KUALA LUMPUR: A large-scale international exhibition of arms and military equipment, Defence Services Asia (DSA)-2010, opened on Monday in Malaysia’s capital, Kuala Lumpur, bringing together arms producers and suppliers from all over the world.
DSA, which the organizers say is one of the fifth largest arms exhibitions in the world and the largest in Asia, is being held for the 12th time.
“We are living in a very difficult time, which poses new challenges, such as a terrorism threat. All these challenges require to be responded with more and more modern and complicated technologies,” Malaysian Defense Minister Ahmad Zahid bin Hamidi said during the exhibition’s opening ceremony.
More than 700 companies from over 30 countries are taking part in the exhibition. Russia, a major arms producer, is also involved, with its participation organized by state technology corporation Rostekhnologii. The country will reveal more than 260 military products, including elements of the Smerch multiple rocket launcher – a fighting vehicle and a transporter loader.
The Russian Federal Service for Military and Technical Cooperation said in a statement it considered participation in the exhibition “an important stage in the development and strengthening of Russia’s business relations with foreign partners in the sphere of military-technical cooperation.”
According to the Malaysian defense minister, his country is expected to sign contracts worth more than 10.4 billion Malaysian ringgits (more than $3.25 billion) in total during the exhibition. Malaysia is reportedly planning to buy new tanks, fighter jets, submarines and other watercraft.
Bin Hamidi said the share of Asian countries in global arms purchases has accounted for about 40% over the past ten years.
A two-day international defense and security conference organized by the Malaysian Defense Ministry will take place during the exhibition, which will run until April 22.