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Saturday, November 22, 2008
Strategic Issues

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Organizers of Pakistan's fifth biannual International Defence Exhibition and Seminar (IDEAS) expect to attract more than 35,000 visitors and buyers from about 100 countries to the Nov. 24-28 event.

Speakers from China, Italy, Turkey and the United States will appear, including two of Pakistan's foremost defense analysts and commentators, Pervaiz Iqbal Cheema, head of the Islamabad Policy Research Institute, and Shireen Mazari of the Institute of Strategic Studies, Islamabad.

The majority of Pakistan's indigenous defense companies are expected to be present, including Pakistan Ordnance Factories, Heavy Industries Taxila, and conglomerates such as the National Engineering & Scientific Commission and Global Industrial Defence Solutions.

A large number of exhibitors from China, Turkey and other foreign companies are expected to be present, especially those linked to ongoing Pakistani military procurement programs.

Analysts will be closely watching developments to see if long-speculated deals will be announced. Of particular note is the deal for the Navy's next-generation submarine. The HDW Type-214, which has already been selected by Greece, South Korea and close Pakistani ally Turkey, was the expected winner. There also may be movement on a deal for a Western engine to power the Air Force's next future multirole combat aircraft, the JF-17 Thunder.

The current Russian-made Kilmov RD-93 is deemed unsatisfactory and will only power the first 50 aircraft. It is believed the Snecma M-52-P2 that powered the Dassault Mirage 2000 series of fighters is the Western engine in question.

Since the first IDEAS was held in 2000, the number of exhibitors has nearly doubled to 221 companies from 125. Of the companies exhibiting in 2006, 73 were domestic and 148 foreign. Visitors more than doubled over this period to 30,000 who attended IDEAS2006.


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