Pakistan’s largest defense exhibition IDEAS 2022 kicked off at Karachi Expo Centre on Tuesday with participation from defense delegates from around 60 countries.
The four-day (November 15-18) International Defense Exhibition and Seminar aim at boosting exports and strengthening defense collaboration with the international community while playing a positive role in achieving the common global goals of peace and stability.
Over 400 defense delegates from 57 countries, including original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), entrepreneurs, civil and military officials, Research and Development experts, and high-level defense dignitaries, are participating in the event exhibition.
Foreign defense manufacturers
Defense manufacturers from Turkey, China, the U.S., the U.K., European Union, the Middle East, Central Asia, and Africa are also showcasing their products at the latest edition of the mega-event.
Top Turkish defense companies, including Roketsan, state-run STM and ASFAT, exhibited their products ranging from military hardware to modern drones to tactical mini-UAV systems. Turkish Aerospace displayed the models of the T129 ATAK helicopter, Gokbey multirole helicopter, Gokturk-2 observation satellite, as well as Anka unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and Aksungur medium-altitude long-range endurance (MALE) UAV.
“We aim to increase joint cooperation [with Pakistan] on high technologies that will guide the future of the aerospace industry,” said Turkish Aerospace President and CEO Prof Temel Kotil.
Pakistan military machines on display
Pakistan Armed Forces are also participating in the 11th edition of the expo, showcasing advanced military hardware and software, missiles and the latest weapon systems, advanced fighter jets, and drones.
Some of Pakistan’s advanced military hardware exhibited at the expo included:
- Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS)
- Air defense systems
- Missile systems
- Armored personnel carriers (APC)
- Shahpar-II medium-altitude long-endurance UAV system
- Advanced Harbah anti-ship cruise missile
- The locally developed Al-Khalid tanks
- Modern assault rifles manufactured by Pakistan Ordinance Factories (POF)
Pride of Pakistan JF-17 Thunder and Super Mushshak trainer aircraft are the highlights of the mega event. The PAF is allowing exhibition visitors to climb into the JF-17 cockpit and get photographed. PAF jets are expected to perform aerial maneuvers and demonstrate the air force’s capabilities on the concluding day of the expo.
COAS visits IDEAS 2022
Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa visited various stalls at IDEAS 2022 on Wednesday, according to an Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) statement.
The army chief also interacted with visitors and delegates present at the event. Gen. Bajwa also held separate meetings with visiting delegates from various countries including Bahrain, Italy, Sri Lanka, Libya, Zimbabwe, and UAE.
Air Chief visits Defense Expo
Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Chief Marshal Zaheer Ahmed Baber Sidhu attended the inaugural ceremony of IDEAS 2022, a PAF news release said. The CAS also visited PAF stalls displaying the most advanced aviation technologies.
Speaking at the occasion, the Air Chief said, “PAF is committed to developing the most innovative technologies in the country, so as to provide the most modern, effective and impregnable aerial defense of Pakistan.”
FM Bilawal inaugurated IDEAS 2022
Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto inaugurated the event. Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, FM Bilawal said: “IDEAS is an iconic platform for showcasing the latest defense technologies, and is a regional gateway for international suppliers and manufacturers to explore new avenues of defense cooperation.”
He highlighted that Pakistan’s defense industry has flourished exponentially lately, achieving a sufficient level of quality, reliability and competency in the international market. “Pakistan is now exporting high-level defense products to more than 60 countries,” noted the FM.
“IDEAS is Pakistan’s leading event that brings together the global defense industry. The innovation and excellence exhibited here would pave the way for international defense collaboration among friends and partners,” Maj. Gen. Mohammad Arif Malik, the head of the country’s Defense Export Promotion Organization (DEPO), said at the opening ceremony.
Incorporate AI into Military Strategy
The exhibition also had a seminar titled, ‘Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Defense Market’ to discuss a Paradigm Shift in Military Strategy and National Security. Defense strategists emphasized the need of incorporating AI, data science, the Internet of Things (IoT), virtual reality, and other emerging technologies in national security.
IDEAS is a biennial regional event organized by Defense Export Promotion Organization (DEPO) since 2000. The latest edition of the exhibition is taking place after a gap of four years due to the coronavirus pandemic. The event this year has beaten all previous milestones not only in terms of participation of international delegates but also in terms of space, booking, and exhibitors. Karachi Expo Centre has been booked to its capacity with more than 500 national and international exhibitors displaying their products.