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The Biggest Arms Show In Israel Begins This Week

June 6, 2017


Thousands will be crowding into the Israel Trade Fairs and Convention Center from June 6 until 8 for ISDEF 2017. Held every two years, the prestigious homeland security exhibition is a highlight of its host country’s prestige in the global arms business and a magnet for prospective customers.

21st Century Asian Arms Race (21AAR) is a media partner for ISDEF 2017.

The latest ISDEF is unlike any of its predecessors. As far as can be ascertained, it’s one of the few international arms shows where Indian firms will be out in force. Based on a partial exhibitor list released by the organizer, more than 50 companies from India are exhibiting this year, from local conglomerates to the DRDO. This is a remarkable breakthrough. During the previous ISDEF India only had a token presence.

Another measure of the ISDEF brand’s prestige–a phenomenon enabled by its ubiquitous targeted ads–are the 25 partner events helping to promote it. These represent either previous or upcoming shows that will be making themselves visible in the venue.

But the 8th installment of ISDEF remains a showcase for Israel’s homegrown winners with generous floor space provided its most dependable security partners–the US, the Czech Republic, France and Germany. There’s surprising participation from two relative newcomers as well, China and Japan. Though dozens of Chinese companies are in this show, only a single Japanese exhibitor is listed.

ISDEF 2017 is coinciding with the Israel CyberInvest Summit on June 8.

Those taking part in ISDEF can expect an arms show with an intense focus on homeland security and counter-terrorism. This explains the broad presence of exhibitors specializing in small arms, protective gear, battlefield communications and electronics, vehicles, and UAVs. There’s an equally strong focus on so-called training solutions, cybersecurity, and special forces gear.

The previous ISDEF from 2015 was packed with activities. In the course of the event 12,000 visitors showed up, including 1,886 delegates from Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Europe. Based on the organizer’s own tally, 98 countries were represented in ISDEF 2015, whether via exhibitors or high profile guests.

ISDEF is a lot of fun for those involved with its itinerary. It’s not surprising to learn it’s getting larger and larger in scale.


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