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ASDA 2017 gathers a record number of exhibitors and visiting delegations

The ASDA (full title: Adriatic Sea Defense and Aerospace Exhibition) 2017 international exhibition, held in Split from 26-28 April, was the fourth event in a row, held biannually since 2011. The Exhibition was organised by the U.S.-based TNT Production Inc, under the auspices of the Government and with the support from the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Croatia.

As many as 63 Croatian and 68 foreign exhibitors of arms, military equipment and other products and services in defence and security sector registered for ASDA 2017. The number of exhibitors (who were from 22 countries) exceeded 130, as was the case at ASDA 2011 

 

The ASDA (full title: Adriatic Sea Defense and Aerospace Exhibition) 2017 international exhibition, held in Split from 26-28 April, was the fourth event in a row, held biannually since 2011. The Exhibition was organised by the U.S.-based TNT Production Inc, under the auspices of the Government and with the support from the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Croatia.

As many as 63 Croatian and 68 foreign exhibitors of arms, military equipment and other products and services in defence and security sector from 22 countries registered for ASDA 2017. The number of exhibitors (who were from 22 countries) exceeded 130, as was the case at ASDA 2011.

The biggest number of domestic exhibitors so far instilled much optimism, indicating an expansion of the Croatian defence industry and the economic recovery in general.

The exhibitors included the prominent Croatian companies and firms, such as HS Produkt, Šestan-Busch, DOK-ING and Đuro Đaković. ASDA offers a forum to present their business at home together with the renowned international companies - the Swedish Saab, the South Korean KAI, the Israeli IAI and Elbit Systems, the US Bell Helicopter, the German Mercedes Trucks and for the first time the U.S. based Lockheed Martin, the international defence industry leader – which attend the IDEX and Eurosatory.

Another record from the Exhibition is the number of the visiting state and military delegations – as many as 33 delegations from European, Asian and African countries and the U.S – showing an increased interest in the event and the supply of the Croatian defence industry, as well as the intent to meet and hold bilateral contacts with the Croatian civilian and military officials. The ASDA exhibitions are an activity of international defence and security relations, increasingly important under the present circumstances. As an illustration to that, the Croatian Defence Minister  Damir Krstičević and the representatives of the Ministry of Defence and of the Croatian Armed Forces held a series of bilateral meetings with the delegations of  Iraq, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Albania, the United States, Israel, Kuwait, Azerbaijan and others .

Although the event abounds in various activities, it is the usually the opening that is in the public focus the most. Indeed, it was attended by the President of the Republic of Croatia as Supreme Commander of the Croatian Armed Forces, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, b the Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Damir Krstičević, the Deputy Chief of the  General Staff of the Croatian Armed Forces Lieutenant General Drago Matanović, the the Croatian Armed Forces, Lieutenant General Drago Matanović, the representatives of the ministries and other government administration bodies and defence and security institutions, the diplomatic and the military diplomatic corps. 

The President underlined that the ASDA was organised as an exhibition indicating the  future relationships and synergy between the state and the private sector. "ASDA is organised through a  public-private partnership, the co-operation of businesses with the government bodies to realise the projects of recognised common interest“. Speaking of the prominent participation of the Croatian firms and companies, the President underlined that ASDA was a unique opportunity for them to presenting their products, whose quality stands up to competition at the global level.

The Croatian Defence Minister said the ASDA has turned into a highly respectable business event, a forum presenting new products and technologies and new trends in the military industry.The Minister expressed satisfaction over the attendance of the exhibitors and delegations  and praised the production quality and the international reputation of the Croatian defence industry, stating that the innovative manufacturers would always enjoy partnership and support from the Croatian Government and the Ministry of Defence.

ASDA is also a place for dialogue, a spot of exchange of views  on the defence and security-related issues. ASDA 17 will have an important place in the joint efforts towards the global and state security“, said the Minister.

