Uncrewed Systems Technology 049 - April/May 2023

76 T he International Defence Exhibition & Conference (IDEX) returned to the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre in February 2023, along with its marine counterpart, the Naval Defence & Maritime Security Exhibition (NAVDEX). The tri-service show attracted more than 1350 exhibitors – a 50% increase over the previous event, in 2021 – from 65 countries to present their latest innovations for land, air and sea forces, as well as for users across emergency services and heavy industry. A total of 23.34 billion UAE Dirhams (about £5.2 billion) worth of deals were signed over the course of the five-day event. As ever, the region represents an enormous market for uncrewed systems, given the potential for autonomous force multipliers across defence and security. With that inmind, a number of innovative new vehicle designs and subsystems were showcased across the halls and outdoor static displays for the 130,000 attendees. Although Bakyar Tech is perhaps most famous for the TB2 UAV and its service in the defence of Ukraine, it drew particular attention in IDEX’s outdoor static display area for the sheer size of its Akinci UAV, a 20 m-wingspan aircraft measuring 4.1 m tall and 12.2 m from nose to tail. The Akinci has been designed as a strategic platform for defence agencies seeking long-endurance flights while carrying multiple types of payload. To enable that, the vehicle has a MTOW of Rory Jackson picks out some product highlights showcased at this major – and growing – event for the world’s armed forces Military provision April/May 2023 | Uncrewed Systems Technology