China has emerged as a major exhibitor at the ongoing IDEX-2021, the largest defense expo in the Middle East. The country has showcased aerial systems, armored vehicles, anti-tank missiles among a range of weapons at the event being held in Abu Dhabi.
The Chinese pavilion under the banner of ‘China Defense’ has drawn a large number of visitors, the state-owned Global Times reported.
According to reports, the highlights of the Chinese exhibitions are the HJ-12 portable anti-tank missile, the SR-5 MLRS (Multiple Launch Rocket System), CM-501GA multipurpose tactical strike missile system, WS-43 loitering munitions system, L-15 advanced training jet, CH series drones, and Wing Loong II armed reconnaissance drone.
The Wing Loong II has been projected as a cheaper alternative to the American Predator-B drone and has been exported to Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Pakistan, the UAE, and Egypt. The UAV is also extensively used in conflict zones of Syria, Yemen, and Libya.
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The HJ-12 is an advanced third-generation man-portable anti-tank guided missile, first unveiled at the Eurosatory 2014. It can be used against enemy main battle tanks, armored vehicles, fortifications, and buildings much on similar lines of the American FGM-148 Javelin.
The SR-5, similar to the American HIMARS, is a fully computerized and digitized system with a modular design to enable both the 122 mm rocket series and 220 mm rockets to be adopted on a single chassis, using the same fire control and support systems and can fire even ballistic and anti-ship cruise missiles.
According to Wei Dongxu, a Beijing-based military expert, the Chinese arms products have prospects in the Middle East market, as many countries in the region still possess a sufficient defense budget and are willing to retire older weapons for new ones as soon as possible.
This year’s IDEX was reduced to about one-fourth compared to the last edition due to the Covid-19 pandemic. More than 900 companies from nearly 60 countries are participating in the event.