British Army equipment, supported by a UKDSE team, was displayed at World Defence Show 2024 (WDS24) in Riyadh last week, reports Bob Morrison.
It is not unusual to see smaller items of British Army equipment, supported by a UKDSE (UK Defence and Security Exports) team, on display at international defence and security expositions overseas but current British Army tracked and wheeled armoured vehicles are seldom on show at such events. However with the UK Defence Secretary, Minister for Defence Procurement and Chief of the General Staff all WDS24 for talks to progress a new Saudi-UK strategic partnership it was only fitting that the British Army equipment presence was a little larger than might have normally been expected.
In addition to a British Army AJAX dressed in Saab Barracuda thermal camo and a FOXHOUND in a previously unseen digital desert camo pattern displayed outdoors in the central courtyard, an Army Air Corps WILDCAT helicopter was displayed on the WDS24 flight line. The latter was flown out to Saudi Arabia by an RAF A400M Atlas, also displayed on the flight line. There was also a UK Pavilion inside the expo halls, but this consisted mostly of small booths and there were no in-service vehicles or larger items of equipment displayed there.
Compared to the Chinese, Russian and United States presences at WDS24 the UK contribution was much larger than at WDS22 but still relatively relatively minor… though of course some might say that the best things often come in smaller packages.