Fighter jets screaming overhead and theatrical explosions marked the opening of an arms show Sunday in Abu Dhabi, as a bullet-scarred Emirati armored personnel carrier served as a reminder of the country’s ongoing military campaign in Yemen.
The Emirates announced over $1.2 billion in arms deals at the opening of the biennial International Defense Exhibition and Conference, known by the acronym IDEX. It and other Gulf nations, buoyed by rising oil prices and suspicious of nearby Iran, are likely to spend even more in the weeks and months ahead.
“The need for new equipment for modernized systems is still there and it is increasing,” said Charles Forrester, a senior defense industry analyst at IHS Jane’s. “Countries are beginning to deploy their own operations in … Iraq and Yemen and so they need to find ways to deploy and protect their people, as well as achieve their missions.” […]