Boeing displays the F15-QA jet and sees the agreement with Qatari Amiri Air Force as “significant milestone.”
Militaries and defence companies gather from around the world in Doha at Defence Exhibition and Conference (DIMDEX), the annual maritime defence exhibition held in Qatar. Regional navies send ships and buyers looking to pick up the latest technologies that will boost their navy’s effectiveness from an international selection of the world’s major defence manufacturers.
DIMDEX 2022 is also a chance for naval commanders to get together and discuss the latest ideas and maritime themes that concern them, this year is about building partnerships and strengthening international ties.
This year’s event witnessed a significant shift towards highly progressive machinery including unmanned vehicles, on ground, air, and sea.
Qatar’s strategic impact
Leveraging its mediating position, Qatar’s role in hosting DIMDEX 2022 has an “important strategic impact” as well, due to the event’s nature of acting as a “meeting ground for international navies and militaries,” Dr Andreas Krieg, associate professor at King’s College London’s School of Security Studies told Doha News.
The event “fits into Qatar’s broader foreign and security policy because Qatar wants to be a kind of hub, a neutral player as well for different countries and actors from all over the world to come to Doha and to speak to one another,” Dr Krieg added.
The exhibition, Dr Krieg believes, bears other purposes aside from defence as it also serves as a medium to advance Qatar’s interests as well as boost stability in the region.
“Qataris very much understand that security in the maritime domain in this part of the world is essential for stability and security and prosperity to every single country in this part of the world, hence why the maritime domain is very much at the centre of this exhibition,” he continued.
It’s a “great way of showing casing how defence can be used to buy not just military power but to buy influence.”
Renowned for its leading role in hosting events pertaining to global defence and security industry networks, DIMDEX 2022 hosted a number of well-established operational defence technologies.
This maritime industry event, has offered an opportunity to initiate official deals and agreements that further serve the future of maritime defence.
“Indeed we have seen a lot of impressive examples of modern arms which could be the perfect guarantee of the peace and independence of any nation and of course for Ukraine, which is right now under the Russian aggression, this is extremely important,” Ukrainian Ambassador to Qatar, Andrii Kuzmenko explained to Doha News.
“Of course after our victory over the aggressor we will continue our long run cooperation with a lot of enterprises presented here,” he added.
What makes DIMDEX 2022 different?
A feature that stands out from Qatar’s maritime defence event that “is different to other Gulf countries” is its hosting of a wide array of different players and representatives,” Dr Krieg told Doha News.
With NATO country members, which includes the United States, the United Kingdom, Turkey, and Italy taking part, DIMDEX 2022 also sees the participation of Iran. Iran’s presence, Dr Krieg noted, is “quite unique” in the Gulf to actually have a major senior navy delegation attending. It is also the “very first time” that the Iranians are demonstrating their capabilities in an Arab Gulf country.
This further cements Qatar’s intermediary role in international situations, in this case, Qatar acting as a mediator between the US and Iran.