HMS Bulwark hosted a Defence and Security Industry Day (DSID), sponsored by UK Trade and Industry (UKTI), on her recent visit to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.
The Plymouth based Fleet Flagship, currently in the Gulf leading the Response Force Task Group’s Cougar 13 deployment, invited eight defence sector companies to display their products at the event.
BMT Defence Services, Dytecna, Holyhead Marine, MBDA Missile Systems, QinetiQ, SELEX ES, Thales UK and BAe Systems were all in attendance in support of the International Defence Engagement Strategy which assists UK Defence Sales and international defence industry cooperation.
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology (Min DEST), Mr Philip Dunne MP, and Her Majesty’s Ambassador (HMA) to the United Arab Emirates, His Excellency Mr Dominic Jermey, opened the event.
The day provided an opportunity for key individuals from across the UAE military leadership and security sectors to engage with UKTI representatives to promote UK defence sales using the operational back drop of the Fleet Flagship.
The Minister for Defence Equipment Support and Technology, Philip Dunne MP, said:
“HMS Bulwark provides the perfect backdrop for the Defence and Security Industry Day enabling UK businesses to effectively promote their products and services in the maritime sector.
“Defence exports are an important part of our economy and events such as these allow us to engage with our allies such as the UAE to improve our interoperability.”
The day consisted of a number of static displays by UK industry exhibiters with associated support from UKTI representatives as well as HMS Bulwark’s Ship’s Company. Guests were also given a Ship’s Capability Demonstration, which showcased what capabilities the amphibious warship has to offer.
Commanding Officer, Captain Andrew Burns, said:
“By supporting this Defence and Security Industry Day my Ship’s Company are making a direct contribution to supporting and promoting the UK economy.
“This event also provided an opportunity for further engagement with our UAE partners and helped further the relationships upon which the security of the Gulf is founded.”
The RFTG is the United Kingdom’s high readiness maritime force, comprising ships, submarines, survey vessels, aircraft and a landing force of Royal Marines, at short notice to act in response to any contingency tasking if required.
The Cougar 13 deployment will operate in the Mediterranean, Red Sea, the Gulf, and Horn of Africa.
It involves exercising with partner nations, and will show the UK Armed Forces’ capacity to project an effective maritime component anywhere in the world as part of the Royal Navy’s Response Force Task Group, commanded by Commodore Paddy McAlpine OBE ADC Royal Navy.
Press Release, October 16, 2013; Image: Royal Navy