Delegations from 65 countries some of them including Defense ministers were in Rio, Brazil, for the opening of the International Defense and Security Fair, (LAAD), the largest show of military equipment in Latin America.
The almost 30.000 visitors expected at the Riocentro convention center for the ninth edition of LAAD, among which 300 official delegates will be able to appreciate the latest products and systems at the stands representing 700 companies from 48 countries among which such giants as Boeing, Saab, Embraer, Rosoboronexport.
The number of stands in the four-day show is greater than in 2011 (663), following on decisions from countries such as Canada, Chile, Arab Emirates, Colombia, Slovakia and Norway to put up their own pavilions with their home representatives.
The fair was opened by Brazilian Defense minister Celso Amorim, who will also be holding meetings with his peers from Argentina, Ukraine, South Africa and Slovakia as well as the British Defense minister Andrew Murrison and Pedro Argüelles Spain’s Secretary of State for Defense.
Amorim is to take advantage of the LAAD ninth edition to have UNASUR members (Union of South American Nations) sign the Consulting Committee Project Statute with the intention of jointly developing and building a training fighter plane.
LAAD, which this year covers a show area of 60.000 sq meters, brings together every two years Brazilian and international corporations specialized in equipments, services and technologies for Armed Forces and law enforcement corps.
Brazil’s Embraer, one of the companies with the greatest display at LAAD, also has plans to present blueprints for different versions of the KC-390 heavy duty transport that can be transformed for fire fighting, air tanker and search and rescue missions.
According to the Brazilian Defense ministry, LAAD participants will have an opportunity to get in touch with state of the art technologies for military, air and space, naval, communications and information and public security operations such as armored vehicles, drones, avionics and integrated command systems for the protection of aircraft.
Amorim said that LAAD should result in a series of good agreements and projects for Brazil. Among them is the negotiation for the sale of Embraer’s Super Tucano combat aircraft to Senegal. This is the fourth African country to buy the model. The other news is the signing of the joint project for development of a basic training aircraft with the nations in the Union of South American Nations (Unasur).
“It is still a project, but is very important, as we are thus contributing to an industrial base for defense of the whole of South America. We already have many Super Tucanos operating in South America, among them other aircraft. We have joint contracts for patrol vessels with Peru and Colombia,” he said.
“This event is taking place at an important moment in which we are seeing government measures being taken in favor of Brazilian technology, like a nuclear submarine,” said the minister.
Amorim recalled that the Defense Product Law (12.598/2012), passed last week, should also contribute to the good performance at the fair, as it provides support to domestic companies that invest in technology and Brazilian products in the defense area.
LAAD is the largest fair in the sector in Latin America and, every two years, brings together Brazilian and international companies that are specialized in fostering equipment, services and technology for the Armed Forces, Police, Special Forces, as well as corporate security.
This edition promises to be the largest in size and number of commercial transactions, since its establishment in 1997.