1971


DIMDEX Dazzles with QAR 5 billion Deals, 25,000 Visitors

The three-day eighth edition of the Doha International Maritime Defence Exhibition and Conference (DIMDEX 2024), held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, Emir of Qatar, and organised by the Qatar Armed Forces at the Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC), concluded on March 6, witnessing the signing of contracts exceeding QAR 5 billion. 
Deputy Emir HH Sheikh Abdullah bin Hamad Al-Thani inaugurated the event, which attracted over 25,000 visitors and saw the participation of 200 companies that showcased their innovations, technologies and defence and maritime security solutions, in addition to nine international pavilions that included various companies, authorities and institutions.
Major General (Navy) Abdullah bin Hassan Al-Sulaiti, Commander of the Qatar Amiri Naval Forces, emphasised DIMDEX’s alignment with Qatar’s vision for international security and stability. He said the exhibition reflects Qatar’s commitment to enhancing maritime security and defence, which are some of the most important factors and elements of stability that impact all fields, especially the economy.
Staff Brigadier (Sea) Abdulbaqi Saleh Al-Ansari, Chairman of the Organising Committee of DIMDEX 2024, emphasised the show’s success, noting, “The event was a resounding success. It reaffirmed its status as a major platform for agreements and showcased the latest innovations in technology, cyber security, and artificial intelligence critical to modern defence missions.”
National companies, authorities, and institutions, including the Qatar Armed Forces and its branches, actively participated in the event. Project 401 for Special Operations was inaugurated, enhancing global special forces and counter-terrorism capabilities.
The exhibition expanded to cover critical defence categories beyond maritime security, with exhibitors showcasing the latest innovations. Hamad Port hosted eight warships for display.
Naval Leaders Convene
The event hosted the Middle East Naval Commanders Conference in partnership with the Strategic Studies Centre, focusing on ‘Economic Growth Prospects Amidst Security Challenges and Their Global Impact’, featuring international speakers, academics, and military leaders.
The conference was organised by the Strategic Studies Centre of the Qatar Armed Forces and attended by dignitaries, ministers, ambassadors, naval leaders, experts, and academics.
Major General Hassan Al-Sulaiti emphasised the critical role of maritime security in global trade, as seas and oceans facilitate over 90 per cent of global trade. He stressed the conference’s goal to address maritime challenges and devise strategies for stability and economic prosperity.
The conference comprised two sessions chaired by prominent figures in security and military studies. Vice Admiral George M. Wikoff emphasised the importance of maintaining open international waters and joint efforts in protecting regional waters. 
General Sir Patrick Sanders outlined the UK’s strategic vision, emphasising Qatar’s role as a strategic partner.
Session discussions delved into diverse topics such as the impact of international maritime cable crises on the global economy, the integration of advanced technology in maritime security, and the safety of maritime navigation and preservation of submarine cables and continental shelves.
DIMDEX also featured exhibits by defence industry leaders, including Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) showcasing the Fennek 4x4 Armoured Vehicle.
Notable for its reconnaissance capabilities, the Fennek boasts a distinctive design, flexible armour protection, and versatile armament options. Qatar’s acquisition of the Fennek underscores its commitment to modernising defence capabilities.
Qatar’s Defence Radar 
Qatar unveiled its AN/MPQ-53 radar system from the Patriot Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) System in 2014. Developed by Lockheed Martin and Raytheon, this C-band radar tracks over 100 targets beyond 100 kilometres, integrating detection and engagement functions efficiently.
The Patriot missile systems, including the advanced AN/MPQ-53 and AN/MPQ-65 radars, offer exceptional air defence capabilities with features like Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) and track-via-missile (TVM) guidance. They are mobile and swiftly deployable, ensuring readiness against emerging threats.
Qatar’s acquisition of Patriot PAC-3 units, AH-64 Apache attack helicopters, and Javelin anti-tank missiles in 2014 underscores its commitment to defence modernisation. The Patriot missile site near Mesaieed, featuring dual MPQ-53/65 radars and six launchers, enhances surveillance over a wide area.