The Director of TNT Production Justin Webb extended appreciation to the Ministry of Defence for the continuous and warm support provided, and to the participants, and visitors coming from Europe and wider.

Demonstration of the capabilities of the Croatian Armed Forces 

Each time the ASDA demonstrated to Croatian officials, foreign visitors and the media some of the capabilities of the Croatian Armed Forces. The Croatian soldiers are equipped mostly with the products of the exhibiting firms and are their best international promoters, and the promoters of the Republic of Croatia as a NATO nation, taking an active part in the operations towards global  security and stability.

The ASDA 2017 featured eye-catching programmes for the visitors; immediately following the opening the visitors attended the demonstration exercise in the Barracks “Sveti Nikola" in Split, featuring the joint military-security capabilities of the Croatian Armed Forces – the three services reinforced by the Special Forces Command - joined by the members of the U.S. Naval Air Force operating the MH-60 Seahawk helicopter. The objective of the exercise was to display the interoperability of the forces engaged in the monitoring and protection of the maritime security in the Adriatic Sea.

Each ASDA was also an opportunity to demonstrate to Croatian officials, foreign visitors and the media some of the capabilities of the Croatian Armed Forces. The Croatian soldiers are equipped mostly with the products of the exhibiting firms and are their best international promoters, and the promoters of the Republic of Croatia as a NATO nation, taking an active part in the operations towards global  security and stability

 

ASDA 17 was not an exemption -  its opening was followed by a demonstration exercise conducted in the Barracks “Sveti Nikola" in Split, featuring a joint military-security capabilities of the Croatian Armed Forces – the three services reinforced by the Special Forces Command - joined by the members of the U.S. Naval Air Force operating the MH-60 Seahawk helicopter(Navy helicopter, based on the UH-60 Blackhawk).

The objective of the demonstration was to display the interoperability of the forces  of the forces engaged in the monitoring and protection of the maritime security in the Adriatic Sea.

Joint demonstration implied a dynamic and complex scenario:

The information available to the Port Authority Split warned of the entry into the Port of Poljud of a ship which has been under intelligence surveillance, due to the registered contacts with terrorist groups.  According to a statement from a witness, a merchant vessel under the same flag  dropped a suspect object into the sea while leaving the Port of Poljud.  The eyewitness immediately reported the incident to the Naval Operations Centre in Split, which initiated information and reporting according to the Standard Operating Procedure. The  intelligence surveillance procedure suggested the likelihood of terrorist activity.  The commander of the Coast Guard informed the Navy Commander and the harbour master of Split requesting the area to be searched and issued an order to the Coast Guard to execute interdiction, arrest and search of the merchant vessel.

In a combined action by the special teams of the Coast Guard, the Navy Flotilla and the Special Forces Command using the vessels, boats and helicopters the vessel was arrested and escorted to the port.

The countermine divers of the  Croatian Navy's Mine Warfare Centre and the  Croatian Army's Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team detected and neutralised a suspect object; the procedure was executed with the aid of the ordnance disposal and observation device (tEODor).

The scenario enabled a brief display of the acquired capability of seabed countermine search with the aid of the REMUS underwater vehicle, of safe disposal and neutralisation of mines, interdiction and arrest of a suspect vessel, of insertion of special forces onto the vessel, constantly monitored and supported by the aircraft, which in turn displayed the capability of search-and-rescue at sea.

Along with the REMUS vehicle and the Seahawk, the assets used in the demonstration exercise included the "Faust Vrančić" salvage ship, the “Šolta" patrol ship and the Mi-8 MTV1 helicopter.

The demonstraction exercise was followed by more attractions: the performance by the already globally famous “Wings of Storm“ aerobatic group of the Croatian Air Force and Air Defence, and the overflights by the Allied fighter aircraft – the MiG-21 aircraft of the Croatian Air Force and Air Defence and two U.S. F-16, which defied the strong wind during the programme in the Barracks to conduct a demanding and impressive performance.