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World Defence Show 2024 Held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

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Minister of Defense inaugurates World Defense Show 2024 in Riyadh from February 4-8The 2nd edition of the World Defence Show (WDS 2024) was held at Riyadh International Convention & Exhibition Center, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia from 4th to 8th February 2024.

  • WDS 2024 was organised by the General Authority for Military Industries (GAMI), the regulator, enabler, licensor for the military industry in Saudi Arabia.
  • The Theme of WDS 2024 is “Equipped for Tomorrow”.


i.Under the patronage of the King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, and on behalf of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia, Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Minister of Defence and Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of GAMI inaugurated the WDS 2024.

ii.The event signifies Saudi Arabia’s commitment to becoming a global hub for the defence industry.

World Defence Show 2024:

i.The defence show is a global platform for experts, manufacturers, and decision-makers in the defence and security industry sector.

ii.It underscores Saudi Arabia’s leadership’s dedication to hosting a world-class event that ranks among the top defence and security exhibitions globally.

iii.It also affirms Saudi Arabia’s ambition to become a global hub for organising exhibitions across all fields.


ii.Over 773 exhibitors from over 75 countries, government entities, and leading local/international defence companies showcase the event’s global prominence.

iii.Aerial displays, static aircraft exhibitions, and ground equipment were demonstrated in the display area.

Saudi Vision 2030 in Action:

i.The royal endorsement reflects Saudi Arabia’s commitment to Vision 2030’s goal of localising 50% of defence expenditure.

  • Localisation rates have surged from 4% to 13.6% by the end of 2022.

ii.The defence industries sector’s contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is expected to reach approximately Saudi riyal (SAR) 93.75 billion by 2030.

About World Defence Show (WDS):

i.WDS was founded by Saudi Arabia’s GAMI and is set to be held biennially (every 2 years).

ii.It will accelerate the future of the industry by showcasing:

  • The latest technological developments from around the globe; and
  • Demonstrating defence interoperability across all major domains – air, land, sea, space, and security systems.

iii.The 1st ever WDS was held in Riyadh exhibition and convention centre in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia from 6th to 9th March 2022.

Note: The 3rd edition of WDS will be held from 8 to 12 February 2026.

MIL Inked USD 225 Million Ammunitions Contract with Saudi Arabia Govt  

Pune (Maharashtra)- based Munitions India Limited (MIL), Defence Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) under the Ministry of Defence (MoD) signed a contract worth USD 225 million for the supply of artillery ammunition to Saudi Arabia.

  • The contract was facilitated through MIL’s partner Nadrah Company, and was formalised during the WDS 2024 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Key People: The order was inked in the presence of Ajay Bhatt, Minister of State (MoS), MoD; MIL Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) Ravi Kant; and Ahmad Abdulaziz Al-Ohali, Governor of GAMI.

Point to note: The deal marks a substantial addition to MIL’s export orders, with approximately Rs 400 crores already in its books for supplying ammunition to the Middle Eastern countries.

Tri-Service Women Officers Represented Indian Armed Forces at WDS 2024

Squadron Leader Bhawana Kanth (Indian Air Force), Colonel Ponung Doming (Indian Army), and Lieutenant Commander Annu Prakash (Indian Navy) represented India in WDS 2024 to showcase India’s commitment to leveraging Nari Shakti across domains.

  • Tri-Service women representation were part of the Indian delegation representing the Armed Forces in the various seminars of the WDS 2024 especially in the International Women in Defence-themed events.

Key Points:

i.Squadron Leader Bhawana Kanth, a fighter pilot, took centre stage as a panellist at the seminar titled ‘International Women in Defence – Investing in an Inclusive Future’.

ii.It was hosted by Princess Reema bint Bandar Al-Saud, Saudi Arabian Ambassador to the United States of America (USA).

  • Bhawana Kanth is the 1st woman fighter pilot to take part in the Republic Day Parade (2021). She also participated in the Republic Day 2024 Flypast.

iii.Colonel Ponung Doming is the 1st woman officer to command the world’s highest Border Task Force located above 15,000 feet in the Northern sector.

Ajay Bhatt, MoS for Defence, Visited Riyadh for WDS 2024

Ajay Bhatt, MoS, MoD visited Riyadh to lead the Indian delegation at WDS 2024. He also held meetings with various ministers to discuss the areas of bilateral defence cooperation between India and Saudi Arabia.

Highlights of his Visit:

i.He visited the General Authority for Defence Development (GADD) and met with its Governor Dr Faleh bin-Abdullah Al-Sulaiman.

ii.He also visited King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) and met with its President Dr Munir M. Eldesouki.

iii.He visited Saudi Arabian Military Industry Advanced Electronics Company (SAMI-AEC) headquarters in Riyadh and discussed on ways to strengthen the defence ties and future collaboration.

iv.He also visited Al-Turaif, a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage site in Diriyah.

BrahMos Pavilion at WDS 2024: India’s Rising Prowess in Defence Diplomacy

The Indian delegation led by Ajay Bhatt, MoS, MoD, included Dr Suhel Ajaz Khan, India’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia; and Anurag Bajpai, Additional Secretary, Department of Defence Production promoted the BrahMos Pavilion at WDS 2024 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The BrahMos Pavilion served a dual purpose:

  • To underscore India’s preparedness to escalate defence cooperation across the Middle East; and
  • To showcase its advanced defence capabilities and strategic diplomacy.

Host: The Indian delegation was hosted by Dr. Sanjeev Kumar Joshi and Praveen Pathak, Director of Marketing, Promotion, and Export at BrahMos.

Note: The BrahMos Cruise missile stands as a pinnacle in modern warfare, offering unparalleled speed, accuracy, and adaptability.


BrahMos Aerospace is a joint venture (JV) between India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Russia’s NPO Mashinostroyeniya (NPOM).

  • It aims to design, develop, manufacture, and market the world’s only supersonic cruise missile system Brahmos for maritime, aerial, and land-based platforms.

Recent related News:

National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) under the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Government of Saudi Arabia.

About Saudi Arabia:
Capital- Riyadh
Prime Minister- HRH Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud
Currency- Saudi Riyal