The LAV 700 Desert Viper APC, presented by General Dynamics Land Systems at DIMDEX 2024, is an upgraded version of the LAV 6.0, boasting enhanced protection, payload capacity, and a more powerful 711 hp engine. Equipped with modern digital command and control systems, self-sealing fuel tanks, and scalable ballistic protection, it ensures crew safety in various combat scenarios.
Featuring ceramic add-on armour, the LAV 700 withstands 14.5 mm armour-piercing rounds and 30 mm cannon fire, with additional defences against anti-tank rockets. Its double V-shaped hull mitigates landmine and IED impacts, while its versatility allows for deployment across diverse terrains.
With accommodation for six to eight infantrymen, rear power-operated ramp access, and a new 711 hp Caterpillar C13 engine, the LAV 700 maintains high mobility, reaching speeds exceeding 110 km/h and a range of over 1000 km. Its airlift capability enables rapid deployment via aircraft like the C17 Globemaster III or Airbus A400M, making it a valuable asset for military forces.
VT4/MBT-3000 Showcase 
China highlighted its defence offerings in Qatar with a significant exhibition, featuring the Norinco VT4/MBT-3000 main battle tank. Norinco’s display encompassed a wide array of military hardware, underlining China’s global arms market expansion. The VT4/MBT-3000, equipped with advanced defence systems and boasting superior firepower, mobility, and technology, stands as a formidable force with its 125mm smoothbore automatic cannon and impressive range.
With a weight of 53 tonnes, this tank is propelled by a 1,300 horsepower turbocharged engine with electronic control, achieving speeds up to 70 km/h (or 40 km/h off-road) and a range exceeding 500 kilometres.
Armament-wise, the MBT-3000 is fitted with a 125x50 mm smoothbore automatic cannon, capable of firing a diverse array of munitions, including kinetic and explosive rounds, alongside anti-tank guided missiles. With an impressive firing rate of eight rounds per minute and an effective range reaching 5,000 metres, the MBT-3000 stands as a major force on the battlefield.
Milkor’s Drone 
Milkor debuted its Milkor 380 armed drone at the mega event. Designed for both reconnaissance missions and direct combat operations, it combines advanced weaponry and surveillance capabilities, setting new standards for operational efficiency and reliability in the defence sector.
Milkor’s spokesperson expressed excitement about presenting the drone, emphasising its potential to enhance operational capabilities and contribute to global security.
Shahed-149 Gaza
Iran made a mark by unveiling its Shahed-149 Gaza combat drone. The Shahed-149 Gaza bears resemblance to the American MQ-9 Reaper, signifying Iran’s ambition to assert itself in the realm of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
The Shahed-149 Gaza was introduced officially in May 2021. Operated by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, this UAV, developed from the Shahed 129, boasts impressive specifications. 
With a wingspan of 21 metres, a length of 10 metres, and a height of four metres, it stands out as a formidable presence in the skies. Its capabilities extend to a maximum speed of 350 km/h and a cruise speed of 215 km/h, with a flight endurance of up to 25 hours. These attributes, coupled with its ability to reach heights of 35,000 feet, position the Gaza as a versatile asset for a range of military operations.
In terms of armament capabilities, the Shahed-149 Gaza is formidable. With the capacity to carry 13 bombs and up to 500 kg of electronic equipment, it provides a potent platform for both offensive and surveillance missions. Its avionics suite, comprising electro-optical/infrared sensors, a day-vision camera with significant zoom capabilities, a thermal imager camera, and a laser rangefinder, ensures precision targeting and effective reconnaissance over vast areas.
Iveco Superav Upgrade 
Iveco Defence Vehicles introduced an upgraded version of its 8x8 vehicle, the Superav, tailored for land operations. Powered by a 700 horsepower, 6-litre turbocharged Iveco Cursor 13 diesel engine and ZF 7HP902 gearbox, it achieves speeds up to 105 km/h on land and 10 km/h on water, with ranges of 800 km and 64 km respectively. The vehicle features central tyre inflation and run-flat tires for enhanced mobility and resilience.
