ABU DHABI, UAE — As we approach the Abu Dhabi-based IDEX/NAVDEX defense and security trade shows, UAE-based The National discussed unmanned systems with Avascent Principal Aleksandar Jovovic, in a recent article on the unmanned landscape; the introduction of a dedicated Unmanned Systems Exhibition at IDEX is a testament to this growing segment of the defense market.
Bearing in mind the increased threat of ISIL, coupled with a continued concern about Iranian intentions, defence spending will be unaffected by oil price fluctuations in the short to medium term.” — Alek JovovicWhen asked to provide more context on the market trajectory, Jovovic noted that: “In the region, I expect to see growth in unmanned assets at the tactical and unit levels, using small and mini unmanned systems, as well as on the other side of the spectrum in the large unmanned assets with intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions.”
Amidst consolation of the UAE defense sector, The National also covered the growing debate about defense funding in the Gulf, as the region faces a downturn in oil prices, a core export commodity for countries such as Saudi Arabia and UAE. The paper quotes Avascent estimates on defense sector growth, expected in the 5 percent range annually, and asked Jovovic to explain these countervailing trends: “Bearing in mind the increased threat of ISIL, coupled with a continued concern about Iranian intentions, defense spending will be unaffected by oil price fluctuations in the short to medium term.” He went on to explain that “the leading Arab countries in the Gulf, notably KSA and UAE, have ample financial reserves, can afford to borrow if needed, and are unconcerned about a few years of modest budget deficits.”
Click here to read “Drones to take centre stage at Idex” and here to read “Defence industry landscape shifting amid uncertain oil outlook.”