UMEX 2018 Concludes with Live Flying Performances

By Editor 02-Mar-2018

The third editions of the Unmanned Systems Exhibition and Conference (UMEX 2018) and Simulation Exhibition and Conference (SimTEX 2018), held under the patronage of Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, have wrapped up at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre. The dual event has been a grand success with deals worth millions and the participation of 122 major global defence-related companies representing 34 countries, 12,400 visitors and 419 media representatives who covered various activities over three days.

The final day of the dual event has featured exciting live flying performances by unmanned aircraft at Al Ain International Airport. Drawing the participation of 9 local and international companies, including the UAE-based ADASI, the live performances have demonstrated the sophisticated manoeuvring and surveillance capabilities of unmanned aerial systems as well as their ability to capture high-resolution aerial photos and trace targets with high accuracy and efficiency. The conference has drawn leading decision makers and civilian and military experts who held discussions on the role of next-generation technologies in addressing tomorrow’s threats, examined future of unmanned systems and training requirements. Experts from academics and professionals in the fields of unmanned systems, simulation and training have discussed the key challenges, developments and future prospects of the rapidly evolving industry.

UMEX and SimTEX 2018 have attracted a record international participation from major global defence-related companies representing 34 countries compared to 23 countries in 2016, registering a 24% growth. In addition to offering a combined exhibition area of 17,000 square metres, up from 13,000 in 2016, the dual event has attracted 122 companies, compared to 91 companies in 2016, representing a 25% overall growth. The event has showcased latest unmanned systems and simulation and training technologies and facilitated partnerships and business deals among the participating companies.  Additionally, over AED 878.371 million worth defence deals have been signed between the Armed Forces and specialised local and international events.

The opening day of the event itself has witnessed the signing of 10 defence deals worth AED291.654 million. Major Pilot Saeed Mohammed Al Yamahi, the Official Spokesperson of the dual event has revealed that the Armed Forces signed a contract worth AED72.493 million with the UAE-based Abu Dhabi Autonomous Systems Investments (ADASI) for the purchase of Unmanned Air Vehicles, and AED215,860 contract with TRUST International for the maintenance and repair of PD – 100 Black Hornet PRS.

The Armed Forces has inked an AED44.076 million worth deal with US-based INSITU for providing technical support for UAV (The Integrator) and an AED31.310 million worth deal with Motion Reality Incorporated MRI for the upgrade of 2 training simulators (VIRTSIM) for (DAUNTLESS) and the purchase of 1 DAUNTLESS training simulator. Meanwhile, the UAE-based International Golden Group (IGG) has won an AED16.627 million deal to update joint fire simulators as well as buy joint fire simulator (CUTS208) with accessories. The Armed Forces has also signed an AED47.749 million worth contract with Cubic Defense Applications from the US for the operations and maintenance of training simulators for small arms shooting for 30 sites and another deal worth AED12.120 million with INOVEX Simulation & Training Ltd from Switzerland to develop and extend virtual life of driving simulator.

Al Yamahi has also revealed that Al Tuff International from the UAE won deal worth AED41.274 million for the purchase 8 UAV (PUMMA AE III) with all its accessories. Another important deal signed on the opening day included an AED25.708 million deal with Denel Dynamics from South Africa for the renewal of technical support contract for Seeker 2 aircraft for 24 months, and an AED78,061 worth deal with Advanced Media from the UAE for the purchase of 10 UAV (MAVIC Pro) for demonstration purposes.

Brigadier General Rashid Mohammed Al Shamsi, Chairman of the Higher Organising Committee of UMEX and SimTEX 2018, has said that the success of UMEX and SimTEX 2018 validated the high-level efficiency and professionalism of the members of UMEX and SimTEX Higher Organising Committee and its sub committees that included many Emirati talents. “This success would not have been possible without the unwavering support of the UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the continued follow-up and directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and Their Highnesses Supreme Council Members and Rulers of the Emirates,” he said. Al Shamsi has also expressed his satisfaction at the continued success achieved by the dual event in attracting major international companies as well as catering to the evolving needs of unmanned systems and simulation and training sectors.

Humaid Matar Al Dhaheri, Group CEO of Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company (ADNEC), said: “We are delighted with the huge success achieved by UMEX and SimTEX 2018 due to the record local and international participation. We attribute this success to ADNEC's successful sales and marketing strategies, including active participation in 15 international exhibitions and continued engagement with its strategic partners. This articulates our priority to diversify our portfolio of events into sectors identified in the Abu Dhabi Plan and Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030.

The unprecedented international participation in UMEX and SimTEX 2018 has reflected the growing significance of this mega dual event at the regional and international levels. The dual event has articulated ADNEC’s strategy to attract a diversified portfolio of events that serve the key sectors outlined as priorities in Abu Dhabi Plan and Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030 and increase the direct and indirect contribution of the MICE sector to the emirate’s economy. The strong interest generated by UMEX and SimTEX among the participants has validated the success of our promotional campaigns and long-term marketing strategy to promote the dual event at leading specialised defence shows globally.

UMEX and SimTEX 2018 has included a specialised conference themed ‘Focusing Next-Generation Technologies on Tomorrow’s Threats’ that drew the participation of leading local and international military experts, academics, industry professionals and decision makers. The conference has featured three sessions to identify the emerging trends, issues and threats in unmanned systems sector. It has highlighted the operational capabilities, theoretical aspects and innovative concepts across defence and commercial applications of simulations and training technologies. Moderated by Tate Nurkin, Senior Director, Strategic Assessment and Future Studies Centre Janes, the first session of the conference has discussed “Enhancing Inter-operability of Advanced Unmanned Systems in Multi-Domain Environments” and outlined the latest technological concepts to leverage the enormous potentials of unmanned systems in support of future operations across various civilian and military sectors.

Held under the theme “Integration of Unmanned Systems into Defence Mechanism”, the second session discussed the need to strike a balance between live demonstrations that feature realistic scenarios and interactive trainings through facilitating real-life simulation technology environment at a lower cost to achieve positive outcomes. Meanwhile, the third session, themed “Leveraging the Simulation Industry to Maximise Training Objectives”, has featured a dialogue on global markets, competitive environment and future requirements. It has highlighted the potential challenges and opportunities in unmanned systems and simulation and training through attracting expert assistance, industries and professionals. Furthermore, it has examined the key characteristics of the training environment, its high competitiveness, constant changes and the latest ideas that shape strategies, tactics, operations and other aspects in this vital field.

Maj. Gen. Falah Al Qahtani, Assistant Undersecretary for Policy & Strategic Affairs at the Ministry of Defense has said that the UAE continues to set global benchmarks in the unmanned systems sector in its pursuit to become a leading hub for emerging technologies in line with the UAE's strategic vision. The vision focuses on developing its defence industries, building capacities, qualifying national workforce and building global partnerships.