Crew protection is ensured by a high-hardness steel hull capable of withstanding small arms fire, artillery shell splinters, landmines, and IEDs, with options for additional armour kits. It incorporates Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical (NBC) protection and automatic fire suppression systems.
The Superav 8x8 accommodates various weapon systems, up to 40 mm, on remote weapon stations or turrets. Troop capacity varies based on armament configuration, ranging from 12 to 8 or 10 soldiers.
Available in multiple configurations for roles such as troop transport, anti-tank warfare, and ambulance, it boasts dimensions of 8300 mm length, 2600 mm height, and 3100 mm width. Weighing 26,000 kg empty, with a payload capacity of 5500 kg, it ensures combat readiness with advanced mobility capabilities and increased range. 
KNDS Showcases Boxer 8x8
The Boxer 8x8 armoured vehicle, showcased at DIMDEX, presents a modular and adaptable solution for various military roles, emphasising rapid troop transport capabilities on the battlefield. As Qatar faces a decision on acquiring new armoured vehicles, it must choose between Nexter’s VBCI and KNDS’s Boxer.
Managed by OCCAR and created by the ARTEC GmbH industrial group, the Boxer is engineered to meet diverse army tasks, boasting exceptional protection, mobility, and payload capacity. Its modular design allows for mission-specific variants, addressing a wide spectrum of military needs efficiently.
With comprehensive protection against mines, IEDs, and ballistic threats, the Boxer ensures maximum crew survivability. Its versatility is showcased through variants such as Command Post, Logistics, Armoured Personnel Carrier, Ambulance, Battle Damage Repair, and a 120mm mortar variant, positioning it to adapt to future military roles or changing requirements.
Initially developed by the ARTEC consortium, comprising Germany and the Netherlands, the UK officially rejoined the Boxer programme in 2018 after participating in its early development stages. Its production involves a collaborative effort between German and British companies, with initial units produced by Krauss-Maffai Wegmann and Rheinmetall. 
Subsequent Boxers to be manufactured in the UK will be by WFEL & Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land, involving a significant British supply chain that includes partnerships with Rolls-Royce, Thales, Aeroglow, and other companies. 
BAE’s Hawk Mastery 
BAE Systems presented the Hawk advanced Jet Trainer, a proven military aircraft trainer utilised by the world’s leading air forces. With over 650 aircraft in global fleets, the Hawk prepares frontline pilots for aircraft like the Typhoon and F-35, with future combat air system pilots, such as those for the Tempest, also training in the Hawk.
What sets the Hawk apart is its advanced airborne simulation technology, offering a unique ‘brain training’ environment for pilots. Designed for a seamless transition from basic training to frontline operations, the Hawk delivers this at a fraction of the through-life cost of its competitors.
Continuously evolving, BAE Systems works with air forces worldwide to integrate next-generation mission systems, wearable technology, and cockpit displays into the Hawk, ensuring its relevance in training pipelines. 
With more than 1,000 aircraft delivered to 18 countries across the globe, it has delivered nearly four million flying hours in almost five decades of service. 
Kayaci’s USV 
Kayaci Defence unveiled the OKHAN unmanned surface vessel (USV), a testament to Turkey’s advancements in unmanned technology. Developed over a decade, OKHAN has undergone sea trials, showcasing Kayaci Defence’s commitment. Measuring 11.4 metres, it features both electric and diesel engines, achieving a top speed of 27 knots with a cruising range of 270 nautical miles. Collaborations with the Turkish Coast Guard ensure its compatibility with coast guard missions, offering versatility for diverse coastal operations, including surveillance and combat. 
Shaping a Secure Future 
From maritime defence systems to Artificial Intelligence-powered solutions, DIMDEX 2024 offered a comprehensive glimpse into the future of security. The Middle East Naval Commanders Conference further emphasised the importance of international collaboration in navigating the complex maritime security landscape. The event successfully ignited discussions, fostered partnerships, and cemented its role as a crucial platform for shaping a more secure future.

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