(MENAFN- The Rio Times) The Riyadh Exhibition and Convention Center recently wrapped up the five-day World Defense Show (WDS) , starting on February 4th.
Its remote setting didn't hinder the display of over 70 ground systems and 50 aircraft.
Tight security measures, including Patriot missile deployments, ensured attendee safety.
The event drew over 750 exhibitors from 49 countries, offering a significant networking platform.
Though smaller than Eurosatory or IDS, the show stood out, especially with the presence of the United States, reflecting its defense relationship with Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia dedicates 23% of its budget to defense.
China, Turkey, and South Korea were key participants. China showcased its expansive defense manufacturing and export prowess.
Turkey highlighted its defense innovations and global collaborations. South Korea revealed its leading projects, like the K9 artillery system.
Russian companies attended but attracted less interest.
The show underscored Saudi Arabia's push for defense sector industrialization, aligning with the "Vision 2030" initiative.
This plan, supported by GAMI and SAMI, aims to localize 50% of military procurement.
Collaborations with companies like BAE Systems and Lockheed Martin are part of this strategy.
Spanish firms, including Navantia, also shone, demonstrating regional success and forging new partnerships.
Forums on defense leadership and women in defense mirrored Saudi's societal advancements and "Vision 2030" goals.
They highlighted the emerging role of women in defense, showcasing regional progress.
Acrobatic displays from teams like the Saudi Hawks and Turkish Stars added flair, featuring aircraft like the Eurofighter and F-15.
This year's success promises even greater anticipation for the 2026 edition, cementing the show's competitive edge in the defense industry.
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