LAAD 2013 Begins in Rio
By Dialogo April 11, 2013
On the morning of April 9, Brazilian Vice President Michel Temer and Minister of Defense Celso Amorim, inaugurated the 9th edition of the largest and most important defense and security trade fair in Latin America, the Latin America Aero & Defence (LAAD) Security Conference. The event, which started in 2008, takes place at Riocentro convention center, in Rio de Janeiro.
In his welcome speech, Vice President Temer emphasized the good relations between Brazil and its Latin American neighbors, as well as the technological evolution of the Brazilian defense industry. He also mentioned that Brazil’s defense always has peaceful objectives and that its dissuasive role is necessary to protect the country’s natural resources.
The exhibit takes place every two years, with an increasing number of participants, including exhibitors, delegations and visitors. This year, countries such as Canada, Chile, Colombia, United Arab Emirates, Slovakia, and Norway are participating with their national flags for the first time.
In this edition of the show, LAAD occupied three pavilions of Riocentro Convention Center, with a new physical configuration. The commander of each of the Armed Forces has a central office in each pavilion, which the local and international suppliers for that segment surround.
One of the topics that created the highest expectations was the acquisition of new supersonic fighter planes by the Brazilian Air Force (FAB). But the government representatives made no mention of Project F-X2, as it is known, to the press.
Defense Minister Amorim reiterated the current significance of Rio de Janeiro state, which will house the future shipyard where a nuclear propulsion submarine will be built, as well as hosting future events of global importance, hence the relevance of promoting such events in the city.
Deputy Governor of Rio de Janeiro Luiz Fernando Pezão, who represented Governor Sérgio Cabral, emphasized the fact that the state of Rio increased the public security budget from 2.5 billion reais (approximately $1.265 million) in 2006 to 7 billion reais (approx. $3.542 million) this year.
The LAAD Defence & Security conference showcases of the best technology available for defense and security. Members of the Armed Forces and the Police in Brazil and other countries attend the event, eager to evaluate and become familiarized with the best equipment to purchase to perform their activities.
Some booths feature cutting-edge technology for military, aerospace, naval, and communications and information operations. Others feature technology for public and corporate securities, such as armored vehicles, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), protection devices, airplanes, military vessels and integrated command and control systems. In addition, the space industry and the government sector received an area dedicated to training & simulation.
LAAD 2013, which started on April 9 and will extend through April 12, brought 680 national and international exhibitors, 120 delegations from 55 countries and expected to receive 30,000 visitors.
*Retired Brazilian Army Colonel Fernando Montenegro is a Special Forces, Commands and Paratrooper, and Counter-terrorism specialist.