IDEAS: Pakistan’s biggest defense exhibition

The 11th edition of the International Defence Exhibition and Seminar (IDEAS) was held in Karachi from November 15 to 18. IDEAS 22 revolved around the theme "Arms for Peace" and was a great success as it smashed all previous records with more than 500 exhibitors. China, Turkey, and Pakistan all showed recently produced military equipment. The event is significant as it may strengthen Pakistan's strategic ties with the rest of the world.


The Defence Export Promotion Organization (DEPO) organizes IDEAS, a defense exhibition where the industry’s key participants from across the world can display the newest technological advancements. Since its inception, IDEAS has become an international gathering of defense manufacturers, entrepreneurs, R&D specialists, financial experts, and top-level policymakers to foster collaboration, share knowledge, and support initiatives in the field of defense collaboration. The biennial International Defence Exhibition and Seminar (IDEAS)-2022, which was well-attended and well-received, was held at the Karachi Expo Centre from November 15 to 18. The event was deemed to be of strategic importance, and all relevant institutions took detailed preparation measures and issued directives that were successfully carried out, including the traffic plan. The defense exhibition was staged this time after a four-year hiatus because of the pandemic and the constraints that followed.

In a briefing by DEPO, it was mentioned that it was difficult to hold the mega defense show in Karachi after the destruction caused by the floods, but that doing so did benefit Pakistan’s economy by boosting exports and that IDEAS has always been a venue for both domestic and international exhibitors to present their technological innovations. Many of Pakistan’s defense industry’s products were on exhibit and were made public in this context. IDEAS 2022 broke all previous records for space, reservations, exhibitors, and domestic and international delegates. More than 500 exhibitors, 60 percent of whom were foreign and 40 percent domestic, came from Turkey, China, North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and the Far East, filling the Karachi Expo Center to capacity.

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At IDEAS’22, Pakistan put the aircraft J-17’s second iteration on display. Pakistan also displayed its newest combat tank, the Haider, which can fire a laser-guided missile with a 5-kilometer effective striking range. Robots that can disarm bombs on battlefields were also introduced by the National Radio Telecommunications Corporation (NRTC). The robot is a component of an explosive ordinance device (EOD) van, which also transports additional bomb-defusing gear for army troops, such as bomb disposal suits. Additionally, Global Industrial & Defence Solutions (GIDS) launched its first homegrown Harbah-NG anti-ship cruise missile. It is a 290-kilometer-range, subsonic anti-ship cruise missile that can be launched from ships in all types of weather and can be used to attack enemy ships and land-based targets. It is available in air-launched and ground-launched versions. Finally, the Pakistan Army unveiled the “Ababeel” combat drone series, made domestically by Pakistan Ordinance Factories (POF). The Ababeel Series consists of three drones: the MR-5, MR-10, and Vtol V-5.

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Türkiye, along with Islamabad’s longtime strategic ally China, had the largest presence at the exhibition, with leading Turkish defense companies, such as the government-run STM and ASFAT, showcasing their products, which included military hardware, tactical mini-UAV systems, modern drones, and cyber security solutions. Despite not exhibiting at IDEAS 2022 this time, Russia was nevertheless present in the form of a delegation. Meanwhile, newcomers arrived from several European nations, including Austria, Romania, and Hungary. Turkish businesses, which were expanding rapidly throughout the world, reserved two full halls this time to display their goods, compared to China’s one full hall. The Karachi Expo Centre hosted IDEAS 2022 in nine exhibition halls overall. The country’s commitment to promoting technological progress and exchange was demonstrated by its hosting of the 11th edition of IDEAS. The occasion will considerably advance Pakistan’s strategic ties with the international community and serve to further our shared goals of world peace, stability, and balance.

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