Beyond Battlefield ADAS Fortifies the Phillippines’ Evolving Defence Arena

Andrew Marriott
Managing Director,
ADAS

Asian Defense & Security (ADAS) is the only tri-service defence and security exhibition that comprehensively addresses the diverse defence requirements of the Philippines and the region in general. The upcoming ADAS in September will be special celebrating its 10th anniversary and the organisers expect a sold-out event with the highest numbers of national pavilions, international exhibitors, and VIP delegations. “ We are looking at getting a bigger venue with areas for new product displays and live demonstrations of the forces’ capabilities and their current assets. ADAS will also be able to help attract investments and JV’s with companies to start defence production in the Philippines,” said Andrew Marriott, Managing Director In an interview with Arabian Defence , he talks about the ever-growing evolution and success of ADAS, its importance in the global defence arena, how it caters to the growth of the industry and its key players, and the roadmap ahead.

 

The Asian Defense & Security Exhibition (ADAS) showcases the future of defence through technological developments from around the globe. How did ADAS become an important event in the Asia Pacific region?
ADAS was first launched in 2014 as I was aware that whilst the defence capability of the Philippines had been under-invested for many years, there was a new modernisation programme that was in its infancy which would focus on rebuilding capability across the tri-services and more.
I was fortunate enough to have a fairly extensive understanding of the defence industry having worked in it for many years. The Department of National Defence (DND) understood the benefits of developing a flagship event for their armed forces and that was the beginning of it all.
I am delighted by how our relationships with the DND and their armed forces has developed over the last decade. Over this period, the modernisation programme was central in our marketing efforts to reach out to international defence manufacturers. Whilst many were initially unaware of the depth of the requirements and opportunities in the Philippines, especially given there was little indigenous defence manufacturing within the Philippines, the show grew into a prominent show within the APAC region.
With the terrorist insurgency in the south and rising tensions in the West Philippines Sea, the modernisation programme has expanded over the years. After our first show in 2014, the Philippines Department of National Defence further developed its future procurement programmes, we extended our global marketing efforts as the show continued to grow.
As I look at ADAS now, it is certainly considered one of the must-attend defence shows in the region for which we remain extremely grateful for the ongoing support of the Department of National Defence, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the Philippines National Police (PNP), the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and more plus all of our participating exhibitors who have all remained loyal to this show.

How does ADAS contribute to the growth of the Aerospace and Defence sector of the Philippines and the regional security in the Asian countries?
There is no doubt that creating an international event like ADAS benefits the industry as a whole. ADAS provides a backdrop and conducive & focused platform for networking and forging relationships whilst raising awareness of the latest technology on offer. The presence of companies like Embraer, Saab, Airbus, Lockheed Martin, Turkish Aerospace Industries, Korea Aerospace Industries, Hanwha Group, IAI, Rafael, Elbit Systems, Diehl Defence, Brahmos, Navantia, etc to showcase their latest products, enables the Armed Forces of the Philippines to engage and discuss their future requirements and challenges. Aside from gaining insights into best practices, ADAS also assists in future procurement planning. Networking with counterparts in the region provides insight into best practices and hopefully also encourages lasting friendships.


How successful was ADAS 2022? Could you talk about the arrangements made for this year’s ADAS?
ADAS 2022 was a difficult show as there were many postponements due to COVID-19. We received a green light to go from the DND and given the short time frame, the event outcome surpassed our expectations. Around 166 exhibitors from 34 countries and 10,355 visitors from 63 countries attended the show. Given the lead time and existing Covid restrictions, we were delighted as were all our government-supporting partners.
With our focus on the upcoming ADAS in September, celebrating its 10th anniversary, we expect a sold-out event with the highest numbers of national pavilions, international exhibitors, and VIP delegations. We will be organising a symposium covering topics such as asymmetric warfare, defending the digital infrastructure of the AFP, and building a domestic defence manufacturing industry. We are also extending the outdoor area to display defence products. DND together with APAC Expo will host a big Gala Dinner for this milestone celebration.

Being the Managing Director of ADAS, what are your visions and priorities for the upcoming editions and what is the roadmap ahead?
As Managing Director since the show’s inception, I believe the next decade will see further progress as the show matures and grows further. We are looking at getting a bigger venue with areas for new product displays and live demonstrations of the forces’ capabilities and their current assets.
As the show organiser and someone who firmly believes in the Philippines market, I have many future plans in different sectors to do events here, and my immediate plan is to extend the symposiums and themes.
ADAS will also be able to help attract investments and JV’s with companies to start defence production in the Philippines. This will provide many skilled engineering opportunities and careers for locals. As organisers it is important to us that the local communities benefit.

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