Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne delivered a keynote address at the 2017 International Defence Exhibition (IDEX), in Abu Dhabi highlighting the strengths of Australia’s defence industry and cutting-edge technology sold across the globe.
Minister Pyne focused on disruptive emerging technology and innovation, praising Australia’s response to these opportunities and challenges and stressing the industry’s role to enhance the strong bilateral relationships Australia has with its regional partners.
"Witnessing first-hand the quality and ingenuity of the capabilities that our 21 Australian companies have on display here is an exceptional example of what Australian industry can offer to our international partners," Minister Pyne said.
"Australia has had great success countering disruptive technology such as the threat posted by improvised explosive devices."
Minister Pyne also praised the Redwing program, a program developed by the Australian Defence Science and Technology Group that has seen the development of the low-cost counter improvised explosive devices (IEDs) that jam radio signals that can set off IEDs.
"The Defence Science and Technology Group’s Redwing program developed critical equipment for ADF personnel as well as the Afghan National Army.
"This remarkable technology, developed in collaboration between government and industry, is now saving lives and has enormous potential to be exported across the globe creating jobs in Australia," he said.
Under the lead of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, the IDEX Conference and Exhibition is one of the largest in the world and brings together international government, military and industry representatives to demonstrate the latest defence technology across air, land and sea.
The last IDEX conference in 2015 saw more than 1,200 exhibitors and 101,000 visitors from across the globe participating, with signed deals amounting to well over AUD 6.5 billion.
While in Abu Dhabi, Minister Pyne also met with international partners to advocate for Australia’s defence industry and reaffirm the government’s strong support for Australian companies and their important role supporting the Australian Defence Force.
He also met with His Excellency Homaid Al Shimmari, Chairman of Emirates Defence Industries Company and His Excellency Saif Mohamed Al Hajeri, CEO of Tawazun Economic Council, to discuss opportunities for Australian Defence exports.