Weapons makers parade their ware at Doha maritime defence exhibition

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A key maritime defence exhibition opened in Doha with 14 warships from nine countries berthing at Hamad Port north of the Qatari capital.

India’s INS Kolkata, the lead ship of the three ‘Kolkata Class’ destroyers, one of the largest indigenously built destroyers to be operated by the Indian Navy has also dropped anchor, organisers and the Indian Embassy in Doha said.

The seventh edition of the Doha International Maritime Defence Exhibition and Conference (DIMDEX), a biennial event in which weapons manufacturers, and warships led by offshore military delegations congregate to discuss maritime security and other military issues, has brought together participants from China, Italy, France, Germany, Turkey, USA, Canada, UK, Australia, Pakistan, India, Croatia, South Korea, Jordan and Iran.

India’s delegation is led by Vice Admiral Ajendra Bahadur Singh, Flag Officer Commanding in Chief, Western Naval Command of the Indian Navy.

The Middle East Naval Commanders Conference was held on the sidelines of Dimdex Tuesday, where the senior Indian Naval official also spoke.

Armaments are once again under the global spotlight with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine taking a heavy toll on the civilian population that is being bombarded by Russian long-range artillery and even hypersonic missiles.

Two Chinese companies have also displayed their ware at the Doha event. Beijing-based China Electronics Group Company Ltd, which goes by the name CETC International, has displayed military hardware that looks sophisticated. The product line includes anti-unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) systems, said a company official.

Portable Anti-sniper Acoustic Detector — ASAD 10A — can be used for real-time detection of hidden enemy and snipers to protect patrol convoys on the battlefield, and to shield important civilian officials and facilities. Company official Tony Liu said CETC has clients from all over the world. “We are here as we also have clients in the Middle East,” said Liu.

The CETC website doesn’t say that the company makes security and defence hardware, a purported attempt to keep the business discreet.

The SmartHunter TH-S711 is a portable air defense missile operation command system and can strike low-altitude targets such as fighters, helicopters, UAVs, among others, said Liu.

The China National Precision Machinery Import & Export Corporation is the second of the two Chinese weapons-makers that have their presence at the exhibition. The company makes various missile systems such as short-range air to surface missile weapon system and portable air defence missile weapon system.

Other major participants at the defence exhibition include Raytheon Technologies, Boeing, Airbus and Turkish Aerospace that has its T625 Gokbey multirole helicopter on display.

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