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St. Petersburg Is Hosting The Biggest Naval Arms Show In Russia

June 27, 2017

The eighth International Maritime Defense Show or IMDS begins tomorrow, June 28, and spans the rest of the week.

IMDS is held every two years and takes place at Lenexpo, a seaside complex and event space. This latest installment brings together Russia’s maritime sector under a single roof and is a rare occasion for the rest of the world to behold advanced naval technology developed outside Western Europe.

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

Like other events of its kind, IMDS 2017 will attract official delegations, industry experts, corporate visitors, and the general public–a transient population numbering in the thousands. So far 400 companies are participating and 49 of them are from outside the Russian Federation. The international and local press will even be treated to a naval gunnery display on the afternoon of the first day. But that’s not all.

A serious perusal of the schedule reveals multiple smaller activities that encompass IMDS 2017.

On the first day of the show an upgraded naval anti-aircraft system, the Pantsir-ME, will be revealed. This takes place after the lunchtime press conference announcing the start of IMDS 2017 and hours before the evening reception.

The Pantsir-ME marks a further improvement of the original Kashtan close-in weapon. It combines two 30mm rotary cannon with a pair of SAM cells. The system is deployed as short-range air defense for large warships. Besides the Pantsir-ME there’s a separate display of naval artillery and small arms for visiting delegations.

Based on news snippets from the past week another debut at IMDS is a new type of torpedo for the Kilo-class diesel-electric submarine. This particular showcase could be geared toward foreign clients whose navies operate the Kilo such as Algeria, China, India, Iran, and Vietnam. The Russian navy, on the other hand, are expecting to receive a new diesel-electric submarine class after 2020.

Specific types of Russian warships and naval vessels are displayed on the Lenexpo docks during IMDS. There are unconfirmed reports a Kirov-class missile cruiser might participate, but the organizers only announced that numerous smaller ships are scheduled for display.

These include the giant Zubr air-cushion landing craft, a new type of corvette, an unspecified “small missile ship,” and three new types of coastal-riverine patrol boats.

An announcement regarding the Indian Navy’s acquisition of Talwar-class frigates might take place during IMDS 2017, but there are no indications this is happening yet.

Four mini-conference are taking place during the show. These are Naval Shipbuilding Nowadays 2017, Information Technologies in Shipbuilding 2017, Shipbuilding Product Lifecycle Management 2017, and Simulation and COmplex Modeling in Marine Engineering.

IMDS 2017 is from June 28 until July 2.

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